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Author Topic: South Carolina Split in late-June???  (Read 619 times)
Gametracker
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« on: June 21, 2013, 12:19:14 AM »

Hello all...I'm a newbie here and my name is Gerry ("Hello Gerry!" LOL).  Anyway, I just bought a great colony in 4x medium brood supers.  Being originally from Pennsylvania, I'm a fan of 2x deep supers for brood and honey supers above that.  That being said, this 4x medium colony that I have is busting at the seams and I'm not looking to make any honey off it this year but I am considering splitting it.  My concern is whether it's too late in the season for splitting even though I plan on feeding them until the fall sets in if there isn't sufficient nectar flow (which isn't until September around here I believe).  I want to get them into deep supers for brood, but #1 wonder if it's too late to venture into this and should simply consider putting a deep supper of new foundation on top for them to build out for the winter since I don't plan on robbing from them of honey in this first season.  The 2nd option I'm considering is whether to take two mediums off and split them into their own hive with plenty of eggs, young larva and nurse bees so they can raise their own queen or #3 do the same thing but introduce a new queen while feeding all along.  If y'all agree it's not too late for me to split the colony (and I know we like to let them build upward), has anyone ever placed a new super with frames and foundation below the supers with drawn brood comb or should I stick to making them work upward with a deep super on top of the brood chamber?  I'm thinking that placing a super of frames and new foundation below the brood chambers will spur them into building that new foundation out quicker.  Anyone have experience with this?  Is this just wishful thinking on my part or logical to a .01% degree?  Your advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks in advance and thanks for making a great forum like this available!  Happy and healthy beekeeping to all....Gerry
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Oblio13
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 07:48:57 AM »

It's not too late.

Bees prefer to build downwards. Building upwards is easier for us, not them.

If there are bees in all four hive bodies, you could split very simply by stacking 1 & 3, and 2 & 4.

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sc-bee
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 08:08:58 AM »

Hopelessly lost where in SC? Mountains, Piedmont, Central, Coastal? The split can be done but in most areas of the State feeding this time of year is a must unless of course the split has adequate stores. And of course a bought queen saves time. Raising a quality queen, well our flow is over so that too will most likely require feeding ahead of time to increase you chances of a viable queen.

If they need to draw for brood for colony expansion they will but just to get added comb drawn out I have no luck. At least my experience. I have been told by a queen breeder locally that if you give them comb before the flow has completely quit they will continue to draw it. After the flow is over they just seem to backfill other locations and chew the new foundation. And I am in the Piedmont and my flow is over for the year.

This has been my experience waiting to hear others experiences from SC and GA. I would love to be able to draw new comb for next year this time of year.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 08:32:33 AM »

Also strong splits are a must this time of year. Careful not to leave empty space not able to be covered with bees or you are sure to meet Mr. SHB  angry This is also an advantage to buying a laying queen. The SHB hone in on queenless hives like they have radar Sad


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John 3:16
Gametracker
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 11:59:42 AM »

SC-bee,
  I'm hopelessly lost in Sumter outside Shaw AFB.  I made the split yesterday from a four-medium hive that I bought.  I was dissappointed to see the plastic foundation on partially drawn on many of the frames and some appeared to be only drawn 3/4 of the way with brood in them, but the remaining (undrawn) portion of the foundation appears to be stripped of the wax coating.  When I kept honey bees in PA 40 years ago I never used plastic foundation and only wired beeswax.  What has your experience been with wax coated plastic foundation?  I also tried doing something I've never done before with this split...I placed a deep super of foundation on the bottom with two drawn mediums of brood, pollen, and honey on top of it.  I reduced the entrance and now observe that colony using the inner lid hole as their entrance and the bottom board entrance as their exit.  The reason why I placed the deep super on the bottom was to see whether they'll feel forced to draw it out faster for the queen...it's just a theory.  Thoughts?
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sc-bee
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 02:24:18 PM »

I don't use plastic. Mostly for the reason you mentioned. You don't know how long it has been stored and how much wax remains on or was on the plastic. To remedy that, a few folks I know, place burr comb in a crock pot, melt it and paint it on the frames with a brush. They say this helps with getting the comb drawn.

