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Author Topic: Bee biology - walk away splits?  (Read 1470 times)
dfizer
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« on: April 19, 2013, 10:55:50 PM »

Later this year - I am planning to split the 3 hives and organically grow my bee yard from 3 to 6 hives.  For this I was kind of wondering how a walk away split works.  Per Michael Bush it's like this:
"You take a frame of eggs, two frames of emerging brood and two frames of pollen and honey and put them in a 5 frame nuc, shake in some extra nurse bees (making sure you don't get the queen), put the lid on and walk away. Come back in four weeks and see if the queen is laying."

With that being said I have a basic curiosity to know what exactly happens.  How do you get from a box of ingredients to a functioning hive / nuc?  How do you get a queen and drones from a hive that has none?  How does the queen cell get made, how do the drones appear... etc. 

Thank you in advance for the education.

David

PS - Also what of this changes if you want to install your own queen?  When do you do that? 
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10framer
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 11:22:42 PM »

the bees make emergency queen cells.
there are a lot of variables.  how big is the hive you're splitting?  will you split after the main flow? if you split before the flow are planning on getting any surplus honey from the original hives?
depending on where you are you may have to choose between expansion or production.
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2013, 12:34:20 AM »

Any fertilized egg can potentially become a queen. When eggs hatched, the larvae are fed royal jelly for, I think, 3 days, after which they are fed pollen and honey. If a queen is needed in the hive, the workers will build several queen cells and the larvae in each cell is fed royal jelly the entire time.
 When doing a split, always add a frame of eggs. If you put in just larva, the bees may have to choose to make a queen out of one that's been off royal jelly resulting in a poor quality queen.

 A walk away split, from what I understand, is taking a hive with 2 deeps, simply splitting them into two hives, then walk away. One will have a queen and one won't. That problem with that method is if the box without the queen only has no eggs and older larvae, you may get a poorly developed queen.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 03:59:04 AM »

.
The quality of queens from this system is miserable.

- Emergengy queens are never good.
- Second, 5 frame  nuc reared queen are not good.
- it takes 4 weeks that first new bees start emerge. You loose  one brood cycle compared to choice that you buy a laying queen

- laying queen gets better wintering  colony than reared own queen.

- first of all, as a new beekeeper, you learn nothing, or perhaps bad habits.


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pdmattox
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2013, 08:24:43 AM »

I would add on the walk away split or any split for that matter that you would want to move that split away from main beeyard. I like to take mine at least 3 miles away. I seem to have a better success rate by moving them away.
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dfizer
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2013, 08:27:52 AM »

Thank you all for the information and I agree with Finski on this in that I don't want to loose the time and learn poor habits or practice bad beekeeping methodologies.  I also want to migrate my hives toward Russian queens and this seems to be a good way to have the three new hives from the splits be queened with a Russian queen purchased from a certified Russian queen producer.  

If I do buy queens from a breeder - does the split I am planning have to be handled any special way?  Will the new hives readily accept their new queen albeit a new strain of bee?  

David
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dfizer
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2013, 08:30:19 AM »

I would add on the walk away split or any split for that matter that you would want to move that split away from main beeyard. I like to take mine at least 3 miles away. I seem to have a better success rate by moving them away.

I hadn't considered this.... I can indeed move the splits away but ultimately I want to add these hives to my existing bee yard - how is this accomplished?  Does this require two moves?  IF so ugh.... otherwise how do I grow my bee yard with out moving hives all around the county?

David
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gov1623
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2013, 10:49:36 AM »

.
The quality of queens from this system is miserable.

- Emergengy queens are never good.
- Second, 5 frame  nuc reared queen are not good.
- it takes 4 weeks that first new bees start emerge. You loose  one brood cycle compared to choice that you buy a laying queen

- laying queen gets better wintering  colony than reared own queen.

- first of all, as a new beekeeper, you learn nothing, or perhaps bad habits.




My bees must not have followed those rules. Most of the queens I have are made from splits and they out preform most queens I ever bought.
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oliver
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2013, 11:06:56 AM »

I agree with Gov on this, my strongest colonies are from splits, use the best performers try to find a queen cell well along. Much better percentage than  bringing unknown queens in..don
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10framer
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2013, 11:14:39 AM »

if you make the split and don't want to move them to an out yard move the original colony about a foot to the left or right of where it sits now and turn it 90 degrees.  then take the split and place it directly in front of it.  put more brood combs in the queenless split.  they will have more nurse bees as well as emerging bees that don't know the hive has been moved.  the one foot move and turn confuses the field bees and they will end up going to both hives.  check in a few days and if one is much weaker than the other swap their positions.  
emergency queens can be productive but you have set both hives back.  the hive with the queen looses a lot of capped brood and has to start over and the other hive won't have a laying queen for a month.
some say it takes longer to get bees to accept russian queens.  i don't know if it's true or not.  
i've got some bees that i'm pretty sure are russian crosses and they have some strange behaviors.  one hive keeps a viable queen cell in the brood chamber at all times and one queen lays from top to bottom and walks around on honey combs looking for open cells to lay in.  they run on the comb too much so, they may be a little hard to manage if you are inexperienced.  
maybe just try a couple of russians at first and see what you think before going in feet first.  
i'll be raising queens primarily off of the one that lays a lot and an italian queen that built up fast and is very productive this summer.  hopefully the good laying and productivity traits will carry over and the "runny" trait will settle down.
read and keep asking questions.      
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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2013, 11:37:45 AM »

.
Hi older guys

a beginner with 3 starting hives and he is allready a beebreeder.
It is not his fault, but older guys, don't fool with him.

