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Author Topic: Bees Abandoning New Splits?  (Read 515 times)

Offline PhilK

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Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« on: August 29, 2017, 09:14:01 am »
G'day,

We've recently done two splits. We took 5 frames out of the brood box and replaced them with drawn combs, and the placed the removed frames in a 10fr box with 5 drawn combs. BIAS with honey and pollen in the combs of the split with bees covering them, and then shook extra bees into the split as well to boost the numbers. One of the hives we were certain the queen was placed into the new split, but for the other hive we couldn't find the queen so unsure what half she is in.

One of the splits was done at an outyard so not sure on how it's going (checking tomorrow), but the other was done at home two days ago and as of today there is zero activity in the front, with plenty of bees out the front of the parent hive. The split hives were moved away from the parent hives by a few metres.

It seems to me (though I haven't opened the split to check) that the bees form the split are flying back to their original hive. Is this normal - I thought the bees would not abandon open brood? What can we do to prevent this? We don't want to have to move the splits off site each time we do them if we can avoid it.

Thanks for any advice
Phil

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 09:32:24 am »
I say that is perfectly normal.  It might take 3 days before you see activity.  They are scrambling to make a queen.  I would not do it now but you can swap positions of the hives to balance the numbers or keep robbing the parent hive to supply the split.  I do nothing.  The split does not need a bunch of old foragers.  In a couple of weeks you can steel brood or nurse bees to add to the split.  Again I do nothing but I split with more resources.
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Offline PhilK

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 09:40:13 am »
Thanks for the reply Ace - that eases my mind a bit. So would you open the hive or just wait a few days and see how they go? I'm worried the brood in there will chill if not enough bees are there

Again I do nothing but I split with more resources.
What do you mean by this?

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 09:53:40 am »
I start with a hive that is double the size you split so there would be 8-10 frames of bees, brood and honey in each half.  This is enough resources for me to just walk away and not touch the hives until harvest.
Let them sort it out for 3 days.  If you wait longer wait until 7-8 days when the development stage of the queen is past the most sensitive stage.  Adding nurse bees is less intrusive.  Just make sure you do not shake in a queen.
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Online sc-bee

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 10:01:57 am »
Nurse bees are there... you are losing foragers. Some feel covering the entrance with a limb from a bush etc helps force them to re-orient. Something for them to fly through and notice home has changed.
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Offline little john

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 10:27:41 am »
One of the hives we were certain the queen was placed into the new split, but for the other hive we couldn't find the queen so unsure what half she is in.
Hi Phil
To find out which half the queen is in, simply place the two boxes 20 feet or so apart, and away from the old stand (so that returning foragers don't confuse the issue).  After about 20 minutes, you'll notice that one box will have become far more distressed than the other.  That's the queenless box.

Best practice is to then place the box containing the queen on the new stand. With a laying queen, that colony is viable, but will be forager-free for a few days, until some older nurse bees become 'promoted' a little earlier than usual. Although forager-class bees will certainly return 'home', no other bees will abscond with a laying queen in the box.

In contrast, the queenless half is potentially in trouble (assuming a walk-away split), so it's placed on the old stand precisely in order that the older forager bees (which are an extremely valuable resource) will continue to swell the numbers, as well as bring in forage.  There's no reason for any bees in that box to 'return home', as they're already there !

However, if you make multiple, rather than equal splits, one or more of those boxes will be located away from the old stand. Simplest measure then is to seal the boxes for a couple of days, ensuring that they have ventilation and water (or even weak syrup).  Because those boxes are sealed, they can then be placed anywhere cool, such as a cellar or in the shade for that period of time.  Return them to their new stands before opening them up, of course ...
LJ
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Offline PhilK

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 10:44:07 am »
I start with a hive that is double the size you split so there would be 8-10 frames of bees, brood and honey in each half
Sorry I don't really understand this.. A 20 frame hive? I only have 10 frames in the brood chamber.

Quote
make sure you do not shake in a queen.
I wanted to put a queen into the split to simulate a swarm.. is that the wrong thing to do?

LJ that makes sense thanks!

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 02:01:38 pm »
I start with a hive that is double the size you split so there would be 8-10 frames of bees, brood and honey in each half
Sorry I don't really understand this.. A 20 frame hive? I only have 10 frames in the brood chamber.
Yes a 16-20 frame hive so that after the split the hive is still at critical mass.  I let the queenless side make their own queen.  So I wait until the hive grows to the 16 -20 frame size before spliting.

