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Author Topic: Troppo Split  (Read 387 times)

Offline eltalia

  • Queen Bee
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Troppo Split
« on: August 28, 2018, 11:35:31 am »
For us sandwiched between the Equator and that Capricorn line the time for bees to replicate
themselves is well upon us, and so the swarm season just a week or so away it is time for the
proactive b'keep to get serious around swarm management (SM).

I myself do not advocate for splitting colonies as a method of SM, reserving those manipulations
only for broodnest builds and/or expansion of a yard, yet I do have a set method - one well
different from those Internet popular and which uses bees to fill what is arguably the arduous
task, certifying the queenright colony.
Just days ago a removal delivered a healthy colony of stroppy ferals well close to our bush feral
strain, known to be "hot" on an average day. I elected to use these bees as numbers and to set
a colony for the client, requeening it on establishment.
This goal required splitting the ferals, quickly, and with minimum exposure - conditions well suited
to the method I have long employed.
So.
Pix 1. shows the feral colony, top off.
Pix 2. shows the test box loaded and the splitoff partially loaded.
Pix3.  shows the bees selecting the queenright 'colony' in the test box.
Method.
One frame with the newest eggs is selected from the parent and placed in the test box.
The frame adjacent to that - preferably warm side - is also selected and placed in the test box.
A frame of stores (no bees) is selected and placed in the test box.
Lid is put in place and entrance closed.
All other frames are placed into the splitoff and clumps of young bees moved in.
Lid is put in place and entrance closed.
The empty parent is then smoked heavily putting bees into flight.
They will always move to the queenright box, again in the pictorial example I 'guessed'
accurately as to which frame she was on.

Now you know which box is queenright you can then move on in deciding the outcome
you choose. In this case the splitoff went into a combine and the test box remade into a
10frame colony for the client.
Yet equally the splitoff could be left insitu as a new colony to be requeened with the
other being moved off (3km minimum) aka "splitting for swarm control".

0h... no stings endured in the whole of the operation, the air filled with bees as they
"went for home", hell for leather!
Time taken was under an hour from lighting the smoker to sitting down for a cuppa.
Conditions were a sunny morning in 24Celcius@60% rH and 10knots of breeze, max.

Bill

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