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Tony Greathead

NZBF Splitting and flying bees

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I split my hive in half as i had two full boxes and queened with a mated queen into the second split. I initially put the split hive about 4 meters away from the original.

 

The issue i have is that all the flying bees return to the same spot.

 

My colleague suggested that i just put them close to each other and swap the boxes back and forth.

 

The question is how long am i to keep this up. At what stage will the second box become independent with its own flying bee?

 

Every time i swap the one that had the flying bees eventually has not front door activity with the different looking like one is Auckland airport and the other looks like gore airport.

 

Why can i not just tell half of them to live here and other half to live there lol..

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Bees do what bees do, the skill of bee keeping is to align the two so you and them are all happy.

:)

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Bees do what bees do, the skill of bee keeping is to align the two so you and them are all happy.

:)

 

 

So i should just leave one split apart and just wait for there own flying bees to form or if they dont that split hive fails from lack of incoming resources?

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I usually move the original queen and put the new queen in the old location. However, it is what it is. It will take about 3 weeks before all the moved hive comes up to speed. Make sure there is extra room in the original hive for the extra bees to fit.

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Unfortunately a two box hive is fairly weak to split.

The one you move away needs the bulk of the brood as bees will not leave brood. All field bees will fly back.

 

Just check the brood is being covered. Not much you can do untill they build up. Then you can swap them and equalize them.

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Plenty of people would be happy enough to split a two box hive. After all you end up with two one box hives and that is what most commercials put out for honey production. It is also common to take a small nuc out of a one box hive.

 

When you first split you'd have been best to lock the moved hive in for a day and then cover the entrance with branches etc so when the bees exit the hive they figure out something had changed and they re-orient themselves to the new hive. You could still try that.

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Yup the split with the old queen had about 4/5 frames full both sides of brood waiting to hatch. It was really strong in the brood area.

 

Hive 1 - I left the new queen in the original spot. She is getting 95% of the flying bees but there were a couple of frames on one side that were not drawn when i did the split three days ago in the first box so i am hoping with lack of room and lots of bees they drew the rest over the past three days. I just went out and threw on another box just now.

 

Hive two - With the original queen put on a new box also given all that brood that was due to hatch in there. I also put on a entrance reducer and started to feed them.

 

I did notice this morning a few bees landing carrying pollen on there legs so it looks like they are starting to send out some of there own flying bees.

 

This is how they sit at the moment, the split with the old queen is nearest me.

IMG_20170205_095837.jpg.6f5c427a0471360242e106e768146af2.jpg

IMG_20170205_095837.jpg.6f5c427a0471360242e106e768146af2.jpg

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Plenty of people would be happy enough to split a two box hive. After all you end up with two one box hives and that is what most commercials put out for honey production. It is also common to take a small nuc out of a one box hive.

 

When you first split you'd have been best to lock the moved hive in for a day and then cover the entrance with branches etc so when the bees exit the hive they figure out something had changed and they re-orient themselves to the new hive. You could still try that.

The catch is hes a beginner with little to no knowhow on how to look after weak hives.

 

The very big risk here is that they will not be strong enough before robbing and wasp season hits. Real risk of ending up with two dead hives.

Its a classic beginner's mistake.

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The catch is hes a beginner with little to no knowhow on how to look after weak hives.

 

The very big risk here is that they will not be strong enough before robbing and wasp season hits. Real risk of ending up with two dead hives.

Its a classic beginner's mistake.

 

 

True that but i have two very experienced bee keeps (20+ years) which one and came and examined the hive said it was strong enough to split.

 

As for managing the split hives this is why i am bouncing off them and you guys to avoid the demise scenario.

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True that but i have two very experienced bee keeps (20+ years) which one and came and examined the hive said it was strong enough to split.

 

As for managing the split hives this is why i am bouncing off them and you guys to avoid the demise scenario.

going by what you have said so far, i do not think they have done you any favors :(

 

if this was spring time it would not matter so much as everything is building up.

but its nearly end of season. everything is slowing down.

adding the boxes and undrawn frames(?) does not help things unless flow is booming.

would have been better to leave them as singles and get them packed down for winter.

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There is still plenty of flow coming in, i am urban, hives are in my back yard and about 3 km away are plenty of paddocks full of flowering commercial veggie plots...no other hives around...bees are still drawing and filling as fast as they can draw..

 

Not sure what else my original hive could have had before a split, two boxes of broad with at least 5/6 frames in each full of brood both sides, stored honey, pollen and full of bees in both boxes...strength was not the issue....it was how to manage the transition of flying bees i was asking about.

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Strange Tristan, i have had plenty of people on here indicate that splits in feb and towards the end of feb quite acceptable and actually common including one of the staff on here, but your saying that its really Spring that splits should be done?

feb is perfectly fine. my preferred time due to poor spring matings.

the thing i'm getting at is its about how you do it and risks different methods have.