As far as drawing the deep, I have had no luck with it after the flow stops.  Also when I have feed they just start backfilling and then you run the risk of crowding the queen. All I end up with is new foundation with chewed comb, of course since you are running plastic you may have better luck. You can try to place frames in between drawn frames and try to force them to draw them this way. When they draw it, if it is all honey packed, pull it place it away from the hive and have the bees rob the honey to leave drawn comb. This is the way a queen producer I know gets late comb drawn. He also states after the flow it is hard to get them to draw, but if you keep an artificial flow going at the same time the natural flow stops they will continue to draw. I was just talking to an old timer beek in my area a few days ago and asked him the same questions about getting comb drawn. He said he has some luck feeding 1.5 (s) to 1(w) for feed vs other ratio's. Just his opinion.

Keep a close watch on the SHB in those splits--- I have learned the hard way Cry

I get no late flow here in the edge of the Piedmont, maybe you will fair better down your way. Keep me posted on the outcome. Consider updating your profile from hopelessly lost  Smiley
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John 3:16
don2
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 02:36:09 PM »

I paint on wax to the plastic foundation/frames. it does help. Smiley d2
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RHBee
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 12:30:19 AM »

Welcome to the forum Gerry. I'm just really finishing my first year. Last year I made splits around the middle of July. Everyone wintered well. I'm going to split my larger hives in a couple of weeks. I feed each split about 2gal of 2-1. I don't know maybe I just had beginners luck. I just caught 3 swarms in the past 3 days. They should draw out some comb for me. As for splits-I'm going to do it again.
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Later,
Ray
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 08:59:42 AM »

welcome.
i'm in georgia and i'm considering another round of splits.  it was a bad season for me but there is still a chance of one more flow.
sourwood is blooming in my area now but we have very little of it around here.  you may have more up there and the timing might be good.
this was supposed to be an expansion year for me and i placed deeps under mediums to re-configure my brood chambers and during the flows when it wasn't cold and or raining it worked pretty well.  i'd go for it if i were you.
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Gametracker
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 11:44:46 PM »

Fellow Beeks,
  Since I did my split and reduced the bottom board entrances, I noticed that the original hive is using both the top inner cover entrance and the bottom board entrance and are super busy!  It appears that they are using the top entrance as an entrance and the bottom as an exit.  They are piled up on the front of the hive and crawling upwards to the inner board entrance and getting clustered/confused when they hit the handle cut out of the medium supers below the upper entrance.  Should I close that top entrance off and force them to use the bottom board entrance or let it go.  We've had some severe thunderstorms around here for the past two days so I don't want to open up the hives to check which one is queenless, but plan on confirming that in the next day or two.  In the meantime, I purchased a new queen to introduce to the queenless hive on Friday. Any recommendations?  I've been feeding what I suspect is the queenless hive and have reduced the entrance on both.  The primary hive that i made the split from (and suspect has the queen)...I have not been feeding since they seem to have sufficient stores.  I suspect this one has the queen since it was purchased as a 4x medium brood chamber.  When i first opened the hive up for the split, I found the queen in the top super but stupidly placed that frame back in the hive/super and she seemed to run down to the bottom since I couldn't find her in the 2nd from the top medium after I put that frame back in.  Since I had the hive opened longer than I prefer...I went ahead and made the split anyway with sufficient eggs, brood, and stores all the while suspecting that she ran to one of the bottom two mediums of the four mediums the seller was running.  The split was accomplished this last Saturday and I hope when I open up the hive that I suspect is queenless (in the next day or two), that I will see queen cells being created to confirm.  Thoughts?  Thanks in advance, Gerry
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RHBee
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 07:24:37 AM »

Gerry, It sounds like the foragers have returned to the queenright half of the split. I would swap locations of the two to equalize the population. I would also add another super with wax foundation on each and feed 1 to 1 to simulate a flow. Pollen should still be available. I still see things blooming in my area. Use a hive top feeder if you have them.
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Later,
Ray
sc-bee
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2013, 08:19:21 AM »

You should see cells started in the queenlees split. Also look for new eggs/ eggs standing up, if eye are good enough, in the split you suspect having the queen. Don't do like i just did a few weeks ago and miss taking out a cell when you re-queen. I lost a new queen because I missed a cell. Look in every nook and cranny.

My personal opinion if you are having problems with them entering the top I would close that entrance. If you need the ventilation shim the back side of the top cover, That has worked for me in the hot SC temps.
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John 3:16
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