Quote
I wanted to put a queen into the split to simulate a swarm.. is that the wrong thing to do?

Well this makes a big difference.  If you are going to add a mated queen of course the split can be much smaller.  It also can be sooner which I thought you were splitting too soon based on your other post that showed temperatures you were experiencing in your area.  Another way to test a hive is to put the queen cage near the top bars and observe how the bees react to the new queen.  Mike Palmer shows this in a video.  One hive will be of acceptance while the other will show aggression towards the new queen.  Wait a couple of hours after the split to try the test.
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Offline eltalia

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 10:39:44 am »
https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=50539.msg442204#msg442204



(edit)
It seems to me (though I haven't opened the split to check) that the bees form the split are flying back to their original hive. Is this normal - I thought the bees would not abandon open brood? What can we do to prevent this? We don't want to have to move the splits off site each time we do them if we can avoid it.

Thanks for any advice
Phil

I saw all this coming when I posted;
https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=50539.msg442204#msg442204

So now, I offer;

(A1)Yes. very "normal". And why one does not do splits that way.
(A2)The bees, nurse bees, have not. Effectively you have killed a generation.
(A3)Practise interactive behaviour, yours needs addressing.
(A4) Stiff chedder, bees will screw you, every time.

In short Phil..?..do keep right on following that USA based model of generating intense low numbers in borderline critical mass and keep yourself busy "working bees". The reality is the largest part of USA based BKng is "do nothing but wait and hope" whilst the Country freezes over.
With maybe 3 to 4 months of hands on - and a lot of that on what we know as weeds in forage supplys - if much of the folks you read here saw 10sq.mile of bluegum flowering they would literally shat themselves on how to go about managing that size flow, over weeks.

... jes me two bits on farkall, like.

Cheers.

Bill



Offline PhilK

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 12:55:41 am »
thanks for your concerns Bill but they've been misplaced mate. Inspected both splits yesterday and looking great - raising QCs and plenty of bees and stores. Goes to show bees don't always follow what people think they'll do.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 01:30:23 am »
thanks for your concerns Bill but they've been misplaced mate. Inspected both splits yesterday and looking great - raising QCs and plenty of bees and stores. Goes to show bees don't always follow what people think they'll do.

[advice deleted in the Maroon spirit (QLDR)]

Bill
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 05:40:39 am by eltalia »

Online Acebird

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 09:05:14 am »
raising QCs and plenty of bees and stores.

Cells or cups?  You did introduce a mated queen right?
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Online sc-bee

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 09:27:01 am »
thanks for your concerns Bill but they've been misplaced mate. Inspected both splits yesterday and looking great - raising QCs and plenty of bees and stores. Goes to show bees don't always follow what people think they'll do.

I don't subscribe to "think" on this one, I know. Know as I often have picked up
the remains of folks endeavours to split colonies.
Buuut no biggee, the bees in an area of plenty at this time of year will overcome
most mistakes in short time, albeit production blips at the intervention.

Cheers.

Bill

TOOT-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT  :shocked: :wink::
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 10:08:53 am by sc-bee »
John 3:16

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 04:56:51 pm »
thanks for your concerns Bill but they've been misplaced mate. Inspected both splits yesterday and looking great - raising QCs and plenty of bees and stores. Goes to show bees don't always follow what people think they'll do.

I don't subscribe to "think" on this one, I know. Know as I often have picked up
the remains of folks endeavours to split colonies.
Buuut no biggee, the bees in an area of plenty at this time of year will overcome
most mistakes in short time, albeit production blips at the intervention.

Cheers.

Bill

TOOT-TOOT-TOOT-TOOT  :shocked: :wink::
:cheesy:
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline eltalia

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 07:41:56 pm »
 [ comment removed in the spirit of that ANZUS alliance]]

Bill

--
(edit terminolgy)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 11:59:37 pm by eltalia »

Online sc-bee

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2017, 07:54:24 pm »
.... live steam? :shocked:
Someone's boiler is superheated!
                                                     :grin:

Cheers.

Bill

Naw.... some folks just stay full of HOT AIR  :shocked:
John 3:16

Offline PhilK

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2017, 09:46:53 pm »
Cells or cups?  You did introduce a mated queen right?
No we are letting them raise their own queen, which they seem to be doing!

Online Acebird

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Re: Bees Abandoning New Splits?
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2017, 07:51:13 am »
Phill, do you have any idea what the daytime temperatures are going to be like when the queen is ready for her maiden flight?
Brian Cardinal
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