Jump to content
Corban Borrie

NZBF Splitting with emergency queen method - thoughts?

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

First season here and first attempt of split.

 

Hive #1 (and only :3_grin:) seems to be very solid in two FD brood boxes, after a month of building. I may split is in the next few weekends (if not tomorrow!). Because i'm tight with money and i'm keen to see nature in action, I want to attempt the split + emergency queen + 5 week wait method. I believe this is the method Kiwimana put forward and others. Two questions in this post. The First being perhaps more important.

 

  • My first question is, to what ratio of brood cells (and nurse bees) should I leave (in existing site for emergency method), and what ratio of brood (with nurse bees) shall I take with the queen (to the new split), given the queen will continue to be laying for the new site 3-4 meters away.

I should think the new split will have a need for less brood to take with seeing the queen will be building up the numbers (of brood) with the workers building up more comb. While, the original site will have numbers diminishing until new queenie hatches, lays and starts laying some 5 weeks down the track.

For example, would take 1/3, leave 2/3 be a correct ratio? Of course, leaving a ratio amount of pollen, nectar and honey.

 

  • My second question is, how does doing a split before and during the flow affect the progress of the original hive and the new split?

My guess here is the hive will focus more on the nectar source rather than building up the hive? I appreciate how every split is a weakening of the hive.

 

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

first up, only do this if the hive you're splitting really is strong. Two full depth boxes *can* be strong, if every frame is drawn, there's brood through 10+ frames, plenty of stores, and the boxes are both boiling with bees. If this isn't the case, then wait until it's a strong three box hive then split. For context, i did a walkaway split with even numbers of frames/bees to each daughter hive about a fortnight ago. The daughter hive with the emergency queen cells had them on two frames when i checked after a week, and was strong enough to split into two more hives - one for each emergency queen cell frame.

 

move both hives. For best results with walkaway splits split brood and stores evenly between the two daughter hives, have one hive a metre left of the original hive and the other a metre right. The rationale here is that the field bees will come home, find home is missing, and about evenly distribute themselves between the two daughter hives. Don't worry about finding the queen. About a week after the split, inspect both hives. One will have emergency queen cells, the other plenty of fresh eggs and larvae. Then you know what's going on. Leave the one with the queen cells alone for 3-4 weeks, manage the other as normal.

 

I've done a few splits taking this approach, it's worked great.

 

edit: regarding your second question. The daughter hive without the queen will build up a bunch of stores as they will have a brood break = all the nectar coming in will go towards honey rather than a big percentage of it going towards making new bees. Original hive will barely slow down if it was strong enough in the first place.

Edited by tommy dave
  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
  • Good Info 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

first up, only do this if the hive you're splitting really is strong. Two full depth boxes *can* be strong, if every frame is drawn, there's brood through 10+ frames, plenty of stores, and the boxes are both boiling with bees. If this isn't the case, then wait until it's a strong three box hive then split. For context, i did a walkaway split with even numbers of frames/bees to each daughter hive about a fortnight ago. The daughter hive with the emergency queen cells had them on two frames when i checked after a week, and was strong enough to split into two more hives - one for each emergency queen cell frame.

 

move both hives. For best results with walkaway splits split brood and stores evenly between the two daughter hives, have one hive a metre left of the original hive and the other a metre right. The rationale here is that the field bees will come home, find home is missing, and about evenly distribute themselves between the two daughter hives. Don't worry about finding the queen. About a week after the split, inspect both hives. One will have emergency queen cells, the other plenty of fresh eggs and larvae. Then you know what's going on. Leave the one with the queen cells alone for 3-4 weeks, manage the other as normal.

 

I've done a few splits taking this approach, it's worked great.

 

edit: regarding your second question. The daughter hive without the queen will build up a bunch of stores as they will have a brood break = all the nectar coming in will go towards honey rather than a big percentage of it going towards making new bees. Original hive will barely slow down if it was strong enough in the first place.

 

Appreciate the advice. Some good points in there and I may well add a 3rd FD super and defer my split, with strength only being a good thing.. (Patience appears a key virtue of a bee keeper).

 

As a beginner, I don't know the limits for how much 'bursting' a hive can do before swarm mode kicks in. I'll count how many brood frames I can see in both boxes tomorrow. I always presume to just give them more room to do as they please. For all intensive purposes, my eggs are in one basket right now :P For this reason, when I see the frames mostly all drawn out, I use the comb as a determinant, rather than the focus on brood (or other factors) to know how full a two FD brood can be. I'm happy with the laying and building the girls have been doing, so adding a third FD for Brood might be excessive for space for now, but if the strength (building on momentum) can be used better for a split, any 'walk away'  method I do will only be a good thing if at minimum, both hives would have minimum of solid 8 brood plus 2 honey frames.

