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Author Topic: frames per split?  (Read 3532 times)

Offline rookie2531

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frames per split?
« on: October 14, 2014, 06:17:45 pm »
If my hives make it thru the winter, I want to split them in the spring, when drones are back of course. I am thinking I want as many colonies as possible. If I take a frame out and put it in a five frame nuc and put it in the middle and put Styrofoam  boards on both sides to fill the space, will they bee able to keep the brood warm enough? What is the smallest split that is best?  Mini nucs?

I have 3 strong hives now and want to multiply to get to 20 asap.

Offline Rmcpb

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 07:02:08 pm »
I would suggest one frame with eggs and young brood, one with capped brood, both with all their attached bees and two with honey and pollen. The bees will raise a queen from the egg frame, the capped brood will emerge and give house bees quickly, the house bees you put in keep the hive at the correct temperature, raise the queen and become foragers. Don't forget to feed them if you want a healthy, well mated queen as well.

Using this method you may get two good nucs out of one hive and still have a good, strong hive left.
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Offline GSF

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 10:05:30 pm »
Be careful not to spread them to thin or you'll loose them either to a cold snap or pests.
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Offline sterling

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 10:46:09 pm »
Making splits that weak you would be way ahead to give them a mated queen or at least a queen cell from a strong hive. Letting a nuc that size make a queen from scratch takes about four weeks to have eggs and another three week before bees emerge. So most of the bees you put in there will be dead in that seven weeks. Not that it can't work but probably be slow building up.

Offline biggraham610

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 12:24:32 am »
I made mine this spring with a frame of capped, a frame of open and a frame of honey-pollen, two empties on the outside, in a five frame coates nuc. They are all looking good going into winter. G
oh yeah, make sure the open brood has eggs and larvae so they will have the right age to make a queen.
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Offline Culley

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 08:40:45 am »
I have made a few nucs this spring (Australia) in five frame nuc boxes, putting a frame with capped queen cells into each (as well as frames of brood and honey and also shaking some young bees in - not the queen though  :-D). Seems to have worked well and one has just started laying.

Seems to make a lot of sense. I'm not risking a lot of resources to each split. Good potential for success. I've never had trouble with homegrown queens.

Offline sterling

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 09:55:02 am »
Queen breeders use really strong hives to make good queens. A weak nuc can make a queen for sure but a strong hive will usually make a better one. Many times the nuc queen will be superceded soon after they get going.

Offline johng

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 03:56:42 pm »
Two frames of capped brood one of honey and a queen cell will make a fine nuc in spring right as the honey flow is starting.

Offline sterling

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2014, 07:09:04 pm »
Two frames of capped brood one of honey and a queen cell will make a fine nuc in spring right as the honey flow is starting.

and a queen cell that was started in a strong hive is the important thing there.

Offline Robo

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2014, 09:35:10 pm »
I have to agree with Sterling on this.  You want the strongest hive possible to raise queens.   Yes weak nucs will make queens and when conditions are ideal (aka summer) even poor quality queens seem to perform well.   Late fall and winter is when the poor queens become an issue. Athough bees can raise emergency queens, it is not their preferred method.  Ferals rely on swarm cells to procreate and swarm cells are made by super strong hives.

If you want to raise queens for splits, I would read up on OTS.   You take away the queen and make a nuc with hear, then you let the strong remaining queenless hive make the queen cells and then you split that.  This way the queen cells are raised by an abundance of bees with plenty of resources.

http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/can-you-afford-emergency-queens/
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 08:46:22 am »
I like a good strong split.  Like 10 deep frames or 16 medium frames of bees, brood and honey.  When I have a hive that four full eight frame boxes, it's a good time to split them.  Before that I don't trust that they will raise a good enough queen or get a good enough start...
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Offline 10framer

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2014, 10:59:22 am »
i do it more like robo.  i take the queen and 3 frames as soon as i start seeing swarm cells.  it gives the bees in the original hive a little brood break at the beginning of the main flows.  then you may be able to do a walk away split from the same hive later in the season.  this way you get strong hives in time for the fall flows then winter.  in a good year you may even get to take a little surplus.  if i do splits like michael bush i wait until late in the spring flows.   

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2014, 04:14:41 pm »
If I see swarm cells, all bets are off... every frame with cells gets it's own nuc...
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Offline rookie2531

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2014, 08:30:43 pm »
Thanks to all, and for the link robo. I got some reading to do. I did use the "walk-away-split", method to get from one to 3 hives, they all look strong, but as you say, she might fail me before spring. Time will only tell.

Offline biggraham610

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2014, 09:15:20 pm »
If I see swarm cells, all bets are off... every frame with cells gets it's own nuc...

I like that............... :chop:
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Offline 10framer

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2014, 12:18:46 am »
If I see swarm cells, all bets are off... every frame with cells gets it's own nuc...

i've never considered that approach.  most of the hives i pulled the queens from still threw small swarms anyway.  maybe i'll try that this spring. 

Offline Culley

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2014, 10:39:37 pm »
If I see swarm cells, all bets are off... every frame with cells gets it's own nuc...

How many empty nuc boxes do you like to have standing by for this approach?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2014, 11:08:16 am »
>How many empty nuc boxes do you like to have standing by for this approach?

I never thought if it that way... I have lots of nuc boxes... if I were guessing I have a couple of hundred two frame nuc boxes, three or four three and four frame boxes, twenty or thirty five frame nucs boxes and I can always put them in an eight frame box and just fill the rest of the box with foundationless frames or plastic undrawn PF120's (frame and foundation).  If I were starting over, I might just use all eight frame boxes and make a lot of follower boards... but I have nucs.
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Offline don2

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2014, 11:55:53 pm »
I like taking two frames with capped brood and the queen. The parent hive has enough workers and will throw queen cells every where. stay on top of things, after 10 days split to as many as the bees and cells will allow. It has worked for me.don-2 :)

Offline johng

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2014, 05:15:35 pm »
If you are just wanting to split each hive doing it like Don describes is the best way to do it. Let the big hive make the new queen. Now if you really want to make as many splits as you can from the resources you have. Graft 10 days before you are ready to make your splits and make your splits with capped queen cells. You can easily get 5 nucs out of a double deep if you use queen cells. If you aren't ready to graft your own cells yet maybe you can buy some from a friend or a commercial beekeeper close by. Queen cells in the spring are by far the most economical way to make up as many splits as you can. Which is what you said you wanted to do.   

Offline Culley

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Re: frames per split?
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2014, 07:37:58 pm »
So far I have used either swarm cells, or emergency cells from a strong hive.

I'd like to try grafting sometime just to see how it works out, but this "cut cell" method looks easier for a beginner like me:

http://www.beesource.com/resources/elements-of-beekeeping/raising-queen-cells-without-grafting-cut-cell-method/

Jay Smith's version of this method is documented on Michael Bush's website, here http://bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm

I would only make a few, 5 - 10 to start with, so I could just put each cell in a nuc.