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I would appreciate thoughts on my thinking/actions...

 

I have 2 hives that were started in October from nucs...

One has progressed to single FD Brood, QE, 3 supers all 70-80% capped

Second is single FD Brood, QE, 1 super 70-80% capped

 

Today set up for a top split for both hives by adding second FD to each, half of brood into the top FD, added undrawn frames to top up each FD box to 8 frames and empty feeder. (I plan to feed regularly over winter as hives at home...). QE between the two FD and queen in bottom FD.

Replaced supers as they were...

 

Have cells due next week and I will swap QE for hive mat, top FD will have entrance at rear.

Will add escape boards when cells added as I want the honey ;)

 

I figure the bees exiting the supers may be more likely to stay with the top split by leaving them until the split actually happens? I have read many posts on this forum and wondering if it may make sense to place an empty super below the bee escapes to encourage the bees down?

 

I'm a bit concerned about the drawn frames being able to be drawn and ready for use over winter? Am I being greedy?

 

Good number of drones in hives today, plenty of brood, some pollen and honey, but most stores in supers, incl some pollen. Hoping there is still some flow as evident by nectar in hives today...

 

Loving the thinking and variation in approaches evident on the forums.

 

Any, all feedback appreciated.

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undrawn frames, depends on what your honey flow is doing. if its going strong should be ok. if not they won't be drawn out unless you feed.

 

what size supers do you have ?

 

would be best to put escape boards on before you add cells. you want a good queen smell to come up so bees will come down through the escape board. it also means they have the room underneath the escape board (2 fd instead of one).

 

the 2nd weaker hive i would be inclined not to split. it does depend on strength and i'm guessing due to it only having one super its not very strong. they may not have enough time to get back to strength for winter.

 

the other issue is with queen in the bottom and nuc on top, its unlikely to be an even split. ie old queen will be a lot stronger than the nuc on top.

the other issue is how are you going to feed them, especially the bottom one. or is there enough flow left to fill them?

any reason for the top split rather than separating them?

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If they were my hives. ...

 

First choice is leave them alone to over winter then split in spring. Low risk.

 

Second choice. I'd replace the undrawn frames with honey frames from the supers. So you end up with 5+5 in each brood box. They'll likely be light on pollen so watch out for that. Remove the honey but don't split yet. The hive will be very full. The day before your cell is due split the hive with a crown board. Confine the queen to the bottom box, rotate the hive 180 degrees and create a front entrance for the top FD. The next day add your cell to the top box. One week later move the boxes onto their own bases but don't don't change their direction. Add a top feeder to each and give them as much 2:1 as they'll take.

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undrawn frames, depends on what your honey flow is doing. if its going strong should be ok. if not they won't be drawn out unless you feed.

 

what size supers do you have ?

 

would be best to put escape boards on before you add cells. you want a good queen smell to come up so bees will come down through the escape board. it also means they have the room underneath the escape board (2 fd instead of one).

 

the 2nd weaker hive i would be inclined not to split. it does depend on strength and i'm guessing due to it only having one super its not very strong. they may not have enough time to get back to strength for winter.

 

the other issue is with queen in the bottom and nuc on top, its unlikely to be an even split. ie old queen will be a lot stronger than the nuc on top.

the other issue is how are you going to feed them, especially the bottom one. or is there enough flow left to fill them?

any reason for the top split rather than separating them?

 

Thanks heaps for your feedback, awesome...

Supers are 3/4

So very obvious in hindsight about issues feeding the bottom hive :P, Thanks!

 

So...

on Green (weaker) hive yesterday I basically returned to original state and left second FD on top with some feed and feeder. I will not be splitting now. Escape boards on with intent of removing supers tomorrow pm (approx 48 hours on...) I will feed and hope there is some drawing of the frames in the new FD in prep for a good start in spring...

