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Author Topic: Couple Questions About a Split  (Read 240 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Couple Questions About a Split
« on: March 19, 2020, 08:48:30 pm »
I did my first inspection of one of my hives today, and decided they needed to be split.  The hive was packed, and there was hardly any more room for the queen to lay.  There were no queen cells or cups anywhere that I could see.  I put a couple frames with eggs and capped brood in the split along with some pollen frames and some honey frames from my deadout.  I found the queen and left her in the original hive and checkerboarded the brood nest with drawn comb.  It's only the 2nd time I've done a split and I had my smoker go dead and forgot some equipment, so the hive was open for a long time, longer than I would have liked, and the girls were so forgiving, I barely even needed to smoke them all afternoon.   

Question 1: There was a lot of drone brood in this hive, like almost 1/2 the brood was drones.  Is that normal for a hive at this point in the year?  Or could the queen be failing? 

Question 2: Should I check the split next week to see if the bees in there are making a queen, or should I just leave them go?     
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online van from Arkansas

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2020, 08:56:46 pm »
Hi Member: regarding your question about drone brood.  My experience is when a queen is thinking about swarming, the first indication is she lays a lot of drone brood,  Queen cells follow, then swarming.

Ms. Member, you caught the hive in time.  You did good.  There are several options you could have taken, but providing more space for the queen to lay is precedent and that you did.

Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2020, 11:34:37 pm »
>   I put a couple frames with eggs and capped brood in the split along with some pollen frames and some honey frames
     from my deadout.

     Member,  I have split a few hives and what you did sounds good to me, and I agree with Van. What I am about to say
     is a matter of preference of the individual beekeeper. One beekeeper which lives near to me, and is quiet well
     known, says he likes to use three frames in a situation as you described if I remember correctly, two frames of capped
     brood and the frame as you described with larva and eggs. I suppose this would get them off to a stronger start?

     Others say in spring, one frame of mixed, capped brood, and eggs along with another frame of
     empty comb is adequate for an early split but usually a queen cell is involved. Food for thought: Personally, and this is
     just my opinion, for my particular circumstances. I plan to add several hives this season, and will be going the second
     route. For me, a two frame mating nuc will be the avenue graduating to a 5 frame nuc when the time is right and
     eventually to a 10 framer. 

     This is a subject that you are sure to get different opinions and points of view from different beekeepers. Remember
     there is more than one way to accomplish success. In my opinion, diverse answers are good for all. I wish you well
     with your new hive!

     Phillip Hall
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 12:13:31 am by Ben Framed »

Offline cao

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2020, 01:17:52 am »
Yes a lot of drone brood is common this time of year in a strong hive.  I think you did alright with your split.  I usually move the queen with my splits.  I let the original hive make the queen cells.  I would check your hive again fairly soon because this time of year it doesn't that long for a queen to fill that empty space that you provided.

Offline iddee

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2020, 06:41:53 am »
cao says:  "I usually move the queen with my splits."

I say:  "I always move the queen with my splits."

That way, the hive thinks it has swarmed, and the weaker split has immediate new eggs.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline jimineycricket

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2020, 10:53:07 am »
Quote
I say:  "I always move the queen with my splits."
That way, the hive thinks it has swarmed, and the weaker split has immediate new eggs.
And the stronger hive with the most nurse bee raises the new queen.
jimmy

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2020, 02:15:05 pm »
Quote
I say:  "I always move the queen with my splits."
That way, the hive thinks it has swarmed, and the weaker split has immediate new eggs.
And the stronger hive with the most nurse bee raises the new queen.
I'll remember this for next time.  I figured it didn't matter since the hive wasn't actually in swarm mode, but I didn't think about the stronger hive being able to produce a stronger queen. 

Hi Member: regarding your question about drone brood.  My experience is when a queen is thinking about swarming, the first indication is she lays a lot of drone brood,  Queen cells follow, then swarming.
Yes a lot of drone brood is common this time of year in a strong hive.  I think you did alright with your split.  I usually move the queen with my splits.  I let the original hive make the queen cells.  I would check your hive again fairly soon because this time of year it doesn't that long for a queen to fill that empty space that you provided.
Good to know about the drone brood, thanks so much. 

>   I put a couple frames with eggs and capped brood in the split along with some pollen frames and some honey frames
     from my deadout.

     Member,  I have split a few hives and what you did sounds good to me, and I agree with Van. What I am about to say
     is a matter of preference of the individual beekeeper. One beekeeper which lives near to me, and is quiet well
     known, says he likes to use three frames in a situation as you described if I remember correctly, two frames of capped
     brood and the frame as you described with larva and eggs. I suppose this would get them off to a stronger start?

     Others say in spring, one frame of mixed, capped brood, and eggs along with another frame of
     empty comb is adequate for an early split but usually a queen cell is involved. Food for thought: Personally, and this is
     just my opinion, for my particular circumstances. I plan to add several hives this season, and will be going the second
     route. For me, a two frame mating nuc will be the avenue graduating to a 5 frame nuc when the time is right and
     eventually to a 10 framer. 

     This is a subject that you are sure to get different opinions and points of view from different beekeepers. Remember
     there is more than one way to accomplish success. In my opinion, diverse answers are good for all. I wish you well
     with your new hive!

     Phillip Hall
I know there are a lot of opinions about splits out there and I just kind of tried not to get bogged down in it and sort of just used logic to know what to transfer over and what to leave.  I wasn't really following any sort of formula, just making sure the new hive had frames that contained everything they needed.  I'm sure I'll narrow down what exactly is best for my location and my beekeeping style as I do more splits. 

Nobody actually answered my other question, which is when to check on the split next.  Should I check them in a week to see if they are making queens?  And if so, should I remove any extra queen cells if they have made more than one, or should I just leave them to work it out naturally, since the split isn't in danger of swarming? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline iddee

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2020, 02:24:23 pm »
Should YOU? Who knows.

I wait 6 to 11 days ald look for capped queen cells. I never remove queen cells other than to make more nucs. I don't destroy queen cells.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2020, 04:20:24 pm »
Should YOU? Who knows.

I wait 6 to 11 days ald look for capped queen cells. I never remove queen cells other than to make more nucs. I don't destroy queen cells.
Note to self: Always ask iddee what he does, not what you should do.  :wink: :cheesy:  Thanks for the advice, and for not forcing your opinion on me.  :grin:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2020, 05:26:24 pm »
Same here. Iddee knows bees.

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Couple Questions About a Split
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2020, 09:28:55 pm »
15,
If there are 2-3 frames with Queen cells. Then make nucs. As iddee. said u have to pull the mother Q.  And move her in a box . that way u simulate a swarm. And left over bee's with 2-3 day eggs,  Will make a Q . If split rite