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Author Topic: Splitting in Spring  (Read 512 times)

Offline Butteredloins

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Splitting in Spring
« on: July 14, 2018, 04:12:41 am »
Hi Everyone
It's coming up to spring and was wondering. I want to increase my hives from one to two. I was going to buy another lot of bees, but wondered if I could just split mine. If I split mine will it reduce my honey production for the year. Because apparently our area doesn't get the best honey flow. So I really wanted to get 25kg of honey ( 1 box) of honey this year from my first hive. Any thoughts

Offline eltalia

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 05:23:30 am »
G'day... up the Gong eh?
Weeell I reckon you already know the answer as it is in your question.
So as some help I'd say check out the local for some swarmbox possies
and maybe study up methods on a cutout or two beginning with "beelining".
Tom Seely has published some excellent work on his method, beats mine by
a country mile.
The book is linked to below but there is a free PDF on it for the looking.

As to honeybadgering?
With a little work it should be possible to get double your 25 before Xmas
depending on where the colony is at now, in terms of CM - critical mass.
August will tell the story.
Ask a local what they reckon?
More but I gotta hit the frog 'n toe, like... :-)))


Bill

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https://www.amazon.com/Following-Wild-Bees-Science-Hunting/dp/0691170266

Offline Acebird

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 08:14:40 am »
Because apparently our area doesn't get the best honey flow.
I am totally against feeding but I live in an area of good and plenty.  I would say most will take the honey and feed them sugar syrup.  I don't have any experience on how to do it and not get in trouble.
Brian Cardinal
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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 08:39:19 am »
I don?t normally like to feed but you can split your hives in early spring, before the main flow and feed them to induce build up. This will have the hives ready for your flow.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2018, 07:08:14 pm »
Thanks guys. I really don't like feeding sugar either, I only did to try get them through winter because I got my first hive late in the season. Am going to try not feed them this year, but still want to get some honey and leave them with enough to get through winter. Splitting my hive aswell might make them weak because they still suffering from chalkbrood. Maybe I should try my locals for some swarms but they tend to never get them

Offline beepro

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 03:10:49 am »
Any sign of chalk brood will take them a long time for the early Spring build up.  Chalk brood will go away when
the weather warms up again about the time of the flow.   So my recommendation is to buy another hive for honey
production.   After that you can make the splits when you have your honey.

Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 05:20:05 am »
Thanks beepro. Would you recommend buying a colony or a nice box to give them a better head start

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 06:15:46 am »
Why don't you guys like feeding?

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 07:26:58 am »
When you feed sugar water, there are no minerals or vitamins in it like nectar has. It is then fed to the brood. All of a bees development happens while it is being fed for 5/6 days. If it is missing the proper nutrition during those development days it will not be as strong as it should bee.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Brub58

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2018, 07:42:22 am »
Butteredloins, you could do what I did last season.  You need to buy a queen if you want honey as well, but you don?t need to buy a nuc or a whole hive.

When she arrives take a couple of frames of brood, and a frame of honey from your current hive.  Add two frames of foundation and make up a nuc with your new queen.  You won?t get any honey off the nuc, but the original hive should recover quickly.  I took 40kg of honey off the hive after I did this.

As the nuc expands move them to a full size hive like you would with a bought nuc.

Bruce

Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2018, 08:49:57 am »
Bruce, when I take the few frames of brood and put them in my nuc with the new queen. Isn't that the same as splitting the hive minus the new queen side. I thought splitting was taking some frames of brood and honey and putting it in a new hive and those bees will create queen cells and start there new hive. Or am I way off.
Also I don't like feeding sugar water because it's not natural for the bees and if the bees need it all the time something must be wrong. I feel though when they are new or are extremely struggling sugar water is fine to use then.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2018, 09:24:00 am »
The difference is you don't have to add as many bees because the added queen will supply them.  The other difference is you won't have the brood break advantage of letting them grow their own queen.  So it is a beekeeper decision which way you go.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Brub58

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2018, 07:43:20 pm »
Butteredloins, you are right, but Ace has the right reasoning.

Last year I was Trying to build up numbers after a break from bees and the process it outlined was suggested to me by the breeder I was ordering my queens from.  It worked well and I still got a reasonable honey crop.

To expand on it a bit I can think of 3 ways of splitting.
1.  An equal split.  This will give you two strong hives and the queenless half will raise their own queen but you probably won?t get the honey you were after this year.
2.  Take off a nuc and put the queen in the nuc.  This will leave you with a really strong hive to raise a new queen, but as Ace said, the brood break will compromise your chances of getting honey.
3.  Take off a nuc and leave the queen in the bigger half.  The original hive will hardly notice the loss of a couple of frames of brood early in the season.  In fact the extra space will help ward off swarming.  But a nuc is not strong enough to raise a reliable queen.  They?ll raise one but there?s a risk she?ll be underfed and an underperformed.  Therefore I suggest you buy a queen from a good breeder.

So option 3 gives you a split and the best chance of a honey harvest which is what you originally said you wanted.

