NZBF: Split of hives

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8
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
Hi there

I tried on Sunday splitting a hive for the first time. Managed to capture the Queen and moved the old hive about a meter a way and set the Queen up in a new hive on the old spot. I put 3 frames of honey in and the rest of the frames were undrawn. This morning g there are a lot of bees bearding at the new hive entrance. Am wondering if this is normal or did I damage the Queen in the move. Any feedback appreciated.
 

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8
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
How far away did you put the old queen less hive.
I suspect that all the bees from the original hive have returned to the original location.
About a metre. I’ve attached a photo of the other hive as well. There are still a few bees at the entrance of the old hive.
 

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8
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
About a metre. I’ve attached a photo of the other hive as well. There are still a few bees at the entrance of the old hive.
About a metre. I’ve attached a photo of the other hive as well. There are still a few bees at the entrance of the old hive.
About a metre. I’ve attached a photo of the other hive as well. There are still a few bees at the entrance of the old hive.
How far away did you put the old queen less hive.
I suspect that all the bees from the original hive have returned to the original location.
 

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8
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
Too close, I'm thinking
Thanks. What’s my next move? Do I put both hives back together? Or just move the old hive further away. Am a bit limited for space in the backyard. There heaps of capped and uncapped brood in the old hive so was hoping they’d make a new Queen.
 

Josh

Gold
787
525
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
If I’m not mistaken, this would be called a “walk away split”.

As a hobby person with little gear, no queen raising etc. I chose to try a “vertical split”. The advantage i saw is that it is spicy savy, and if it fails you simply merge them back together.

Look it up, or try this link
 
8,434
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Managed to capture the Queen and moved the old hive about a meter a way and set the Queen up in a new hive on the old spot.
this is why it has failed. you have done it back to front.

rule of thumb is shift the queen. so she should be in the hive you moved away.
also it works better if you face the hive to opposite way.
the nuc should be in the old spot with a couple of frames of brood with eggs.
the idea here is that the old hive has the queen and most of the brood so it can retain a lot of the bees in the new location.
as all the field bees will return to the old spot and fill up the nuc. there is always the risk that even with a queen the bees will drift back to the old location.

its very simple and quick to do, especially if you have one brood box with and excluder and a honey super.
the super becomes the nuc box and happens to have lots of bees in it. so all you need to do move the hive, put super as the nuc, put frames of brood/eggs (with no bees on them) into that (and honey frames back to the old brood box) and your done.
 
8,434
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
If I’m not mistaken, this would be called a “walk away split”.
its called "on site split".

the thing i don't like about some of the vertical split methods is if it needs special gear, like divider boards. also when you have to leave it long enough before you check the hive again otherwise you upset the queen mating etc and dealing with a dual hive is a pain.
with separate hives you can go check the queen right hive as per normal. just have to leave the nuc alone. a lot simpler.
 

tommy dave

Gold
BOP Club
166
183
mostly wellington, sometimes dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
if you're going to take the approach you have taken, move one hive half a metre left of the original position, and the other half a metre right. The foragers will approximately evenly distribute themselves between the two. About a week later, check the queenless split for emergency queen cells present, and give it a frame or two of capped brood from the queenright split to give it a numbers boost until the new queen hatches and gets going
 

tommy dave

Gold
BOP Club
166
183
mostly wellington, sometimes dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
Thanks. What’s my next move? Do I put both hives back together? Or just move the old hive further away. Am a bit limited for space in the backyard. There heaps of capped and uncapped brood in the old hive so was hoping they’d make a new Queen.
next move. Put the hives next to each other - with the now weaker hive closer to the original location than the now stronger one. Or basically just both touching the footprint of the original hive. Hope that description makes sense. Leave them alone for a few days, then inspect both and see what is happening. Good work posting early to trouble-shoot!

edit: if it was strong enough for a walkaway split, then both hives will probably need two boxes - it looks like they're one each. That would explain over-crowding and bearding on the hive on the original spot
 
