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ThomasR

When to split - commercial ?

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i want to know when is the best time to split, i want to split my hive and still get a pretty good harvest ? any chance anyone know when they do their splits and how well they did ? i did some last year but left them a little late so i ended up with a low harvest :) cheers all, appreciate your feedback

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best time to split is when there is the most bees and drones ... AFTER the harvest

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i want to know when is the best time to split, i want to split my hive and still get a pretty good harvest ? any chance anyone know when they do their splits and how well they did ? i did some last year but left them a little late so i ended up with a low harvest :) cheers all, appreciate your feedback

I made nucs in november that went on to fill two fd boxes of honey, only you will know when the flow usually starts in your area. Not ideal building up on a flow but it csn work if the nuc is of good strength.

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either after harvest or split any over strength hive as part of swarm control.

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I split overly strong hives during the spring build up as part of my swarming control.

Generally I make really strong splits and let them make their own queen usually October and November. As Danial said they build well during the honey flow (depending on the wind honey flow locally is November to January) and will give a box or two of surplus honey, (full strength production hives give me 4 or 5 boxes in a good year). I then make up Autumn splits/Nuc's with mated queens, generally these are smallish being 1 frame of brood and a few shakes of bees from the honey boxes. Between the spring splits and the autumn nucs it is easy to double-plus hive numbers each season (even with normal losses).

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I split overly strong hives during the spring build up as part of my swarming control.

Generally I make really strong splits and let them make their own queen usually October and November. As Danial said they build well during the honey flow (depending on the wind honey flow locally is November to January) and will give a box or two of surplus honey, (full strength production hives give me 4 or 5 boxes in a good year). I then make up Autumn splits/Nuc's with mated queens, generally these are smallish being 1 frame of brood and a few shakes of bees from the honey boxes. Between the spring splits and the autumn nucs it is easy to double-plus hive numbers each season (even with normal losses).

 

@Shaun, when you make the autumn splits is that typically Feb/March? Do you do varroa treatment before those splits? Do you find some of those autumn splits struggle to produce enough stores for winter/spring?

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@Shaun, when you make the autumn splits is that typically Feb/March? Do you do varroa treatment before those splits? Do you find some of those autumn splits struggle to produce enough stores for winter/spring?

Yes I make up nucs around March - April for autumn nucs.

And being nucs I plan on feeding them through the winter, usually 3 or 4 frames of honey until they are strong enough around end of August to go into a full size box. Nucs generally get their own Varroa treatment.

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Hi What do you consider a overly strong hive, two brood boxes full of eggs, larva and capped brood ?

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Hi What do you consider a overly strong hive, two brood boxes full of eggs, larva and capped brood ?

Yep;)

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Hi What do you consider a overly strong hive, two brood boxes full of eggs, larva and capped brood ?

The critical factor is whether there is laying space, and there won't be if the bees are filling hatched cells with nectar.

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Thanks, will the queen ever go down into the bottom box, drafty and damp downstairs or do I need to put the bottom box on the top ?. I have two full brood boxes on top, one full depth and one 3/4 but bottom box empty.

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Ok. Yep, put the empty box on top. They move up during winter and I move them back down stairs. Splitting is up to you. If you have two boxes of brood with eggs, it can be as simple as moving one of the brood boxes to another spot with a new floor, hive mat and roof. No need to find the queen that way. The queen less hive will make another . It really depends on how many hives you want

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Hi What do you consider a overly strong hive, two brood boxes full of eggs, larva and capped brood ?

not always.

need to factor in the amount of bees. also likelihood of swarming.

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If you have two boxes of brood with eggs, it can be as simple as moving one of the brood boxes to another spot with a new floor, hive mat and roof. No need to find the queen that way.

i hate that method.

failure rate is high and quality is low.

its so much better to spend a few more minutes and do the job properly.

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.....it can be as simple as moving one of the brood boxes to another spot with a new floor, hive mat and roof. No need to find the queen that way. The queen less hive will make another .

Yeh nah, not the best advice. An excellent way to have one Of the boxes swarm, amongst other things. Not my best work :what::sleep:

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Hey tristan, could you please explain how to do the job properly? Am looking at trying to get another hive as I only have one left after this winter and found its good to have two incase issues arise.

My remaining hive is doing really well at the moment, i dont want to split until it is really really healthy though, so reading here seems to wait till 2 boxes seem quite full of brood.

Questions are. Its it really as simple as putting a frame of brood into new box with a shake of bees? And some stores perhaps..

Does it matter which hive the queen ends up in? Is it ok if the new hive is right next to the old hive?

Thanks for all your help again!!

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Hey tristan, could you please explain how to do the job properly?

so reading here seems to wait till 2 boxes seem quite full of brood.

i would wait even longer than that.

heaps of info on here about splitting hives.

i would wait untill its 4-5 boxes of bees (eg 2 brood 3 supers). you want to get the hive up to full strength. i like @tudor saying of "split from strength to strength".

then do a simple half split. basically move old queen and most of the brood aside and leave behind a small amount of brood and your queen cell (or mated queen etc). one hive gets the queen and brood, the other gets the field bees. there is variations on how you add queen or requeen the old one etc.

a bit of basic checking that they have brood/queen in the right box etc (especially if top brood box is full of honey). thats the important bit, actually checking that you have brood etc where you need it to be.

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Ok thanks a lot. Ill wait for quite some time longer then. possibly just split after honey season. Guess im just weighing up the bonus/security of having extra hive with not wanting to end up with 2 weak dying hives. if i see a swarm cell I can jump on it then, but dont see that happening anytime soon.

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I have a question about managing single fd brood with one to two fd honey supers . What I'm trying to get my head around is how to control the size of the hive to avoid overcrowding . In the past I have just kept adding supers , but this year we are planning to harvest regularly with minimal honey supers . Would a recommendation be pull a nuc out of the strong ones every now and then or would we risk knocking the hive back too much with only a single brood box ?

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What I'm trying to get my head around is how to control the size of the hive to avoid overcrowding

its not much of a problem once your past swarm season. once they are into main flows they will get stuck into it and you will have ahive with a beard. however i still like to have enough boxes on that they don't have a beard. don't forget they can fill them very fast and that can catch you out if you don't have enough boxes on.

one problem you can run into is they can end up filling the brood with honey and your bee numbers will drop early.

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Thats the problem I can see ahead . With the strong hives and only one or two supers on they wont cap it quick enough for me to extract before they start backfilling the brood with nectar . The hives that took a hit with swarming or karaka poisoning earlier , they have capped a full depth honey super and with the new queens , they have filled the brood frames nicely . Its this next 2-3wk period I'm thinking about as the hive numbers will double , as will the amount of nectar coming in , weather permitting . My leg issues have made doing things on time a little tricky , otherwise its been an interesting learning curve this year .

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