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Author Topic: Question about splitting my hives  (Read 1832 times)
hoxbar
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« on: August 04, 2010, 06:02:09 PM »

Last year I got tired of my girls swarming. I had one hive swarm 3-4 different times. I think I want to split my hives to keep this from happening. I want to both grow my number of hives but I also want as much honey as possible. I run one deep hive body and one medium super on all my hives b/c here in southern Oklahoma our winters are not too bad. I was thinking about splitting my hives like this.

I plan on taking the medium supers off, putting it on a new hive stand and placing a deep hive body on top of the medium. I then would put an empty medium super on top of the original deep.  Would this work if I did it in the spring when my girls acted like they wanted to swarm and would I have enough bees to make honey? I could make nucs, but I want to make honey next year.

Please remember I'm new at this. Moderators if this is not the proper place to post this topice please feel free to move it.
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hardwood
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 06:08:59 PM »

Are you using a queen excluder between the single deep and the medium super? If so they are most likely crowded and will swarm often. Here in FL I use two deeps for brood minimum. I don't use excluders. It sounds like you may need to give her majesty a bit more room to lay.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
hoxbar
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 06:14:40 PM »

Are you using a queen excluder between the single deep and the medium super?

No, the medium super is used like a deep hive body, we use them here because our winter are not to cold and it's lighter to carry.  I also do not use queen excluders,
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CountryBee
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 06:16:45 PM »

I think the bees needed more room, maybe two deeps for the queen.  Up here we use 2 deeps, the winters and room.  Hardwood is right also, no excluders. grin
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AliciaH
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2010, 06:24:19 PM »

Swarm prevention and hive splitting can almost be two separate focal points. 

So, Hoxbar, are you splitting this way in an effort to get the bees in the queenless box to make an emergency supersecure?  I've never tried this but am curious from others about how well that works.

Also, because I'm curious how other beekeepers work their hives, I was wondering how often you inspect for swarm cells to prevent the swarming behavior?
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 07:13:28 PM »

G'day Hoxbar,

I'm a newbie too so please, whatever i say, wait until it is backed up by someone with more knowledge than I.

It definitely sounds like you have a crowding problem running one deep and a medium for brood. I'd definitely consider going two deeps for brood and keeping your mediums for honey. What i would do if i was in your position is this (I don't know if you're running 8 or 10 frames so i will assume Cool:

- Leave the bottom deep as brood chamber (make sure the queen is in there)
- I would take four frames (every second frame so 1, 3, 5 & 7) from the bottom brood chamber and put them in another super and put a queen in there... i don't know how successful a walk away split would be at this time of year (do you guys still have drones flying?) The remaining frames 2, 4, 6 & 8 push to the centre of the hive
- Replace those four frames with undrawn foundation (or foundationless dependent on what technique you use) 2 x on either side of the brood nest that will help keep the brood nest tight as you go in to winter or, if your winters are quite mild, keep them spaced apart to encourage the bees to draw out the foundation - even better replace with drawn foundation if you can get some
- Feed well
- I would then put the medium brood box above a queen excluder and allow the brood to hatch without being replaced by more eggs. As they go in to winter they will backfill with honey - let them do that and keep it for stores
- Going through winter keep them in one brood box and assess as you go along - i don't know if you inspect at all over winter but if you do then this will give you an idea of what's happening and whether or not you need to put another full depth super of undrawn foundation on so they can expand. Personally i would probably be keeping them in one box over winter with a medium of honey on and then come spring throw the second deep brood box on and a medium

Just my 2c worth - all the best
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hoxbar
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 07:40:45 PM »

No, no, no.... I take it none of you guys are from southern Oklahoma or north Texas. A deep and medium is how most of us have our hives. Our winters are not very bad and we do not need two deeps.
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bailey
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 07:54:08 PM »

i run only 3 medium boxes for brood nest..
whatever works

you will get better swarm controll from opening up the brood nests. ( adding empty frames to brood nest )
bailey.
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hardwood
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 08:02:04 PM »

I still think they feel crowded if they swarm that much...I've been know to be wrong a few times though too! Have you tried any other types of swarm prevention?

