Jump to content

Splitting hives: think I've messed up : (


Recommended Posts

HI all,

Hoping for some excellent advice. I did my first split as per the Kiwimana website (http://kiwimana.co.nz/how-to-split-a-beehive/). I thought I'd be a bit clever and do two of my hives at once.

Day 1 I made up a FD box from each hive, shook off all the bees and put in 4 frames of eggs and brood, 2 of pollen, 2 of honey and 2 empty - arranged around the brood - put them back on top of each hive with a queen excluder in between.

Day 2 I had two boxes full of nurse bees so I took them off the two respective hives, put a couple of sheets of newspaper in between, combined them on a base. Closed them up and let them sit overnight.

Day 3 I took one of the "old hives' and moved it 100m away, closed it up. Moved the new hive into its place, opened it up.

Day 4 I opened up the old hive, put a leafy branch in front of the entrance to help them reorient. Patted myself on the back and got a bit smug.

Today - I've got almost every bee from the old hive trying to get into the new hive. There's a giant queue at the entrance and they're bearding all over the front of the hive. They're not fighting but it's raining and they're getting pretty cold. I put an old window frame diagonally over the front of the hive to at least give them some shelter. The old hive still has bees coming and going but considering it was a very strong hive with 3 FD boxes, there's not enough. I haven't opened anything up yet but I suspect they haven't got through the newspaper and so I have a whole hive of bees trying to get into one FD box, hence the logjam.

What to do? Move the old hive back into place quickly? Open up the new one, bust the newspaper and add a FD box on top to give them some room? All advice welcome, cheers!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Hi Pipkin, all the flight bees are just going back to the old site, which is normal.

 

I wonder why you combined the two 'nurse bee' split hives though? You should have two separate splits, or 4 hives now.

 

There won't be much flying at all around the split hive(s) for a few weeks until the nurse bees turn into flight bees.

 

There is nothing wrong with the Kiwimana split method, except the split will be very strong. I would go in at some point and make sure there is only one capped queen cell, or they may swarm

 

Cheers

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya, thanks for your reply. I didn't want two more hives, I'm trying to keep my number of hives down till I get some more knowledge under my belt :( I have 4 in total - now - which I thought was enough to be going on with. I split as I had two super strong hives and I was trying to do some swarm prevention. Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of things that would concern me.

Does the top box of your split have any ventilation? If they havent chewed through the newspaper and they have no top entrance they can overheat if its a sunny day.

Other question. How many frames of brood did you leave in the hive you shifted? If theres quite a few the brood may get chilled if most of the foragers are going to the old site, they can also go hungry if you didn't leave enough honey on as the loss of foragers means theres very little fresh nectar coming in.

 

I dont want to get you worried because its probably all ok but just thought it was worth mentioning.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
A couple of things that would concern me.

Does the top box of your split have any ventilation? If they havent chewed through the newspaper and they have no top entrance they can overheat if its a sunny day.

Other question. How many frames of brood did you leave in the hive you shifted? If theres quite a few the brood may get chilled if most of the foragers are going to the old site, they can also go hungry if you didn't leave enough honey on as the loss of foragers means theres very little fresh nectar coming in.

 

I dont want to get you worried because its probably all ok but just thought it was worth mentioning.

Thanks for that - very good points. I couldn't stand it any longer so I just went out and had a quick check. The original hive had almost no bees coming and going today but when I opened it up it had a pretty healthy population over three boxes so they're OK. I might pop a feeder of syrup on tomorrow just to make sure they have enough to eat, but the kanuka has just started flowering here so there's loads of food.

 

The new hive/split was absolutely seething with bees. They had gone through the newspaper and were just packed everywhere. So I popped a new box with drawn out comb on top and scooped up everyone that was stuck on the front, dropped them into the top and shut it up quickly. Man they were feisty!! I've never had a queenless hive before, but now I understand what people are talking about when they say a queenless hive "roars"!! I'll keep an eye on the split and make sure they only raise one queen. Thanks for your advice - I love this forum :)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for that - very good points. I couldn't stand it any longer so I just went out and had a quick check. The original hive had almost no bees coming and going today but when I opened it up it had a pretty healthy population over three boxes so they're OK. I might pop a feeder of syrup on tomorrow just to make sure they have enough to eat, but the kanuka has just started flowering here so there's loads of food.

 

The new hive/split was absolutely seething with bees. They had gone through the newspaper and were just packed everywhere. So I popped a new box with drawn out comb on top and scooped up everyone that was stuck on the front, dropped them into the top and shut it up quickly. Man they were feisty!! I've never had a queenless hive before, but now I understand what people are talking about when they say a queenless hive "roars"!! I'll keep an eye on the split and make sure they only raise one queen. Thanks for your advice - I love this forum :)

Well done:)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Haha, thanks for your nice words. It was supposed to be a cunning plan to not end up with twice the number of hives at the end of the season. Looks like it might have worked - for now. One thing I've learned about this beekeeping lark is that no amount of reading and research helps - the little blighters will always surprise you. Although that doesn't mean I'm not out there rolling round in the grass with an ipad, a camera and a load of books, trying to figure out what they're up to. :devil:

Hi,

I have finally worked out what you have been trying to achieve - there is a simpler way, just do your usual splits and then unite the hives from 4 to 2 when the honey flow starts, and you can be back to 2 hives, and a big crop of honey.

Or have I missed something ? I always try to keep it Easy ...

:)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...