 

On the blue hive yesterday I put the lightest super above the two FD, Escape board and the two well capped supers above this with intent of removing these two supers tomorrow pm (approx 48 hours on...). Leaving some feed for wintering down? and wondering about removing QE to allow Queen across both FD brood boxes to 'even' them out?

If... I get access to a queen cell on Sunday I will split, but put the top FD beside original (moving both slightly to put entrances equal distance from 'original' hive entrance, thus removing any issues with feeding. Although I am leaning away from this as March is ticking along...?

 

Quite surprised by how much more capped honey there was since last week, probably 7 frames, 95-100% capped, so does this indicate still some flow... Not much wax drawn, bit of a start on a couple of the frames inside face...

 

Once again thanks, and any more ideas welcomed

 

 

If they were my hives. ...

 

First choice is leave them alone to over winter then split in spring. Low risk.

 

Second choice. I'd replace the undrawn frames with honey frames from the supers. So you end up with 5+5 in each brood box. They'll likely be light on pollen so watch out for that. Remove the honey but don't split yet. The hive will be very full. The day before your cell is due split the hive with a crown board. Confine the queen to the bottom box, rotate the hive 180 degrees and create a front entrance for the top FD. The next day add your cell to the top box. One week later move the boxes onto their own bases but don't don't change their direction. Add a top feeder to each and give them as much 2:1 as they'll take.

 

Thanks Rob

 

I think I'm somewhere in the middle of your feedback!

As above, leaving the weak hive.

If I leave one super on over autumn will they pull it down to brood box?, similar to putting super frames in FD but without hassle of burr comb on bottom of frames? I will definitely be going down the path of FD next to each other as you suggest over winter if I do split the stronger hive.

 

Appreciate your time. Looking forward to honey removal and extraction tomorrow/Sat:eek:

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your splitting method i'm not a fan of (extra work for nothing).

the good thing is at least your building your split and not doing it blind.

 

whatever way you do it, i try to make them end up being even. the reason here is that you don't want to go into winter with a weak hive. especially when you have a strong hive next to it.

just keep in mind on how your going to achieve that. putting the two entrances next to each other can help, i don't usually do that as normally i can't due to space.

i prefer to have parent moved with bulk of brood with queen and nuc in the original location with minimal brood but bulk of the field bees. +/- a bit due to hive strength.

just a quick way to split with single FD broods.

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your splitting method i'm not a fan of (extra work for nothing).

the good thing is at least your building your split and not doing it blind.

 

whatever way you do it, i try to make them end up being even. the reason here is that you don't want to go into winter with a weak hive. especially when you have a strong hive next to it.

just keep in mind on how your going to achieve that. putting the two entrances next to each other can help, i don't usually do that as normally i can't due to space.

i prefer to have parent moved with bulk of brood with queen and nuc in the original location with minimal brood but bulk of the field bees. +/- a bit due to hive strength.

just a quick way to split with single FD broods.

Thanks again

I agree I won't fluff around with what I have done this time in the future. First time at it and my plan to split and move on Friday was canned last minute. Suggested to me to prepare for split by doing the top. Was quite keen to try it and I enjoyed more practice with the bees and thinking my actions through.

When you split as described is it with queen cell in the nuc at original site?

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sorry i should have added....

 

lifting up brood above the excluder, then splitting, is technically a good way of doing it.

it does have some good advantages but it does take more time etc and overall not really needed.

but if for eg your putting escape boards on at the time, why not take advantage of the opportunity and do it the better way.

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Not wanting to hijack the thread I have a similar situation re splitting the hive but different questions....

 

I am a newbee hobbyist that had a single hive started in Oct last year.

Have had 1 x FD and 1 x 3/4D Brood boxes and I split them a week ago.

Methodology I used was a clean split of the two brood boxes of which both had plenty of pollen, honey larvae and eggs.

 

Placed next to each other and also culled the queen introducing new queens to both after 48hrs.

