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Author Topic: Splitting a hive?  (Read 1117 times)
aliens
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« on: June 06, 2007, 11:12:33 AM »

I have a hive on my property, and eventually want to have 2 or 3 (mostly as backup in case I lose my original hive.)  I was going to wait for a swarm and try to box it up, but I was told that I could possibly split the hive.  Can someone go into detail on how this is done?  I don't want to have to use a nuke box (if possible) or other fancy stuff.  I want it as simple as possible.  I appreciate it!
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Moonshae
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 11:40:05 AM »

There are a few threads here about splits, and Michael Bush's site has great info, too: http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
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annette
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2007, 12:38:10 PM »

Well I split my hive this past March, mostly because they had made queen cells and I was trying to stop them from swarming. It didn't work, as they swarmed anyway. I followed the advice of Michael Bush on how to do the following split.

When I split the hive, I had a full super with frames (I had 10 frames)(can be empty or wax comb) on a bottom board sitting on the ground about 3 feet away from the hive I wanted to split. You can place your new split further away if you want.


Now of course I had a queen cell to transfer into this new hive, which you do not. So you will need to transfer a few frames (could be as little as 2 frames) of brood with eggs. The eggs are very important for your split as the new hive will need to make a queen from the eggs. In addition I transferred 3 frames of pollen and honey into the new hive. So about 5 frames would do it for a 10 frame super.

You will need to make sure you do not transfer the queen into the new box, so you need to know where she is and leave the frame with her safe.

Then I went through the old hive frame, by frame, and shook many bees into the new box. The reason behind this is the nurse bees who have not yet flown, will stay with your new split. While the bees who forage, will fly back into the old box.

When I felt I had enough bees in this new split, I stopped the shaking.  That was it, and you have to feed this new hive until they are bringing in enough on their own.

I could not believe how easy it was to do this, and I was very fearful of the whole process, but it worked out great and now I have 2 hives and the new split is very strong.

I am also a new beekeeper and I am sure you will hear from even more experienced beekeepers soon.

Good Luck
Annette

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doak
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2007, 01:44:40 PM »

If you cannot find the queen and have to do a walk-away split, make sure you have at least one frame with eggs in  each  box.
doak
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aliens
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2007, 01:49:01 PM »

How exactly do you feed a new hive?  I am not a "full" beekeeper, I just own the box and the bees.  I have a beekeeper come and get the honey, etc.  Eventually, I will get enough stuff to do it myself, but just not yet.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2007, 02:19:08 PM »

There are a couple kinds of feeders. Hive top, which sits on top of the box and under the cover; entrance, which holds a quart jar and slides in between the bottom board and the bottom of the box; and frame feeders, which replace a frame in the box and generally have floats for the bees to sit on so they don't drown. If your original hive has frames of honey, you can split those between the hives instead.
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"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
aliens
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2007, 02:40:32 PM »

oh, ok....I think I would prefer to just use honey filled frames.  I already have one super full and we put on another two weeks ago.  They should have that full in two more weeks.  So, I'll have enough honey to go around so to speak.

Last year the hive made quite a number of queen cells, so I am hoping to find one of those brood frames to split my hive and make a new one.

Does it matter if the temps are near 100 every day when doing a split?  Are there enough bees in the "new" hive to keep the wax cool?
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annette
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2007, 11:57:45 PM »

Bees do well in the heat, so I would not worry about the temperatures. It takes a very high temperature to melt bees wax (do not remember what it is). Would not worry about the temperatures. It actually might be better with less bees as they would not be as hot as a full hive.


Annette
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