I am getting ready to do my first split tomorrow morning. I live in Israel and this is the time most beekeepers do splits. Winter here is December & January and by the end of January there is growth in the hives. The first nectar flow is April May.
I need to move the two hives so I thought this might be an ideal time to do the splits. I would appreciate it is someone could comment on what I have planned:
- Put a screened opening on the two hives and load them in my van.
- Travel to another spot, about 6 miles away, where I already have one active hive.
- Find the queen and put her in a matchbox.
- Open the hive and divide the 10 frames between two nucs.
- Turn the nucs so the entrances face different directions.
- Fill the inner feeder with 1:1 syrup.
- Insert the matchbox with the queen (leaving the drawer open about 1/4 inch) into place into one of nucs between frames.
- Close up and repeat the procedure with the 2nd hive.
- Return in 24 hours and introduce the queens I purchased today.
How can I make sure I get the foraging bees before they leave in the morning? If I start at 8:00 a.m. will that be early enough?
Since I will likely have 10 full frames in each colony, can I use four and four and take two frames from each of the colonies to make a fifth nuc?
Is there anything else I can do to ensure that by the time we have a nectar flow I will have a full colony ready for making honey or should I assume that no matter what I do, the new colony from the nuc will not produce much honey during the 1st nectar flow?