 

I also had 2 x 3/4 supers on the hive that had a mix of partially drawn out frames and full capped frames (and some in between)

 

Today I removed the Queen excluder from the hive and left one 3/4 above the 3/4 brood box that had about 3 frames of fully drawn out and capped honey and the rest only partially drawn out with minimal nectar in parts.

 

 

My quandary with this one is with the other 3/4 super that was only partially drawn out and I think excess to requirements. What the heck do you do with the frames of nectar and partially drawn out comb? (first year newbee issues)

 

My initial reaction is to leave the super out in the open nearby for the bees from both hives to rob and replenish their hives with minimal effort.

 

Is this a bad idea? My biggest fear is that other bees and wasps will also come and lead to robbing of the hives as well.

 

Also, I was thinking of waiting another week or two to confirm the new queens (they were virgin queens) are actually laying and going strong before applying varroa treatment. Would appreciate any thoughts on that as well.

 

Many thanks.

 

Glenn

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i would either leave the other 3/4 super on the FD hive above the excluder.

or extract and store it your shed etc. don't forget next season you going to have a whole lot of supers to store.

 

i would guess, judging the by the lack of drawn out supers, that the hive wasn't really up to splitting strength.

now your going to build the hives up quickly. hopefully you might have a good end of season flow, otherwise your going to have feed a lot of 1:1 syrup.

 

don't put anything out for bees to rob. with hives so weak they will get robbed out as well.

 

queens may take 2-5 weeks before laying. might have been better to treat mites when you split it, otherwise i would do it now. take advantage of the brood break.

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i would either leave the other 3/4 super on the FD hive above the excluder.

or extract and store it your shed etc. don't forget next season you going to have a whole lot of supers to store.

 

i would guess, judging the by the lack of drawn out supers, that the hive wasn't really up to splitting strength.

now your going to build the hives up quickly. hopefully you might have a good end of season flow, otherwise your going to have feed a lot of 1:1 syrup.

 

don't put anything out for bees to rob. with hives so weak they will get robbed out as well.

 

queens may take 2-5 weeks before laying. might have been better to treat mites when you split it, otherwise I would do it now. take advantage of the brood break.

Thanks Tristan.

Both brood boxes were absolutely jammed packed and thriving. I had harvested 18litres (not sure of weight) of honey in Feb and put supers back on. In hindsight should probably have added another super rather than harvested and put back on.... Live and learn

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it might be ok.

not sure how you have extracted supers and only have part drawn out supers :confused:

Yeah sorry not clear on my part. They went back on the hive after extraction about 3 weeks ago. No extractor so used crush and strain. The frames went back on wet but obviously very little wax/comb left so had to be drawn out again.

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Yeah sorry not clear on my part. They went back on the hive after extraction about 3 weeks ago. No extractor so used crush and strain. The frames went back on wet but obviously very little wax/comb left so had to be drawn out again.

the penny drops !

ok so its not to bad then. a bit of forward planning and leaving the right box on would have helped. something to remember for next time.

may still have to feed to draw out comb in the brood boxes, depending on flow. something you will have to watch. if comb isn't being drawn then feed 1:1 syrup. best not to have any supers on those hives.

 

also watch the bee numbers. if one is weak and other is strong it may pay to balance them.

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  • 5 weeks later...

@tristan

@Rob Stockley

Thanks for your feedback last month. Just to let you know my split has worked so far... New Queen is laying well and was moving confidently around her new home (y). My biggest issue going into winter may be the lack of drawn comb on the few new frames in the brood box. Have feed and will continue to do so over winter.

 

Have killed one wasp nest within 50m of hives and attempted kill on a bigger one the roadside 100m up the road. No more wasps... Looking into Vespex for next year?

 

Forgot to mention the highlight of extracting 35kg of honey, great fun for whole family (for the first time!, we will see next year!)

Been feeling pretty good giving it away to family and friends, feel quite proud of my bees efforts when positive feedback received...

Creamed 10kg, rest packed as liquid gold! :D

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