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Author Topic: Is it too cool to add room, or split???  (Read 881 times)
joker1656
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« on: April 19, 2010, 06:43:45 PM »

I hope I did not commit a cardinal beekeeping sin.  I checked on my two hives today.  One of them has filled three deeps.  The queen is in the top box and laying.  Each box was brimming with bees and brood.  They had several frames of new uncapped honey/nectar. 

I added a 4th deep with an excluder.  I know excluders are to some a bane, but I just wanted to keep her down for now.  The added box has mostly drawn frames, but a couple undrawn foundationless frames. 

After doing so, I heard the weather forecast.  Even though it was in the 60's today, it is supposed to get down to less than 40 tonight.  Tomorrow it is supposed to shoot back up to the 60's-70's.  Did I add too much room after disturbing the hive so much? 

Also, I am guessing that I should split this hive since swarming season is very close.  This hive is from a swarm.  Should I split soon, or is it too cool to start a split?  I did not see drones yet, but lots of drone brood. 
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 07:04:21 PM »

The extra room never hurts, even in cool weather.   I would not split yet if you want any honey this year.  Just make sure they have plenty of room.  You can just pull out 2 frames of brood for a split if you want a nuc.
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joker1656
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 07:24:23 PM »

I do want honey this season, and realize that splitting could have a negative effect.  I just want to prevent throwing a swarm, if possible.  If I split could I then combine again to gain some honey?
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
Hethen57
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 11:54:22 PM »

It depends where you are....I did 2 splits from a brand new hive last year and harvested about 4 gallons of honey from it...they all went into winter full of honey and survived...so don't assume just because you do some splits that you won't get honey.  If things are blooming and your weather is likely to stay in those temps, you can probably do either, I would do a split, but you will probably have to feed until you get into full nectar flow.  It's always nice to have a few extra hives to absorb any losses you may sustain over the winter.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 07:22:36 AM »

She filled three deeps with brood and you're afraid she'll  fill another?  What's the downside of that?
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Michael Bush
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joker1656
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 08:25:30 AM »

I have not worded my question real well, I guess.  Not saying there is a downside to my prolific queen.  I was worried about the effect of tearing the hive apart with chilly night temps.  I also wondered about splitting to "prevent" swarming, since she is filling everything in sight.  Is it too cold to split? (60-70 degree days with 30-40 degree nights)

The excluder was an attempt to be able to harvest that honey, provided splitting is not neccessary.  Not sure if that was a good idea, so I am open to opinion. 

No downside, I just want to handle this hive correctly.  I could ask my "mentor", but he is in his 80's, has a sick wife, and has been extremely helpful at other times.  Trying to limit my drain on his time.   
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
indypartridge
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 09:01:41 AM »

I don't think the nights are too cold for a split. There's a lot of Indiana beekeepers who have been installing packages on foundation with these temps, so doing a split, especially given that you've got dead-outs with drawn comb, shouldn't be a problem. If you're planning on letting them make their own queen, then drones could be a problem. You need plenty of mature drones available. If you're seeing drone brood but no drones, you're a couple weeks early for letting them raise a new queen.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2010, 12:15:23 AM »

No down side and yet you want to limit her with an excluder...
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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
joker1656
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2010, 08:47:27 PM »

Thanks, for the help.

Thanks, Iddee, for the phone call.  It cleared up many questions. 
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"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman
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