Here is a method you might want to try if you do not have drawn comb to CB with. This page is off the other bee site. I have not tried it because I have drawn comb but I am going to try it with a couple hives this year to see if it works. I think it will work.
The mans name that post about this method is Matt Davey. I hope he doesn't mind me posting it here.
I would show beginners "Opening the Sides". It's really worth giving it a go.
It's specifically for beekeepers who don't have spare drawn comb.
1. Several weeks before swarm season, move each outside frame up into a new box and checkerboard them with new frames, directly above the Broodnest.
2. Insert a new frame on each outside edge of the Broodnest. (Brood only on one side of the frame.)
3. Check them in 2-3 weeks and repeat if frames are drawn.
(This is assuming all frames are the same size.)
The new frames have only a strip of foundation as a guide. Bees will often build only drone comb before swarm season if the frame is completely foundationless. But with the foundation strip it ends up being about 2/3 worker to 1/3 drone comb. (The comb needs support, such as wire, fishing line, or in my case bamboo skewers.)
Its good for beginners because it gets them to identify the outside edge of the Broodnest, looking for eggs and larvae.
I prefer to Open the OUTSIDE of the Broodnest for the following reasons:
- Inserting new frames inside the Broodnest forces the bees to have to cover a larger area in order to heat the Broodnest. So if bad weather sets in you can have chilled brood. On the outside doesn't.
- If there are not enough bees to completely fill the gaps inside the Broodnest, it's possible that a group of nurse bees could become isolated from the queen and experience lower pheromone levels for a time, causing them to start emergency queen cells. (This is very rare, but I believe it happened to me once, may have been a cold night.) On the outside bees don't get isolated
- The response to fill the HOLE in the Broodnest is the same even if the new frame is on the outside edge of the Broodnest, with brood only on one side
In my opinion Splitting should only be done if the hive is already in swarm mode, or you want more hives. If you are doing it purely to prevent swarming, it's not ideal.
Splitting is best done after the main flow before a dearth, so as to reduce population. It's best if the old queen is moved to a Nuc and the main hive is left to produce a new queen as it has all the resources.