I use my strongest hives for spring grafting and don't return the frames that I graft from back into the same box...I put them in an upper box (deep) and replace with an empty frame. I guess that's something like checkerboarding. I only had one of my hives swarm this year.

I also split  hives in the spring and again in late summer.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
CountryBee
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2010, 08:44:50 PM »

Why swarm?  No room, Old queen, genetics of queen.  Is there enough room?  How old is the queen?  What kind of queen did you purchase/breed?  Maybe you need a different queen that is not inclined to split so much? Country Smiley
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AllenF
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2010, 08:55:37 PM »

I had one hive that swarmed 3 times, about 2 to 3 weeks apart last year.  The hive froze out this winter with one of the swarms.    The other 2 swarms are doing great this year building out new boxes.   And they did not swarm this year, but that may be from all new equipment.   I have no idea why they swarmed.   
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hoxbar
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 09:53:25 PM »

I think a few of you had your minds freeze up when you saw I put medium supers on my hive instead of two deep hive bodies. I'm not wanting to know why they swarmed, I wanted to know about splitting them.  I had just purchased These two that swarmed several times. I was brand new to beekeeping and didn't know what to look for or expect. I just wanted to know if I could spli these hives this way and force one of the hives to make a queen and if I I split this way would I be able to make honey?
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hardwood
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 11:16:43 PM »

Sorry if you took my response as other than what was intended. Split as you wish, but you still need to get your swarming under control. If the colony still has enough to split, then take two frames of brood  (at a minimum) WITH THE QUEEN and a couple frames of honey and pollen and transfer to a 5 frame nuc. Fill any empty spots with drawn comb or foundation (foundationless if you're going that way) and remove to a different yard if you can. Make sure you leave eggs and young open brood in the parent hive so that they can make a new queen.

You will then have solved your problems by creating a "false swarm" with a walk away split. This is not the right time of year for this, but if you insist...by all means give it a shot.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
hardwood
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 11:18:48 PM »

Oh...forget the honey for this year. They'll be good for next season though if they make it ok.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
AliciaH
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2010, 11:30:05 PM »

Hoxbar:  I, too, will apologize because even though I mentioned that swarm control and splitting are almost two different issues, what I did not include is that swarm control is important because the swarming bees are your workforce.  Everytime you get a swarm, you diminish the workforce of your hive, and therefore the amount of honey you can potentially collect.

Having said that, your question is 'will you get honey from your splits'?  I agree with Hardwood, not this year.  But if you split now, even though it's late, and are successful in letting them build up and winter over, then next year has great potential!

Good luck!
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hoxbar
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2010, 12:29:22 AM »

No apologies needed, thanks for offering.
I was thinking about splitting in the spring(forgot to mention that). I guess the best time to do this would be before the spring nectar flow? I don't see how I could make honey from either hive if I split it. I guess I'm worried I'll have another hive that will throw after swarms. Any other suggestions on when or how to split my girls in the spring and still make spring/summer honey?
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ronwhite3030
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2010, 04:13:39 AM »

when you split and create a nuc you take the nuc with the queen in it away from the original be yard correct? and what is the minimum distance away to take it? and how long until you can return it to the original yard?
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hardwood
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2010, 07:52:51 AM »

2 miles min...3 days min.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2010, 02:00:10 AM »

Put it right next to it, shake some extra bees in, and don't wait at all...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#accountfordrift
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hoxbar
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2010, 10:37:59 AM »

Put it right next to it, shake some extra bees in, and don't wait at all...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#accountfordrift



Do you suggest putting the old queen in the split or let them make their own? I'm thinking about doing the split now, hopefully I'll have a good strong hive by spring. I don't know if this will work, but it couldn't hurt, could it?
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