Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: To expand in fall or not . . .  (Read 6151 times)

Offline specialkayme

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 935
  • Gender: Male
To expand in fall or not . . .
« on: August 19, 2012, 11:44:18 am »
Just got back from EAS. Got to hear many good speakers, including Mike Palmer, about the importance of making splits in summer to recover your losses.

I've had a wicked summer. I lost about 8 hives (of 13) due to robbing and absconding. Robbing was due to my poor management practices, which I'm working on. Absconding was likely due to a combination of the heat and robbing. I'm solving the heat with screened bottom boards and upper entrances.

Goldenrod is about to start.

I can't decide if I should take my lumps and prepare my 5 remaining hives for winter, or if I should break them up into nucs, have them build up on the fall flow, and attempt to recover some of my losses. I already have two queens in mating nucs waiting for something to do. I could just re-queen my worst two hives though.

I donno, just looking for a second opinion. I don't want to split and lose the hives I have already. What would you do?

Offline AllenF

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 8192
  • Gender: Male
Re: To expand in fall or not . . .
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 03:58:18 pm »
I would prep my hives for winter this fall. 

Offline Satch

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 65
  • Gender: Male
  • Grandpa and Brandon in the hives
Re: To expand in fall or not . . .
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 11:54:54 pm »
My plans were to go from two to five hives this year.  Lost one at the beginning of spring and started a new split in May.  Did another split in june and requeened the hot hive from the split.  Those three doing great.  Started another as an emergency split in July.  Finally doing good and tried breeding my own queens.  One out of 6 took and started another hive from the may start up hive. 

Had thought about expanding but the drought has killed us here in central mo. 

Buying new Hive bodies and building up supplies to get started for next season.  Hope to be between 10 and 15 hives next season.

My suggestion is to build up for the winter and get ready for next year.

Offline BrentX

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 156
Use those queens
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 05:31:18 pm »
With all that splitting, how strong are the hives now?  I suspect the new this year hives are still building up, and then would follow Allen's advice. 

However...If there are hives six boxes deep now, loaded with bees and heavy with honey, then I would be inclined to do even splits of the strongest two hives.  I would introduce the mating nuc queens after giving the two queenless hives a brood break to knock down any varroa.  Give each hive some drawn comb and feed so that all the hives go into winter with plenty stores and a couple boxes of bees.

Around here a strong fall flow is starting, resulting in the last opportunity for splits.  My hives are increasing drone populations, so they too are thinking it is not to late to start a new hive.  That window of opportunity however is short.