 

 

Not sure what else my original hive could have had, two boxes of broad with at least 5/6 frames in each full of brood both sides and full of bees in both boxes...strength was not a issue....it was how to manage the transition of flying bees i was asking about.

your missing bees, lots of bees.

unless its been starving all this season (which has happened) any normal hive will be 4 boxes high.

your hive is about half strength. tho as far as splitting goes 10-12 frames of brood helps a lot. but you still need bees to look after the brood and bees to bring in food.

 

the great thing of doing Autumn splits is you take off the honey and then use the bees, which are not going to do much else, to make your splits with.

 

the principle here is to take a strong hive (ie something thats got a few boxes of honey on it) and split it in half to make two middle strength hives.

weak splits are prone to problems, slower to build up, open to robbing, wasps etc.

stronger splits are far more reliable, need no care.

 

 

it was how to manage the transition of flying bees i was asking about.

two ways.

you give the hive you move away the bulk of the brood. as it doesn't have field bees its relying on food left in the hive. as the brood hatches and it gains strength, makes its own field bees, it will then forage for its own.

the hive in the original location has all the field bees so it can forage still, but has reduced brood and if requeen with cell there is a delay before brood production begins. the bee numbers will decline untill brood gets going. (a matted queen is an advantage)

the idea here is to have the bigger one decline a bit and the weaker one expand, so they both end up equal size.

 

the other is to do more of a half split, equal brood. but as one hive gets the field bees they will need to be swapped around now and then to equalize up the bees. not really the greatest way of doing it.

 

if you do not want to worry about field bees, then build your nuc and take it several km's away so the bees can't fly back.

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an approach i've taken reasonably often and with no failures is to move one daughter hive a metre or so left of the original site of the the parent hive, the other a metre or so right. Returning foragers find no hive where they expect one to be, and end up fairly evenly distributed between the two daughter hives.

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an approach i've taken reasonably often and with no failures is to move one daughter hive a metre or so left of the original site of the the parent hive, the other a metre or so right. Returning foragers find no hive where they expect one to be, and end up fairly evenly distributed between the two daughter hives.

there is a twist on that. i have not tried it but its basically leaving the hives right up next to each other. i assume original hive is pulled over slightly. however my concern would be that the queenless one might get robbed.

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downside of the approach i just described is that, unless you're introducing a mated queen, you'll end up with the queenless hive becoming quite weak as no replacement bees are coming through for a while. This can be dealt with by transferring it a frame of capped brood from the queenright daughter once in a while.

 

edit - per the comment from @tristan - interesting approach to leave both daughter hives touching. The reason i don't leave both daughters next to each other, but instead introduce some space and leave neither daughter on the site of the parent hive, is because i share your concern regarding the risk of robbing. Haven't tried it though...

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Regarding making splits- Can anybody recommend when would be the latest time in Autumn to make a split with a cell? In order to have it be strong enough to potentially survive the winter. Thanks.I'm brand new to the forum.

 

 

Regarding making splits- Can anybody recommend when would be the latest time in Autumn to make a split with a cell? In order to have it be strong enough to potentially survive the winter. Thanks.I'm brand new to the forum.

... a full depth 10 frame box split that is...

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Regarding making splits- Can anybody recommend when would be the latest time in Autumn to make a split with a cell? In order to have it be strong enough to potentially survive the winter. Thanks.I'm brand new to the forum.

the latest time is very location dependent and also dependent on what the bees are doing. ie if its a poor season they may shut down early and kick all the drones out early. it also depends on how quickly it will get cold etc and when robbing season and wasp season starts. i would try to do it while there is still honey flow on.

 

sorry no simple answer.

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Yeah, right. Cheers Tristan. Of course every season is different. I'm only on my second season so I'm still learning these things. But the one absolute truth I've learnt with beekeeping is that there is never one simple answer to anything.

Cheers.

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Regarding making splits- Can anybody recommend when would be the latest time in Autumn to make a split with a cell? In order to have it be strong enough to potentially survive the winter. Thanks.I'm brand new to the forum.

... a full depth 10 frame box split that is...

april 17, 4:26pm ;)

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Yeah, right. Cheers Tristan. Of course every season is different. I'm only on my second season so I'm still learning these things. But the one absolute truth I've learnt with beekeeping is that there is never one simple answer to anything.

Cheers.

 

thats what makes it interesting :D

so much of beekeeping is knowing what the sites do and how that effects the bees. then you plan around that.

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thats what makes it interesting :D

so much of beekeeping is knowing what the sites do and how that effects the bees. then you plan around that.

Yeah definitely.

And its amazing how much sites can vary, even within 2-3km's.

Thanks again.

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