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Author Topic: # of Frames in a Split  (Read 636 times)
House Bee
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Gender: Male
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Location: Pullman, Washington

"The Morning Breaks, The Shadows Flee.....

« on: April 21, 2010, 12:12:46 PM »

I recently made a split and now I'm second guessing myself.  When I made the split on Friday, I placed two frames of brood and eggs in the new hive. These were not completely full of brood/egg frames. They had about 40% coverage.  In addition, I added two frames of bees with foundation. So the new hive has 4 frames of bees, plus 6 frames of foundation.  Looking at the hive yesterday, there is just a few bees leaving the hive to gather pollen. Two bees where at the exist, spread pheomons.  I removed the top cover just to peek inside. The tops of the 4 frames are full of bees. In addition, they are taking on large amounts of syrup.

I'm worried that I didn't provide enough bees to this split.  The hive is queenless, so next Saturday I'll be inspecting for queen cells. Should I add another frame or two of bees, using the new paper separation technique immediately?


He who would gather honey must bear the sting of the bees.
Super Bee
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Bee in N Georgia on a Blackberry flower

« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2010, 12:59:11 PM »

I might have put the split into a nuc to get established rather than straight into a regular hive body....

But I haven't done many splits.

Linda T
"You never can tell with bees" - Winnie the Pooh

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Galactic Bee
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Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.

« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 01:51:02 PM »

If you are doing a split nearby the parent hive, you can do 2 things...

1. If you are leaving the parent hive, shake the bees off of a few frames.  The forager bees will head home to the parent hive, leaving just nurse bees, so you want extra nurses, they'll become foragers if needed.

2. Move the parent hive away and put the split in its place.  The all of the foragers will return to the split, giving them a good boost.

What you did is probably fine, but keep in mind that the fewer bees the longer it will take to build up.  But it is still early...


Michael Bush
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Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 09:50:44 PM »

I try to have at least the equivelent of one deep worth of bees, brood honey etc in the split if my intent is to get another productive hive.  If my intent is to get a lot of queens out of a hive that is swarming I may go as small as a frame of brood (with a queen cell) and a frame of honey.  But I don't expect that split to build up into a hive.  I just expect them to mate a queen and maybe build up to one box by the end of the year if they are really lucky and work hard.  Of course sometimes they are more than lucky and sometimes the weather cooperates etc. and they do build up into an actual viable hive by winter.  But a small nuc is always struggling because of lack of workers and resources, where a deep full of bees, brood and resources is not struggling.  They are just hitting their stride.


Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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