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Author Topic: Need management advice  (Read 304 times)
NotactJack
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Location: Laredo, Texas


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« on: March 11, 2014, 03:09:29 PM »

Well I had 3 out of 4 hives die on me this winter. The one hive I have is very strong. 1 full deep and brood is being laid in the super but the super is mostly capped honey. I won't be able to get a new queen until late April or May. I am considering splitting or trying to build this hive into a double deep. I have about 20 frames of drawn deep frames (from dead outs) and 20 frames of mediums. Should I try and split this hive into two colonies. Letting one raise there own queen or should I add a deep and just let them try and fill both brood boxes up. Then split when I can get a queen. I'm in the beginning of a flow. Lots is mesquite,citrus and yucca. Then in a month the prickly pear cactus should start.
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Vance G
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Location: Great Falls,Montana


« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 03:22:40 PM »

Are there drones in your hive?  Do you have drone brood with purple eyes?  If the answer to these questions are no, do not consider splitting.  Consider putting an empty box of those deep frames directly above the brood box.  See checkerboarding.  No advantage in rushing it.  just make sure that the edge of the brood nest has some empty drawn comb so the bees aren't encouraged to swarm.
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NotactJack
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Location: Laredo, Texas


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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 07:02:52 PM »

Thanks for the advice. Yes I had a good amount of drones. I hadn't done a full inspection this year because of the weather but it was finally over 80 today. I'm pretty sure I preempted a swarm. I had to clear out a bit of burr comb. I had about 5-6 frames of solid brood. The rest was eggs. Then the medium super was like 60% honey and the rest eggs and brood.
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Vance G
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Location: Great Falls,Montana


« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2014, 12:43:03 AM »

If the bees are on a flow and they are as strong as you say, I think you could do a walkaway split.  I would leave the medium on the original location and put the deep on a new bottom board right next to it.  If the boxes are both full, I would add another box to each and move a frame of brood up in the middle and put a frame of foundation in its place in the bottom box. 

If you want to possibly get a honey crop, you need to open up that brood nest.  That top half of the medium solid honey is telling your bees they can swarm now if they want.  We have long fairly intense flows and here I might just put a deep with drawn comb or foundation in the middle.  If your weather can go back cold, that is not a good idea.  I wouldn't do that before June here. 

Just what I might do.  Hopefully someone local to you will give you advice too.  What could I know?  I live where the ground is still frozen!
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