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Author Topic: Splitting my first hive  (Read 1345 times)
gregted
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Location: Gowrie Junction, Queensland, Australia

I used to be indicisive, but I'm not so sure now..


« on: September 28, 2011, 11:30:35 PM »

Hello all,
My name is Greg and I currently have 1 hive but want to increase my apiary numbers so I have some questions.
I have 1 brood hive with no honey supers from a swarm some years ago and I want to split these 10 frames into 2 or 3 hives.
I have just received my first queen in the mail yesterday ( Sep 28 2011 ) and of course it is raining here in Toowoomba Qld today.
I have a 5 frame nuc with 5 new frames + foundation ready for the split tomorrow or the next day depending on weather.
I know I should take 3 frames of brood + bees, 1 frame of honey and 1 frame of foundation to the new nuc ensuring I don't have the original queen.
My problem is I don't have any frames of honey, so I will mix up 1 kilo of sugar into 1 liter of hot water and let cool then add this into a ziplock bag to the top frames of my nuc and slit the top of the bag to assist feeding.
Does that sound ok?
I also want to know if I can knock up another 1 or 2 nucs and do the same with the remaining frames in the original hive to wind up with 3 new hives instead of the original 1.
I will then have 1 hive with the original queen, 1 nuc with the young mated queen from the post, and 1 queenless hive which I would like to leave to their own resources to see a hive requeen.
My logic is if 1 nuc can survive then 3 nucs should survive equally a well.
If this is successful then can I do this again later this year or should I leave them alone till next year.

Great forum. Lots of advice and ideas.

Chat soon.
Greg
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Shanevrr
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 11:34:49 PM »

lol where you live,  it may be to late.
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Shane C.
LoriMNnice
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 11:40:29 PM »

lol where you live,  it may be to late.
I googled Toowoomba Qld and it is in Queensland Austrailia
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Lone
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 01:17:53 AM »

Hello Greg,

I'm not an expert, but if you only have one hive I'd probably experiment by doing the one split first and keep that stronger "half" just in case.  If there is no honey in the hive maybe you are not in a honey flow and less likely for a split to thrive.  Remember you are dividing 10 frames into 3.  Each will need enough brood, nurse bees and foragers and queens that will take.  If the rain's started you could have more trouble with small hive beetle in weaker nucs and that sort of thing.  It is more difficult till you build up emergency frames of drawn comb and honey to keep in the freezer.  If there are great numbers of bees maybe it will work.  For sure beekeeping is a breeze down south there compared with here, from what I've heard.  In other words, it could work very well but it's nice to have a backup hive with a bit more strength to support the weaker ones if necessary.  Let us know what you do.

You could split again when the colonies are strong enough.  It is optimum when there's a flow on. Check with your local clubs or beeks, but you might want to split well before those frigid Toowoomba winters.  Drones in your hives are an indication there are drones in the wild.  Sometimes new nucs take a long time to get off the ground so I am doubting you will be able to split again before next winter.

Shane, you are quite right.  Anywhere below the tropic of capricorn is freezing.  brr.  Winter in Toowoomba starts in spring.

Lone
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Lone
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 01:28:06 AM »

Or you could split the hive then wait till the stronger one builds up and split again.  I had a good one we split about June then again in August.  Stronger hives usually build up faster.

Lone
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 03:28:18 AM »

Never heard of Toowoomba before in my life before I saw this post!  Googled your town and the weather stats would suggest it’s a plant paradise.  Bees usually do well where the plants thrive. 

I like Lone’s advice.  Bees tend to build up a lot faster when the population is high.  Hence I don’t like to split a hive until the parent hive has a big field force.  Once they have a large field force, I have aggressively split such a hive into 4 without them missing a beat.  The field force always returns to the parent hive and hence the parent remains very strong even if you pull a lot of brood.

I usually make nucs with 2 or 3 frames or brood.  There is a good bit of honey around the brood so I don’t give them a frame of honey, I just feed them sugar water.  Hence my splits are just 2 or 3 frames.  If you start with a mated queen and 3 deeps of brood, you might be able to split those one more time before your winter depending upon your climate.  The final split would be as nucs to winter.

Your walk away split will take about 1 month for a new queen to start laying, and 21 days after that before the population starts increasing again.  So those are not going to splitable again before winter.  Too much time delays.

Since you have a queen on the way, I think I would make up a nuc with 2 or 3 frames using that queen and then let your parent build up a bit more before making another split (assuming your parent is a single deep box).  A deep frame holds over 6000 cells, so 3 deep frames with 75% brood is a lot of bees for a nuc box (13,000).
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yockey5
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 11:34:34 AM »

Good info BlueBee.
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gregted
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I used to be indicisive, but I'm not so sure now..


« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 06:52:22 PM »

Thanks all for your advice,

2 days ago, I split my 1 deep brood hive and took 3 brood frames, 1 nearly full and capped honey frame and 1 new foundation frame into a 5 frame nuc. I then added the queen cage to this nuc.

I then placed this nuc in the original position of the original hive and took the original hive with 4 new foundation frames to another site.

I was told the original forage bees would return to the nuc and increase the hive numbers at the end of the day.

I am concerned that I couldn't find the queen in the original hive and this hive had very little brood. I would say less than 100 cells in the whole hive.

I do have lots of shb so am hoping this hive is not dying.

I will check in a few days to see if the queen is out of her cage and laying.

The weather is really ordinary here at the moment. Windy, rain every other day and this morning was a low of 4 degrees.

Not the best climate for a split but we live and learn. When i ordered the queen the weather was 25 degrees days and hadn't rained for a month. I got sunburned clearing the site for the hive.

Now I'm typing in a thick parka, track pants, 2 pairs socks, boots, just had a hot cuppa and am still shivering.

Hope the girls are warmer then me..  Brrrrrrrrr

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