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Author Topic: Hive split advice  (Read 1551 times)
Pete
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Location: Mornington Peninsula, Australia


« on: August 12, 2010, 11:21:10 PM »

Hi there, i have a strong colony, very active all winter, very strong bearding all summer. I will open them this weekend and see how full it is in there...but i intend to split them.

I have done this with some one once before, but i am no expert so would appreciate any tips/advice i can get.

Is end of Aug or the start of Sep a good time to split them in Melb?

What is a good process for splitting, eg just grab 3 frames of brood, 3 of honey and good clump of bees? How far away from the original hive should they be stored?
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OzBuzz
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Location: Melbourne, Australia


« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 11:52:43 PM »

G'day pete,

Welcome!

I did a split of my hive a week ago! mine was more of an emergency rather than a necessity but they were packed when i opened them up! I'm glad i did it!

So what i did:

I took 3 frames to go in to a 5 frame nuc:

2 X brood - some capped, some uncapped, no eggs
1 X honey & stores

All three frames were covered with bees... and i made sure that the two brood frames were flanked on one side by the honey and on the other by an undrawn frame. Don't put undrawn foundation or the honey frame between the two frames of brood otherwise it breaks up the brood nest - we're still getting some cold nights so you want the brood to be as warm as possible

I then moved the nuc away from my yard (about 5kms) and then put a branch in front of the hive and opened them up... I let them sit for about four hours and then introduced my caged queen. Whatever you do don't let them sit to long Queenless (24hrs max) otherwise they might get a laying worker or if there happens to be a stray egg they might try and make a queen (ignore all of that if you want to do a walkaway split in which case you would make sure you had some eggs in the frames you transferred)

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Pete
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 11:56:31 PM »

5km away?  Undecided

I really wanted to do this in my own backyard (have an acre). I was thinking 25m away. I was really hoping to not have to buy a queen, but let them manage themselves...just make sure i get frames with eggs?
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 12:39:48 AM »

What i would probably try then is do what i did - but leave them locked up for a day and then make sure you put the branch over the entrance - i'd move it as far from your hive as possible...

Others with more experience will be able to advise better though...

If you have a friend who lives a distance away from you who wouldnt mind babysitting your hive for a week or so then that would work perfectly
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Cullz
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 05:41:07 AM »

Hi Pete,

I'm just beginning with bees, and reading a great deal.

You don't have to buy new queens.

If the bees are going to raise their own queen, they will need drones bees flying to mate the new queen. They'll need eggs or young larvae to feed up into a queen. They'll need enough honey and pollen and enough bees to look after the brood. In a cold climate they'll need enough bees to cluster and keep the colony and the brood warm enough.

Up here in Nth NSW the bees are making swarm cells. I did some splits by putting swarm cells into every split along with brood, honey, pollen.

You can put the weaker part of the split in the position of the old hive, and move the old hive a short distance away, like a meter or two. The foraging bees will return to the original location.

I did a split by taking the queen and two frames of brood and empty cells, and two frames of honey, pollen and empty cells, in a new box with empty frames at the original location.
I moved the original hive, with the brood and honey super, to a spare place in the yard. The original hive had made queen cups with eggs in them before I did this. This kind of split simulates a swarm.

Good luck. There are plenty of ways to do it. Look up Michael Bush's website.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 09:42:21 AM »

How I did it...Take five frames out like Oz said. 2-3 frames of capped brood and the rest honey/pollen. I put the queen in the 5 frame nuc and let the other hive requeen themselves if your wanting to keep your genetics. (Mine were a feral swarm so thats what I chose to do) Just keep in mind that it will put your queenless hive behind somewhat. If it looks light on workers/nurse bees, shake another frame off into your nuc. As far as distance, I leave mine in the same yard, If all you are primarily transferring are nurse bees, location won't really matter on drifting.
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