 

I was planning to have two hives, each running 2 x FD broods, and as many honey supers necessary pre Christmas. I want to end the season with minimum 2+ hives to approach winter. I'm sure between now and then, I'll be active here asking questions etc.

 

By the way that moving both hives has a sound logic behind it.  The issue I have is a sloped piece of land with a sunny north facing spot. Moving a meter either left or right (using the face of the hive as a reference point will mean a few hours with the shovel, though not impossible. Both hives would also end up higher and lower. Earthworks aside, the reason I would lean on the original site (queenless) with new site (split) is because I already have some leveled off spots around the 'altitude' of the slope.

 

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Corban Borrie said:

Because i'm tight with money and i'm keen to see nature in action, I want to attempt the split

Be aware that two hives will require twice as much gear. Being tight with money and splitting hives may not be happy bedfellows. Good luck. 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Corban Borrie I thought 2 hives would be ok but now I think 3 is a better number to run.

It gives you more options.

However it is quite a juggling act to keep to just three. It is much easier to just keep growing .

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

here are three posts from the november diary thread that act as a bit of a timing guide for walkaway splits

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2017 at 8:42 AM, kaihoka said:

@Corban Borrie I thought 2 hives would be ok but now I think 3 is a better number to run.

It gives you more options.

However it is quite a juggling act to keep to just three. It is much easier to just keep growing .

Thanks, yes I think i'll aim for 3 by season's end. But wisdom tells me not to try too many things in my first year. :D 

Also required on my end is to invest more into boxes and hardware to factor in the growth that occurs in spring and flow in summer.

I'm enjoying this journey so far :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2017 at 7:16 AM, Rob Stockley said:

Be aware that two hives will require twice as much gear. Being tight with money and splitting hives may not be happy bedfellows. Good luck. 

Thanks for the heads up. My spares are being used up as the hive expands. I got 4 x FD and 2 x 3/4 boxes only :P

 

I've got access to my friend's father's gear to borrow if need be, i'm just weary of using older equipment, even though he's had no history of AFB. His Apiary is however 30 meters away, so I don't know how big the risk is or is not presently. 

 

Otherwise Just In Time (JIT) method of purchasing might be my approach. :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I recommend getting some gear and having it spare? It’s very painful getting caught short and having a spare base, lid and some boxes is very handy. Also helps when you ruin your queen excluder in a fit of madness. For the extra rollers it costs it saves a ton of hassle and stress. And you can collect bonus swarms.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/11/2017 at 12:48 PM, Corban Borrie said:

Thanks for the heads up. My spares are being used up as the hive expands. I got 4 x FD and 2 x 3/4 boxes only :P

 

I've got access to my friend's father's gear to borrow if need be, i'm just weary of using older equipment, even though he's had no history of AFB. His Apiary is however 30 meters away, so I don't know how big the risk is or is not presently. 

 

Otherwise Just In Time (JIT) method of purchasing might be my approach. :D 

I aim for four FD boxes per colony. Every season so far I've only achieved a little over three FD boxes per colony due to swarms, splits, etc. It's not enough and leads to delayed manipulations which can damage the colonies concerned.

 

This season I'm trying to consolidate to fewer colonies to rein in the number of boxes I need. It's not working. 

Edited by Rob Stockley
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

This season I'm trying to consolidate to fewer colonies to rein in the number of boxes I need. It's not working. 

Dammit! I just checked what I thought was a queenless colony expecting to merge with its neighbour. What do I find? Great slabs of brood...oh well, better add another one to the tally.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Dammit! I just checked what I thought was a queenless colony expecting to merge with its neighbour. What do I find? Great slabs of brood...oh well, better add another one to the tally.

So how many hives do you have currently .

Where do you get your boxes ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

So how many hives do you have currently .

Where do you get your boxes ?

Back up to 19 :/ most of my boxes came from @dansar bees.

 

I think rather than replace old queens I'll cull and merge this year. Create fewer but stronger colonies. 

Edited by Rob Stockley
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Back up to 19 :/ most of my boxes came from @dansar bees.

 

I think rather than replace old queens I'll cull and merge this year. Create fewer but stronger colonies. 

I think the forum should run a sweep stake on how many you have at the end of the season .

I think 24  :)

  • Haha 1
  • Stirrer 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I think the forum should run a sweep stake on how many you have at the end of the season .

I think 24  :)

Oi! I represent that remark! 

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Back up to 19 :/ most of my boxes came from @dansar bees.

 

I think rather than replace old queens I'll cull and merge this year. Create fewer but stronger colonies. 

I was just going to suggest double queening the hives, combine them in to honey gathering monsters. And in the process halve your your hive numbers.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Bron we had 5 keas down here at sun up this morning.

i wonder if the big dry is bringing them down  from where ever they come from.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...