New York has not so long summer that he has afford to make splits from  emergency cells.
That is  again that "do nothing" game. Beekeeping skills will not rise with that style and  guys will only  wonder 40% winter.

.



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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 10:25:25 AM »

There are many things you can do about drift.  Moving them 3 miles away is only one, and the one that requires the most effort.  The quality of emergency queens varies by the circumstances you put them in.  You need the queen to be well fed.  A lot of that is the density of bees in the colony raising the queen and a lot of it is the timing.  A pollen flow and nectar flow help a lot.  The other issue that may be an issue is that they can't tear down an old comb full of cocoons.  You can tear the walls down for them.  Or you can use some new comb.  Or you can not worry about it.

http://bushfarms.com/beesafewgoodqueens.htm
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Michael Bush
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Finski
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2013, 12:13:30 PM »

Moving them 3 miles away is only one, and the one that requires the most effort. 

we use here 3 kilometres. When all age bees are moved, they do not return to old hive.
I use 3 frame mating nucs and I rear queens in swarming hives. When a hive has swarm cells,
I change in cells larvae, and the hive rear good queens without any arrangements.
I cannot see any idea to make 5 frame nucs and the nuc spends one moth that a new queen start to lay.

Professionals, like 500 hive owners, make what ever but 3 hive owner needs not follow big boy's tricks.

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dfizer
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2013, 10:21:23 PM »

There are many things you can do about drift.  Moving them 3 miles away is only one, and the one that requires the most effort.  The quality of emergency queens varies by the circumstances you put them in.  You need the queen to be well fed.  A lot of that is the density of bees in the colony raising the queen and a lot of it is the timing.  A pollen flow and nectar flow help a lot.  The other issue that may be an issue is that they can't tear down an old comb full of cocoons.  You can tear the walls down for them.  Or you can use some new comb.  Or you can not worry about it.

http://bushfarms.com/beesafewgoodqueens.htm


What are some of the other way's of handling the "drift" that are not as labor intensive and can be done in the same general vicinity.  I am interested in making a split when full flow is on but really don't want to be hauling bees around the county. 

Thanks for the help everyone.

David
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Caelansbees
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2013, 11:17:30 PM »

I will screen the front of the hive, move to other side of yard and face in different direction to the sun from the original. Open/remove screen from entrance 24 hours later.  I then place lots of grass on the entrance than makes leaving the hive "different".  This seems to work.  You can leave them there for a few days and then move them back to the original yard location if you wish.  If you loose too much to drift ou can always trade spots with stronger hives to boost population of foragers. (Risk spreading disease thou)

In general, I have found nurse bees stay with brood.  it maters not if they are moved two inches, 20 feet or two miles.   If you don't take a queen with, they will raise one.  I have become a fan of the OTS queen rearing method thou. (There is a long video on it on YouTube)
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2013, 08:55:30 AM »

>What are some of the other way's of handling the "drift" that are not as labor intensive and can be done in the same general vicinity.  I am interested in making a split when full flow is on but really don't want to be hauling bees around the county. 

You can face both of the splits to the old location:

> ^ <
The left arrow represents the new hive on the left that faces right.
The right arrow represents the new hive on the right that faces left.
The up arrow represents the old location (that now has no hive) that was facing up (we'll call it north?).

Another is to shake in enough bees in the new location (twice what you want to stay as some will drift).

Another is to plan for drift on purpose to maximize production at the old location and a new colony at the new location:

http://bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#cutdown
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Michael Bush
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 10:07:22 AM »

You can try to use the drift to your advantage. Here's a video of a guy who split his topbar hive. I'm sure the same principle will work with any hive.

Splitting a Topbar Hive
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Jim 134
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2013, 10:23:29 AM »

You can try to use the drift to your advantage. Here's a video of a guy who split his topbar hive. I'm sure the same principle will work with any hive.

Splitting a Topbar Hive



What as this got to do with drifting Huh



                     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2013, 10:48:25 AM »

.
A beginner suggest operations which are not very good.
On another hand he does not want to do trick which are good.

then suggestions glides to jobs which a beginner cannot handle, and like h wishes, in the middle of main flow.

My opinion is that this will not get a happy end.
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dfizer
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2013, 12:07:42 AM »

I think I have decided that when I do split the hives I'll introduce a new mated queen and not try to raise a new one.  In my opinion this would take too long and I would lose valuable time during the flow.  Are the steps the same as a walk away split for a split with the introduction of a bred queen?  If so, once split, do I need to wait for any certain amount of time after pulling the frames for the split before introducing the new queen?  I assume that they bees that got relocated will need at least a day or so to realize that they are queen-less.  If this is indeed correct, what is the optimal amount of time?

Thanks -

David

Oh yes, one additional question - when is the best time to split a hive?  During a full on flow?
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