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Author Topic: Thoughts on rapid split technique  (Read 3919 times)
OzBuzz
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« on: March 17, 2010, 12:16:36 AM »

I was having a chat with a friend last night and we were posing methods of rapidly multiplying hives... i'm looking at starting my first hive soon (I'm in Australia so it's late in the season but it's still warm and there are some trees about to flower). My friend already has a strong hive with two brood supers and he recently put on a second honey super to capture a late flow he has. He is going to feed over winter and also give pollen patties. In any case we were discussing the following idea:

1) Have one strong hive with double brood supers and double honey supers
2) Early spring assess the hive strength - if considered strong take two frames of brood and two frames of honey and place in an 8 frame body with four frames of new foundation. Do that with all of the frames in the second brood super and the second honey super. Reinstall second brood super and second honey super
3) Allow new hives to supersedure for a new queen
4) Give sugar water and pollen patties to supplement natural supply to all hives and install honey supers when brood chambers are full
5) Review hives in January or so and assess potential further splits by following the same procedure in step 2
6) Continue feeding

If you followed that procedure you could theoretically have 21 hives from one strong hive after one season under 'ideal' circumstances and so long as you didnt want to harvest any honey and just wanted to grow your hives.

Does that sound plausible?
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contactme_11
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 08:05:31 AM »

Maybe if you were just interested in making 21 nucs. Not to disappoint you, but otherwise I think it sounds nearly impossible.
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doak
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 04:13:39 PM »

As with anything, don't try to start too far up the ladder, and don't try to skip too many rungs. :)doak
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 07:44:03 PM »

Good points guys - thanks - 4 frame nucs sound feasible. Then at the beginning of the second season you could expland them up to full size hives - so you'd end the first season with nucs and start the second season with brood only 8 frame hives and maybe put a honey super on in January or so... obviously it's all dependent on weather and flows
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doak
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 08:50:06 PM »

If you start good nukes in early spring and it doesn't grow to a good full size colony before fall then I consider it a failure.

A nuke is already 5 to 7 weeks ahead of a swarm or package. :)doak
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rdy-b
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 07:53:57 PM »

use the mother colony as a donor for the queen cells -just drop in a cell bar from a graft or nicot system
use mother queen for one of the splits -this is a way that is easier for the bees-and you get better queen -(versus forced superseder)
 Wink works for me RDY-B
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beequeen1
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2010, 06:33:46 PM »

Miller method is easy for beginners so you might want to try smiley Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2010, 12:46:40 AM »

Honestly, here's what I would do.  First, one hive isn't likely to make 21 splits, but if you have several hives you can take the queen, two frames of rbrood and two frames of honey and put them in an eight frame box (or ten frame box) with whatever you have, drawn comb is nice, foundation is ok, foundationless is ok if you have comb guides.  Then in nine days make several more of these splits from your other strong hives, and maybe one or two more from that hive each with a frame that has a queen cell, a frame that does not (if there are any) and a couple of frames of honey).  Now you've only made ONE hive queenless to get several queens instead of several hives queenless to get that same number...
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Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
alfred
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 12:52:22 PM »

So Michael,
 Your saying to use queen cells from the one queenless hive but the frames from the other strong hives? And never remove queens from other strong hives? Yes?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 04:50:43 AM »

>Your saying to use queen cells from the one queenless hive but the frames from the other strong hives?

Yes.

>And never remove queens from other strong hives?

Yes.

My point is that the one strong hive is going to raise a lot of queen cells and feed them well (because it has a lot of resources and laborers) and you can do your splits from those queens and save the splits having to make their own and save the other hives from having to be queenless and raise a lot of queen cells from which only one queen will result.  This way you get well fed queens and only one hive is queenless for one cycle to get them.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
alfred
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 09:25:46 AM »

Thank you Michael! that makes so much sense and would have never thought of it myself.
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CountryBee
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2010, 10:03:22 AM »

Smart Man! Thanks also!
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