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Author Topic: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.  (Read 310 times)

Offline spafmagic

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Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« on: April 14, 2021, 07:09:50 pm »
I'm looking to see if I could get a general consensus on whether or not I should split a double deep into separate single deeps. There are no swarm cells yet. Both boxes have at least five frames full to the brim with brood. Bottom box had extra drone comb drawn beneath the frames. Top box is heavy with some honey already. I have a super down on them but they haven't gone up into it much. Very little nectar stored.

Here's some pictures I took of the hive:



Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 08:34:24 pm »
That is something you need to decide. Do you want more hives or more honey.
If you want more bees, I recommend trying the split that I use and explained in a thread here several years ago.
Altmiller Splits.
One of the problems with making splits is that it stresses out the bees and when they are stressed, they put out stress pheromones. When this happens the Small Hive Beetles know it and are attracted to this hive. If there is a dearth, the other hives will rob it out.
Per LJ, if you keep the splits on the original queen right hive with a double screen above the bottom brood box , with the Queen in it, the boxes above are protected by the queen right hive.
You can put single screens between the brood boxes above the double screen. When you do this, you want to wait 30 days. One problem is that the queen right will probably swarm in 3 weeks or less.
With the Altmiller Split you move the queen to the bottom hive, add a drawn super (foundation or foundation less will bee good) then add a double screen (window screen) then a brood box with all stages of brood, (cut slots in old comb with eggs and day old larvae), then if you have another brood box, add a single screen with a front entrance, then add your next brood box and a top entrance.   Now all three hives smell like they are queen right. After 30 days inspect each box, if they have a mated queen, split the hives into their own boxes.
The double screen stops the retinue bees from being able to pass queen pheromones up through the hive. The bees above the double screen no longer think they have a queen and make emergency queen cells and raise them. The queens have mated and returned to their own hives. All of the entrances have been on the front. It probably would not hurt to turn the middle hive opening around to the back.
This works much better than walk away splits and mating nucs when there are a lot of hives around or nearby.
Jim Altmiller

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2021, 10:42:47 pm »
Magic, that is a cool picture.  Look at all the bees between the frames just looking up at you.  They look curious, content, almost peaceful.  A cool pic, a delight to my eyes.  Don?t see many fliers, you Sir, have some nice calm bees.

Jim covered your question.  No need for me to add.t
« Last Edit: April 15, 2021, 12:16:06 am by van from Arkansas »
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2021, 01:17:39 am »
Imho.
The hive as you described is primed to fill 4.5 boxes full of bees. Fyi, I am not of the split and allow to raise queen camp.
If you have a mated queen in your pocket, go ahead and split it 50:50 and set both hives at 2 boxes size.  2 x 2.
If you do not have a mated queen in your pocket, then you have to manage it before it bursts. Your hive size management options are
.    A. To pull strength away (bees and brood) and give to some other weaker hive(s) in your apiary. Or stuff a nuc box with brood and bees and give that away to a fellow beekeeper who needs a boost to get through a tough spring.
.    B. Gauge the timing of the emerging brood and add space at the right time. Add 2 boxes to it the week before you expect the brood to be emerging.

Hope that helps.
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Offline spafmagic

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2021, 04:33:07 pm »
Since the brood was capped in all of those frames, I didn't want to risk a population explosion so soon to hatching, so I grabbed the top deep box and made it it's own hive, and threw a new honey super on it. A few days later, I checked on the split and saw the beginnings of a few Queen cells. Considering the minimal number of Queen cells, I traded a capped frame of brood from the split with a frame of eggs from a smaller hive. Hopefully that'll give them more options with more eggs.
Just the other day I threw a second Super on the parent hive, on the far end of the picture, since it still looked a bit packed.

This picture is just after the split. New hive is on the cinder block/4 x 4 setup
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 04:53:41 pm by spafmagic »

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 05:48:04 pm »
Another cool pic, beautiful gentle sloping, very green mowed ground.  Thanks for the eye candy, Magic.

How I make splits:
For future consideration: when I make a split as described in this thread, I always move the main hive.  This is to prevent passive robbing.  In more detail, if I split a hive and do not move the mother hive, then bees from the newly made split return to the mother hive with directions to the new split.  Then bees from the mother hive go and collect their honey from the newly created split.  This is passive robbing as the robbers are full hive sisters to the new split so their is no fighting.  Then, a few days later, you open the newly created split and their honey/nectar is gone.

