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Author Topic: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.  (Read 1469 times)

Offline Tucker1

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Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« on: February 16, 2010, 06:47:47 PM »
In early April I want to split one of my existing hives into 3.  The hive has wintered really well so far. The hive is very strong. The existing queen will be 1 year old in April.  I'd like to order 2 new queens for the two proposed new hives. I have plenty of empty comb ready to help expedite the start up of the new hives.

Having said that:  How do I ensure that I put the new queens into the right two queenless hives?  (I have a heck of a time finding the existing unmarked queen.)  :?

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Tucker1

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Offline John Schwartz

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 06:54:13 PM »
Hi there, Tucker :)

I think realistically, if you are going to be splitting hives, you'll need to find the queen in the first and isolate her. If were me, I'd plan on picking a warm day to do the deed and just take my time with each frame as you split them off into nucs. The extra comb is great. Are you going to be creating nucs from the splits?
--John Schwartz :)

Offline kathyp

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 07:23:05 PM »
if you are going to buy queens, you kind of have to know where the old one is.   :-D

how good are you at seeing eggs?  you could do your splits and look for eggs in a couple of days if you really can't find your queens.  you may have to shake in some more bees or swap hive locations after you add your queens to account for drift, but there would be no harm in leaving them queenless for a couple days.

lots is correct.  if you take your time and go through frame by frame, you should be able to spot her.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 01:45:14 AM »
Just split them, don't buy any queens and you won't care where she is and you'll get more adapted local stock instead of bringing in more unadapted stock...
Michael Bush
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Offline JP

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 10:31:34 AM »
Just split them, don't buy any queens and you won't care where she is and you'll get more adapted local stock instead of bringing in more unadapted stock...


It took Michael Bush to say what I was thinking!


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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 11:27:46 AM »
If you want to buy queens, you can do the split and then check the splits the next day for starts of queen cells.  If the split is noisey, perhaps a bit aggressive, and there is queen cells, then they don't have a queen, you can wreck any queen cells started, and add the new queen.  If they are quiet, no queen cells, then they probably have a queen already.  Plus the queen is easier to find when the hives are small.

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Offline John Schwartz

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 11:33:43 AM »
Just split them, don't buy any queens and you won't care where she is and you'll get more adapted local stock instead of bringing in more unadapted stock...

Michael, couple things:

1) That assumes he's getting mail-order queens from out of town. I know many (like myself) who find good, local/adapted stock if we have to get some queens. If that were the case, any issues there?
2) Will a nuc have sufficient numbers to raise a strong queen?
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 01:50:45 PM »
>1) That assumes he's getting mail-order queens from out of town. I know many (like myself) who find good, local/adapted stock if we have to get some queens. If that were the case, any issues there?

How local?  Certainly local bought queens are better than queens from a different climate.  But I really want bees from right where I am.

>2) Will a nuc have sufficient numbers to raise a strong queen?

If they don't, you shouldn't be splitting them yet...
Michael Bush
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Offline John Schwartz

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 02:03:20 PM »
>2) Will a nuc have sufficient numbers to raise a strong queen?

If they don't, you shouldn't be splitting them yet...

Ok. I'm coming from the angle of reading the likes of Doolittle lately who encouraged using full-size hives with a strong queen to rear new queens. So, a small or weak hive (nuc) with no queen he said would raise an inferior queen(s). I do realize there's been much of water under the bridge since 1890 so I'm very curious about your thinking. Thx for the help/feedback.
--John Schwartz :)

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 02:52:29 PM »
The quality of a queen has a lot to do with how well she is cared for.  I've raised very good queens in a two frame nuc when it was overflowing with bees and there was a flow.  The density of bees is much more the issue than the number.  But I wouldn't be doing a three way split of a hive unless I caught them trying to swarm.  I'd split it in half and come back in 30 days and see what's up.  Possibly the side that still had the queen will be ready to split again.  If not, then I won't split it again.  Or if the flow dried up, I won't split it again.  A split in a flow works out well.  A split in a dearth usually doesn't even get the queen mated.
Michael Bush
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Offline John Schwartz

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 02:54:15 PM »
Thanks much, Michael. :)
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Offline livz2hunt

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 08:37:16 PM »
Just split them, don't buy any queens and you won't care where she is and you'll get more adapted local stock instead of bringing in more unadapted stock...


Sorry Tucker1 for highjacking your thread but, when doing a split, I understand the part about just deviding the hive into two parts and knowing the queen is either here or over there, but how do you keep all the bees from piling back into the part with the queen in it? I mean won't the bees leave the brood and eggs from one part to go back and be with the part with the queen in it?

Offline Ollie

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 12:00:14 AM »
Split the hive into 3 nucs, let sit for 4 days, inspect, the one with the eggs...that's the one that has the queen.
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Offline jclark96

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Re: Simple Question ... I should know the answer.
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2010, 08:49:22 AM »
I am looking at the same thing, one trick that works well is to put an excluder between the boxes for a few days before the split. Then when you split the box with eggs has the queen. You must buy a queen for the other box, because it will not have eggs and probably older larvae. Saves you from finding the queen, come back 24 hours later and put in your new queen.