8,434
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
if you're going to take the approach you have taken, move one hive half a metre left of the original position, and the other half a metre right. The foragers will approximately evenly distribute themselves between the two.
next move. Put the hives next to each other - with the now weaker hive closer to the original location than the now stronger one. Or basically just both touching the footprint of the original hive.

in my experience that typically doesn't work in this sort of situation.
the queen right hive will soak up almost all the bees, leaving next to nothing in the nuc, the brood will hatch out and they all end up back in the first hive.

the fix, put it all back together, let them all drift back in. give it a few days and then you can redo it.

edit: if it was strong enough for a walkaway split, then both hives will probably need two boxes
if you do it right, they will not need extra boxes.
one will have a lot of bees at the start but it has no queen. by the time a queen is laying the numbers will have come down.
the other will have less bees to start with, but with a laying queen they catch back up.
unless they start getting honey bound, i would wait a month or so before putting another box on.
 
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tommy dave

Gold
BOP Club
166
183
mostly wellington, sometimes dunedin
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in my experience that typically doesn't work in this sort of situation.

unless they start getting honey bound, i would wait a month or so before putting another box on.
flipside = in my experience it does. however, chances are neither of us are wrong? i tried your approach posted a year or so back to compare and learn, move queenright split back and facing opposite direction etc - also works - involves more admin at the start though..

I wonder if it comes down to the strength being split from? - i'd be splitting from a hive that needed more than two boxes in the first place, so two one box hives as splits wouldn't be enough, or at least would be super-crowded for the hive remaining on the original site
 
8,434
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
flipside = in my experience it does. however, chances are neither of us are wrong?
situations are often different. you mileage may vary. hive strength can change things a bit to.

but if you have queen in old location, thats a big reason for them to leave the nuc and go back. which is why we typically take the nuc away so they don't do that.
the reason you move the queen and most of the brood is to give the bees more reasons to stay and not drift back to the old location.
the other gets the old location. if you move both away from old location they will fly around looking for the hive and go to whatever has the queen in it.
you need to have something to hold them.
 
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tommy dave

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183
mostly wellington, sometimes dunedin
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hive strength can change things a bit to.

but if you have queen in old location, thats a big reason for them to leave the nuc and go back.
suspect that's exactly it - i don't consider either daughter a nuc, i split from a lot of strength, and both daughter hives are equally strong. A week later I figure out which has the queen, donate a couple of frames from the queen-right split to the other, and all ends up well. As soon as the parent hive is anything less than pumping, the approach i suggest is higher risk.
 
5,526
5,842
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Spliting 101.
Making up th duds and deads .... we'll start on that next weeks as the cells become available.
So on Thursday Friday this week we'll go around and whack queen excluders in the strong double brood boxes.
Mon ,Tuesday, Wednesday next week , three or so days later, we'll go around and look in those double broods for eggs.
The box with the eggs has the queen.
We'll make sure she has at least four frames of brood and bees, and pop her down on a dead bottom board. It may be on the same pallet, or the next door pallet, or if there are no deads in the yard we'll take along a truck load of pallets and move the queen right boxes away one evening.
We'll leave the queenlesss brood boxes for a day and then introduce a cell wrapped in masking tape.

Most important of all, we'll make sure thay have a couple of frames of Kai.
 
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3,371
6,239
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
We'll leave the queenlesss brood boxes for a day and then introduce a cell wrapped in masking tape.
I put the cell in at the same time as I split the hive and have never used protected cells except when I was doing experiments with induced supersedure.
You can put cells in at a later date if you don't have enough with you but I have found that cells and particularly cage Queens are accepted just as well or better when placed in the hive immediately it has been made queenless.
 

tudorcd

Founder Member
Gold
15
35
Otago Peninsula
Experience
Hobbyist
AS is to dislocate queen from brood i.e. queen stays on foot print with one frame of brood and lots of foundation other box has all the brood and a couple of open swarm cells for the young bees to cap. Opens backwards above solid split board, or is away. Most forager bees go back to footprint box, both boxes lots food.
Finding queen can be the only problem ...
 


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