Also if you queen is over a year old order two queens and replace her at the same time.  A new queen will really kick that hive along and further reduce the chances of swarming.  (If they swarm your chances of a honey harvest go down.)

I did the split mid September and it was a bit early.  I?m repeating the process this year and I?m going to split at the end of Sept.  I requeened all my hives in autumn so they?re ready to go.  And by autumn, that nuc I took off was filling 3 8-frame boxes.  I?ve overwintered everything in 2 boxes and in Melbourne they?ll start expanding in August, so I will probably have added a 3rd box before I split them.

Good luck.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2018, 09:04:03 pm »
Hi Everyone
It's coming up to spring and was wondering. I want to increase my hives from one to two. I was
going to buy another lot of bees, but wondered if I could just split mine. If I split mine will it reduce
 my honey production for the year. Because apparently our area doesn't get the best honey flow.
So I really wanted to get 25kg of honey ( 1 box) of honey this year from my first hive. Any thoughts

I have referenced the whole of your post for clarity BL, there is info coming through in
posts which is not relevant or wholly inaccurate in terms of your question.
It all gets confusing/muddled in sorting out, for the new player (IME-OMMV).

Basicly you ask how to increase the apairy without impacting what you have now.
There is only one answer, as your question already states - bring in more bees.
My earlier post points to options over buying bees.
As to splits?
Follow the American model to find out for yourself,  I cannot recommend those methods
nor splitying per se in respect of the implied premise in yoyr question.
However the short version (anywhere) is - split only on a flow, and then at 50/50 with the
queen going to the new colony placed more than 3Ks away from the apiary, returning to the
flow after maybe four days max.
Timing depends on local flora, but best conditions all round are between
midSeptember to late October before the true heat sets in.
Cheers.

Bill

Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2018, 12:39:31 am »
Ok thanks guys, really appreciate the feedback/answers. I just hope the spring flow in my area is good, otherwise I will be gutted.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2018, 05:32:31 am »
Ok thanks guys, really appreciate the feedback/answers. I just hope the spring flow in my area is
good, otherwise I will be gutted.

There is always 2019, and 2020 2021 2022.. etc etc.
Resist being in a rush for therein lies the path to Demonsville.. :-))))

Bill

Offline Acebird

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2018, 08:56:23 am »
but as Ace said, the brood break will compromise your chances of getting honey.
I don't know if I said that.  If I did I didn't mean to.  It all depends on your flows and their timing.  I have always done even divides about 1 to 3 weeks before our major spring flow and kept the two halves right next to each other.  In two days all the old foragers go back to the queen right side.  When the flow hits the queen right side packs in honey because they have all the foragers.  Well the queen growing side also has all the foragers because the bees have nothing else to do.  Also the queen right side consumes more of the honey they collect.  It so happens in my area that the major flow lasted about 3-4 weeks and then tapers off.
Now if I was purely focused on honey I could have harvested the honey the queen growing side collected and started feeding.  This would have netted me more honey then if I never touched the parent hive.  Now with a two or three frame split that is never going to happen.
So you see the queenless side collects more honey then the queen right side by a lot because the queen right side consumes more.  Without feeding, what I always did, the queenless side starts consuming most of what they collected because the new queen is in a mad dog rush to make bees while the queen right side tapers off as the flow tapers off.  In a good year when all is said and done I could get two to three boxes of honey off the queen right side and only one box or none off the queenless side.
In no way can I say this will happen in your area because as Bill says it is location and timing that makes the difference.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2018, 09:47:12 pm »
It's my first time with bees and in my area, so I will have to learn when my honey flows are. Just was concerned since there is a lot of grass farm land around and other beekeepers in my area I just hope the honey flow is strong another to support us all. Ive started planting trees and shrubs that bare good flowers but they will take time to grow.

Offline beepro

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2018, 11:36:30 pm »
If you set your hives in deep nucs they will grow faster and split faster too.   My initial 5 level nucs have expanded to 7 hives now.  I ran out of
drawn comb this season already.   I also want to do anther graft of 45 plastic cups as a little bee experiment.   This will put my nuc boxes on a
constraint.   I have to be creative to get the virgins mated.

In your case, I would buy a whole colony if you can afford it otherwise buy 2 nuc hives in the early Spring time.   With the whole colony you can
arrange it into nuc boxes as well.   Then you will see which queen expand the fastest when the flow is on.   Until then you have to feed them the
patty subs which is more important than sugar syrup alone.   They needed all the protein they can have at brood rearing time in the Spring. 

Then you can take one frame from each expanding nuc hive to make another split nuc hive.   Either buy a mated queen if available or make your
own queen from the split.   Very simple and doable if you know how to!

Offline eltalia

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Re: Splitting in Spring
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2018, 07:23:17 pm »
It's my first time with bees and in my area, so I will have to learn when my honey flows are.

You could save yourself a good deal of time investment in consulting
that local knowledge bank as knowing your flora is as important as knowing
(backwards) the organisms life cycle. Lots of bush/scrub around you does
not always equate to a top site... some of our eucs are years apart in bloom bursts.

Bill