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Author Topic: Question about splitting a hive.  (Read 1411 times)
bayareaartist
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« on: September 01, 2005, 11:01:20 PM »

Ok,
to start off I have two hives, both just one box, but one box is 12" deep, it is the first one I built, I built the frames and all. The second hive is a regular deep and the bees were not doing so good, no queen and ants were hanging around a little too much stressing the hive, I tried several times to get them to make a new queen but it did not work. In the 12” Deep hive I put two 9 " frames and left them in there for a week then I went and took these two frames of brood and the queen was on one of them and I moved her and the frames to the regular hive. After a week she and the bees are doing great, it revitalized the girls and the ants are gone.
When I open up the 12" deep hive I counted at least 12 to 16 queen cells with only 3 or 4 yet to be capped. I did the switch last Thursday or Friday, it is pretty amazing to see it. The queen cells are on two to three frames, all foundationless fully drawn.

Finally to the question. I am thinking of splitting this colony into two. But my question is this, what is best? Splitting now, two colonies with 4 12” deep frames and the queens emerge from the cells in each hive and go on from there or to let the queens fight it out and let the hive expand into two boxes and then split off that.

Also take into consideration I am in san Francisco and we are going into our warm weather time of year. We have cool days also but we get a honey flow that will come on soon.

Thank you,
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Donn
Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2005, 11:05:20 PM »

Quote from: bayareaartist

When I open up the 12" deep hive I counted at least 12 to 16 queen cells with only 3 or 4 yet to be capped. ...
The queen cells are on two to three frames, all foundationless fully drawn.

Finally to the question. I am thinking of splitting this colony into two.


It seems that you hive is going to swarm. The most important is stop it.

Do they have room enough or why they are going to swarm?

There is no reason to take those queen cells and wait that they are going to lay eggs.  During this time you get egg laying queen and you get one generation new bees.

1) Now order  at least one new queen or two.

2) Move your hive 10 feets
 * put new deep on old site.
* there brood frame and the queen and the rest foundations
* that will stop swarming.

3) When queen cells are capped, give to "new place hive" the new queen.

4) Your recent queen is swarming type and it is better to change.


If you want to get honey, you should put together hives when foundations are build.  If I were you, I should not split the hive during honey season

What I should do :

I should do 1-3 operations.

* After a week when foundations are drawn upp I should join the hives for honey.
* from another queen I should make a 3 frame nuc which starts a new hive.

If you dewide the hive, you will not get honey any more.

When honey season is over, you can strengten the weaker hive with brood frames and you get a normal hive for next year.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2005, 12:11:16 AM »

Quote from: bayareaartist
Ok,
to start off I have two hives, both just one box, but one box is 12" deep, it is the first one I built, I built the frames and all. The second hive is a regular deep and the bees were not doing so good, no queen and ants were hanging around a little too much stressing the hive, I tried several times to get them to make a new queen but it did not work. In the 12” Deep hive I put two 9 " frames and left them in there for a week then I went and took these two frames of brood and the queen was on one of them and I moved her and the frames to the regular hive. After a week she and the bees are doing great, it revitalized the girls and the ants are gone.
When I open up the 12" deep hive I counted at least 12 to 16 queen cells with only 3 or 4 yet to be capped. I did the switch last Thursday or Friday, it is pretty amazing to see it. The queen cells are on two to three frames, all foundationless fully drawn.

Finally to the question. I am thinking of splitting this colony into two. But my question is this, what is best? Splitting now, two colonies with 4 12” deep frames and the queens emerge from the cells in each hive and go on from there or to let the queens fight it out and let the hive expand into two boxes and then split off that.

Also take into consideration I am in san Francisco and we are going into our warm weather time of year. We have cool days also but we get a honey flow that will come on soon.

Thank you,


I believe you said, you gave this hive's queen to another and now they are working at raising themselves a replacement. Is that correct?

Due to your location you can probably split your stronger hive, dividing the resources evenly between them and giving each of them a frame with queen cells. It will most likely reduce the amount of harvestable honey (even eliminate harvest this season) but has a good chance of increasing your hive count. If you do choose to split them I recommend shoving some green grass loosely into the entrance (just enough to slow them down--but not plug their entrance)  of the split that winds up on a new location from the original colony.

