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Mandala method for splitting 3 hives to 15 nucs

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A Brazilian beekeeper has developed a technique for splitting three hives with queens removed into either ten or fifteen nucleus boxes. It uses the nucs arranged in a circular mandala pattern. Brood and stores frames are distributed around the nucs. The bees thrown into the centre of the circle. Some adjustments can be made to equalize the populations in the nucs. Virgin queens are added afterward.

Several links here to videos in Portuguese but easy enough to follow (even if you have the sound off).

 

Method of division and equalisation of hives created by Ediney de O Magalhães

(Método de Divisão e Equalização de enxames criado por Ediney de O Magalhães)

 

Mandala hive division 3 into 15

(Divisão De Enxames Mandala 3 Para 15) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6krviuA0DWI

 

I translated the captions in case you are curious what they mean:

  • Remove the queens (Retire a rainha) from three hives.
  • Position nucs in a circle. (Nucleos em circulo)
  • Put the frames in the nucs. (Coloque os quadros nos nucleos)
  • Close the nucs. (Tampe os nucleos)
  • Throw the bees into the centre of the circle. (Jogeum as abelhas no centro do circulo)
  • Observe the bees are entering uniformly. (Observe se estao entrando uniformemente)
  • Take 3 nucs to the original hive sites. (Leve 3 nucleos para o local de origem)
  • Leave for 20 minutes until the field bees/workers enter. (Deixe por 20 minutos para entrar as campieras)
  • Block the entrance. (Faca a camara escura)
  • Introduce virgin queens in the divided nucs. (Nos nucleos divididos sao coloca as princesas)

 

Thiago Nunes youtube videos are much longer although in Portuguese the steps are easy to see.

Divisão Mandala APIS 01   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLfqhh4Fr9k 

Divisão Mandala APIS 02   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hxZyf9w5_U

Divisão Mandala APIS 03   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaoedZPnqu8 

 

News item in Portuguese about training beekeepers on the Mandala technique.

Beekeepers are learning new techniques of hive splitting in the south of the state (Bahia Brasil)

(Apicultores estão aprendendo novas técnicas para multiplicação de enxames no sul do estado).

http://g1.globo.com/bahia/bahia-rural/videos/t/todos-os-videos/v/apicultores-estao-aprendendo-novas-tecnicas-para-multiplicacao-de-enxames-no-sul-do-estado/6972788/

 

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But why?

Its effectively a 2 frame nuc and a shake of bees. And  lot of fluffing around ....walking one frame at a time to the circle of nucs.

 

Can anyone think of a reason there would be advantage in this method?

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That aint such a new idea , been around a long time just refreshed

 

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i don't see that being any different to what a lot do anyway.

 

basically its make nucs out of hives and take them to new site and arrange in a pattern.

except they have added take hives to nuc site to split. take old queens back to hive site. just adding more work for the same thing.

  • Agree 3

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16 hours ago, olbe said:

That aint such a new idea , been around a long time just refreshed 

8 hours ago, tristan said:

i don't see that being any different to what a lot do anyway. 

There was an interview where the trainer said it was an modification of another method; so the Brazilians would likely agree with you.

Perhaps this is a variation of the Vince Cook circle split and/or some others as well. I don't have the book Queen rearing simplified however this link gives a nice description of using the circle split method on one hive:

https://theapiarist.org/tag/vince-cook/

 

18 hours ago, Mummzie said:

But why?

Its effectively a 2 frame nuc and a shake of bees. And  lot of fluffing around ....walking one frame at a time to the circle of nucs.

Can anyone think of a reason there would be advantage in this method?

I found it interesting it was being promoted in Brazil and it appears to be working for them so far. The commentary stated more even and stronger nucs than a previous method. Apiculture there seems to be expanding and training a lot of young beeks (from what I've viewed recently) with some focus on re-queening for improving hive productivity.

A benefit they promoted was equalization; if the donor hive strengths were significantly different, or if one was not queenright?

Perhaps a team of less experienced beeks could manage this method and get a decent result more often than with some other traditional methods?

The 3 to15 appeared to leave some quite small nucs that might not go so well in NZ with a cold southwester. The 3 to 10 more realistic.

 

Putting an undetected AFB infection in ten or more nucs (as opposed to three or four) is an obvious and significant risk!

I will be sticking to splitting strong 3 to 5 frame splits from a single donor hive.

 

8 hours ago, tristan said:

basically its make nucs out of hives and take them to new site and arrange in a pattern.

except they have added take hives to nuc site to split. take old queens back to hive site. just adding more work for the same thing. 

Agreed, more risk, more fluffing, more walking, more bending down, and a big cloud of bees that won't impress a hobbyist's neighbours. A good chance of tripping over with two hands full of frames too!

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i think its far better to understand whats going on than to follow a "method".

 

putting them in circle is generally just for bees and queen to know which nuc is theirs. adding different shapes etc helps with that.

equalizing them can be a good but needs to be done with caution. timing is important.

the rest of it is just building nucs. nothing new there.

  • Agree 1

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