Also, I make splits for queen rearing inwhich I want the older bees to fly back to the mother hive.  In this case, I do not move the mother hive.  I also do not add honey/nectar frames until a week or so later.

Magic, the way you split is fine, a very common accepted way.  I am a hobbyist so I do things a lil different.  I focus on genetics and this causes me to differ from standard practices.  BTW, I just created 5 nucs and introduced 5 of the most beautiful Cordovan Italian queens.  All 5 queens accepted and laying on day 10.  I introduce queens different from most beeks too, but beyond the subject of this post.

Cheers
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 06:03:11 pm by van from Arkansas »
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 06:28:48 pm »
How I make splits:
For future consideration: when I make a split as described in this thread, I always move the main hive.  This is to prevent passive robbing.  In more detail, if I split a hive and do not move the mother hive, then bees from the newly made split return to the mother hive with directions to the new split.  Then bees from the mother hive go and collect their honey from the newly created split.  This is passive robbing as the robbers are full hive sisters to the new split so their is no fighting.  Then, a few days later, you open the newly created split and their honey/nectar is gone.
Thank you for describing this, Van.  I may have witnessed this going on with a recent split of mine yesterday.  I'll have to check on their stores next time I'm in the bee yard to be sure they still have enough. 
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 08:58:01 pm »
Kamon Reynolds and his wife, put out a really good video on this very similar subject just today. His title was "Making Nucs for Queen cells". Queen Rearing Except he was also talking mated queens. I highly recommend it. 
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Offline spafmagic

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Re: Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 09:46:42 am »
... I always move the main hive.  This is to prevent passive robbing....
Understandable... but when you move the hive... doesn't that screw with the foragers' orientation, resulting in them flying to the old spot, unable to find their way home?

To my understanding, that is what happens... unfortunately I'm limited as to where I can keep bees at, and thus can't (practically and economically) take a hive beyond its range to reset the orientation of the foragers and then bring it back after a split makes their own queen.
Especially since I'm just a caretaker for these particular hives. The landowner wants the bees for pollination, and I get most of the honey.

Fortunately, both boxes have loads of resources. So neither the split or parent hive are wanting in that "department." =^_^=

At MY place 30 minutes away, I can get away with a couple hives. I just installed a package with ten frames of wired Better Bee "Bettercomb." I gave them one pint of left over honey from the same location (so they can process it for wax) and a small piece of pollen patty to start.
 
On a side note, some Bettercombs have small holes, or in the case of when you install them into wired frames, there's a tiny bit more damage that's done. So they repair the comb and even reinforce it a little bit more with some of their own wax. But significantly less wax is used, than if they just made comb from scratch.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Packed hive, no queen cells... yet.
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 01:09:22 pm »
Since the brood was capped in all of those frames, I didn't want to risk a population explosion so soon to hatching, so I grabbed the top deep box and made it it's own hive, and threw a new honey super on it. A few days later, I checked on the split and saw the beginnings of a few Queen cells. Considering the minimal number of Queen cells, I traded a capped frame of brood from the split with a frame of eggs from a smaller hive. Hopefully that'll give them more options with more eggs.
Just the other day I threw a second Super on the parent hive, on the far end of the picture, since it still looked a bit packed.

This picture is just after the split. New hive is on the cinder block/4 x 4 setup

Absolutely perfect.  Well done in all respects. 
The only cause for pause or risk now is if the queen that is raised gets mated and returns (60%-80% chance of success).  That will be at 25-28 days from when you had put the frame of eggs in. That is the reason why I prefer not to do splits without a caged mated queen my pocket.  I do not mind risking failure in a nuc. I do not like risking failure in a hive. A nuc of laying worker 3weeks later is easy to deal with.  A full hive of LW, not so much. 
Youve got a great start. In the meantime, they may make many queen cells.  You will want to check a week layer and cull most of them.  Try to get down to 3 nicest cells on the same frame same side.  That helps set the stage and the location for the Battle Royale.  This reduces the time for them to find each other and sort it out.  It also reduces the possibility of injury as the first out can eliminate the others with no fight at all.
Other than that just give them a capped/mixed frame of brood from time to time until their queen is mated and laying. Try to stick with mostly capped addition to keep the population progressing and to supply the young bees needed to support the new queen when she gets on with laying.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 01:39:37 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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