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Author Topic: Splitting a Package of Bees  (Read 825 times)
Steel Tiger
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« on: March 10, 2014, 08:56:03 AM »

 I'm getting two packages a month apart. The first package are Italian bees due on April 18th. I'm thinking of setting them up in a full size hive. They'll have drawn comb, so the queen will be able to start laying right away.
 My 2nd package are Buckfast, due to arrive May 12-14. I'm thinking of setting them up in a 4 frame, 3 or 4 story nuc, again with drawn frames.
 Assuming that the 1st queen starts laying by the second day...and is productive, is there any reason that on the 3rd or 4th day after receiving the second package that I couldn't split the nuc?
I could replace a frame of eggs and 1 day old larvae from the nuc with a frame of soon to be emerging brood.  Put the frame of eggs into another nuc, along with a frame of emerging brood and a frame of honey and pollen and shake some bees in from the first nuc.
 Of coarse this plan will be tweaked quite a bit before it's perfected, but I think it could be successful and I should be able to create several nucs by July.
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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 01:13:04 PM »

"The best laid plans O mice and men gang aft agley."  Sounds like sound business management, unfortunately the bees might not follow your schedule.  Don't try to complicate things.  Put bees in boxes and let them multiply.  A little drawn comb for the second package would be a good thing.  I can remember overmanaging and am still guilty when trying to rush the bees along.  It just doesn't work that way. 
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Ken
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 01:28:18 PM »

Don't forget your population decreases daily until the new brood that hatches from the first eggs layed start to exceed the numbers from older bees dying off. I would not rush it as more than likely resources within the hive are not built up enough to recover from a split.Wait until the colony has plenty of "excess" bees.
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Hethen57
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 02:24:31 PM »

If you are going to do that...buy a laying queen...I wouldn't leave it to chance.  I usually do this when I buy a package and it has worked great when providing the new hive with some resources like drawn comb and some honey stores.
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-Mike
Steel Tiger
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 05:29:25 AM »

 I have plenty of drawn comb and capped honey. My plan is for every 3 frames of brood, I grab one for a nuc and replace it with a fully drawn frame of empty comb.
 I should be able to do this every 3 or 4 days until I run out of comb. That should give me about 8 double nucs by mid June.
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T Beek
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 07:31:03 AM »

Don't forget your population decreases daily until the new brood that hatches from the first eggs layed start to exceed the numbers from older bees dying off. I would not rush it as more than likely resources within the hive are not built up enough to recover from a split.Wait until the colony has plenty of "excess" bees.

I AGREE…While splitting is not generally recommended for a new package, sometimes you can have a real boomer when conditions are right (honey is not part of the goal), and splitting becomes a viable option.

Personally, while I'll make up 'spring' splits as early as May from winter survivors, I'd only split a new package 'up here' with a 'not before' July 4th deadline (for proper buildup).  July 4th is the latest we conduct splits of any variety, your region may have different requirements.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 09:32:51 AM »

Don't forget your population decreases daily until the new brood that hatches from the first eggs layed start to exceed the numbers from older bees dying off. I would not rush it as more than likely resources within the hive are not built up enough to recover from a split.Wait until the colony has plenty of "excess" bees.

IMHO
It sounds like an you do not have enough resources to do what you want to. Do you realize Buckfast are a type bee and not a breed bee ??  My experience has been Buckfast will washout in about three generations and you'll have mutts.


             




             BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 04:51:53 PM »

It can be done,  but your best bet is to wait 1 month.  that allows a full compliment of replacement bees.  I have tried it many ways.   letting them in on drawn comb and fed like crazy and in 30 days there ready to split.
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sterling
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 07:29:22 PM »

You can manage them to death. Do all that and tell us this time next year how many made it through your cold winter.
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