About 4 weeks ago I split a colony that was in 3 mediums, I captured the queen in a queen catcher and kept her there until I was done dividing their resources. I then released the queen into the split that was placed on a new bottom board about 10 feet from the original location. I stuffed the entrance lightly with green grass immediately after creating the split. Today I checked on both and discovered they each had 3 medium boxes full of bees, brood, pollen, and honey. I added one medium honey super to each above their queen excluders.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
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No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2005, 01:02:21 AM »

Quote from: bayareaartist
When I open up the 12" deep hive I counted at least 12 to 16 queen cells with only 3 or 4 yet to be capped.
,


Normally in late summer bees often change the queen and they do not swarm. Then they have 4-6 queen cells. Your number is big and it indicates swarming , - as far as I see from here opposite side of globe.

If you raise your own queen cells this way, it is waste of time, and probably you do not get a good queen. Professional queens are sheap and they bring money back many fold. They are selected from the best of  hundreds of hives.
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bayareaartist
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2005, 02:22:14 AM »

the hive was not going to swarm.
it was doing great, with a healthy queen and no queen cells.
I took the queen and two frames of brood and eggs and shifted her to a weaker hive. It is doing better now.
The strong hive is making thier own queen and I was wondering if I should split now.
The only probelm I have is that I cannot move the hive 10 feet away from the original. My hives are on platforms.
I just want to split the hive and put it right next to the other.

I know there will be no honey, but the honey flow here in san francisco is year round and it starts strong in November. It is a different experience here.

And finsky, I got the idea to transfer the two frames from you, I remember reading one frame of brood and eggs equals one pound of bees.

Lastly should I take out some of the queen cells?

thanks for all the input.
Donn
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Donn
Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2005, 03:06:15 AM »

Quote from: bayareaartist

The only probelm I have is that I cannot move the hive 10 feet away from the original. My hives are on platforms.
I just want to split the hive and put it right next to the other.


Sounds like it should work just fine -- don't forget to put some green grass in the entrance of the split that is moved to a new spot on the platform. Doing this helps keep most of their own field force with the new colony created by the split, now on their own new location on the platform.

I still advocate splitting the resources, 50/50 when you split, even giving each colony a frame of queen cells. If the queen cells are about 1/2 on each of 2 frames I would only give each colony a frame containing some, I would not destroy any of them, the virgin queens and the bees will take care of that themselves.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2005, 10:33:41 AM »

>In the 12” Deep hive I put two 9 " frames and left them in there for a week then I went and took these two frames of brood and the queen was on one of them

So you removed the queen from the 12" deep that had been struggling?  Now you have made the queenless?  Since they had been struggling I think I would have left her.

> and I moved her and the frames to the regular hive. After a week she and the bees are doing great, it revitalized the girls and the ants are gone.

So adding the brood tipped the scale for them.

>When I open up the 12" deep hive I counted at least 12 to 16 queen cells with only 3 or 4 yet to be capped.

Because they are queenless, right?

> I did the switch last Thursday or Friday, it is pretty amazing to see it. The queen cells are on two to three frames, all foundationless fully drawn.

Making them raise a queen is going to set them back almost a month.  I don't think I would have done that to a hive that was struggling not so long ago.  Since you did this last Thursday, I would expect one of the new queens to be laying on the 18th of September.

>Finally to the question. I am thinking of splitting this colony into two.

The one that was struggling and is now queenless?  I wouldn't.

>But my question is this, what is best? Splitting now, two colonies with 4 12” deep frames and the queens emerge from the cells in each hive and go on from there or to let the queens fight it out and let the hive expand into two boxes and then split off that.

If you are really going to do a split I'd put a frame with at least one queen cell and a frame of honey in another hive now to save the 25 day delay getting another laying queen later.  I would build a two frame nuc for that so they can defend it from the ants and wax moths etc.  Then if the main hive gets strong enough do a split and combine the nuc with the queenless half of the split.

But I think it's too late in the year for all of this.
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Michael Bush
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2005, 01:19:47 PM »

I think his second hive in the regular deep was the one that wasn't doing so good until he gave them 2 frames of brood and the queen from his 12" deep (he had placed the normal deep frames into it earlier just for this purpose).
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
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