NZBF: Split of hives

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8
4
auckland
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Beginner
Thanks all for the comments. I checked the Queenless box on new site and quite a lot of bees in it with lots of capped brood and plenty of honey and they have made some Queen cells so have just decided to leave it and see what happens. I have put another box on the hive with Queen at existing site. When I added the extra box the bees were super angry. Got a few stings through my suit which was a first.

I am wondering if they are actually now queenless. When I took the lid off they all just boiled out at me. Because they were so angry I just closed everything up once I put the new box on and closed everything up. Didn’t get chance to check for brood. Could they be queenless or out of honey. Wondering g if my best option is to get a new Queen as not keen on super angry hive.
 
8
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
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
Thanks. I might try this next time.
 
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Josh

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That reminds me…

@boyesee FYI. I chose to try vertical split because, as I understand it, you can combine again easily if it fails. And it requires no queen rearing or extra gear (split boards are easy DIY).

The main reason, I’ve destroyed two other hives in previous seasons trying to divide like you did (as described in many books etc) ‘cos it looked easy and less input/schedule required.

I think my attempts failed because I didn’t appreciate just how strong the “parent hive” had to be, to make two self sufficient “split hives”
 
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I think my attempts failed because I didn’t appreciate just how strong the “parent hive” had to be, to make two self sufficient “split hives”
thats something you need to watch.
an onsite split is trying to split a hive in half (or close to it) rather than make a nuc from a hive.
big difference is that parent hive will drop in size a lot with a split rather than a small amount with a nuc taken from it.
however the trade off is that the bigger the nuc is, the faster it builds up. plus big nucs tend to look after themselves better.

by moving the queen it becomes more of an artificial swarm, which is really handy if its a hive thats bursting at the seams and is about to go.
 
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tommy dave

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Thanks all for the comments. I checked the Queenless box on new site and quite a lot of bees in it with lots of capped brood and plenty of honey and they have made some Queen cells so have just decided to leave it and see what happens
sounds perfect, now that you know they have capped cells and are raising an emergency queen, think about how long until your next inspection and what you'll be looking for. My suggestion, but as @tristan indicated - mileage may vary, and if there are a lot of counter-opinions you should consider them very carefully and think on whether alternative approaches are better, anyway, my suggestion:

  • They're raising a queen from an egg or young larvae at time of split - so you'll have an emerging queen at around day 14 after the split.
  • You don't really want to be opening a hive up with a likely just emerged virgin queen running around (that may vary with more experience)
  • Queen is likely to head out on mating flights +/- a week after hatching (so about 21 days after the split)
  • You'll likely have brood in young stages about 28 days after the split.
  • I suggest not opening the hive again until about this time ^ 28 days after the split.

. I have put another box on the hive with Queen at existing site. When I added the extra box the bees were super angry. Got a few stings through my suit which was a first.
I am wondering if they are actually now queenless. When I took the lid off they all just boiled out at me. Because they were so angry I just closed everything up once I put the new box on and closed everything up. Didn’t get chance to check for brood. Could they be queenless or out of honey. Wondering g if my best option is to get a new Queen as not keen on super angry hive.
What were the stores like at the time of the split?
Also, if you're getting stung through the suit then that's pretty aggro or the suit is really thin (maybe a combo), what's your smoker use and control like? including temperature of smoke (hot smoke is bad).
If they didn't have a queen at the time of the split then so long as they also had brood frames all stages then they should also be raising a new queen.
 
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Dave Black

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They're raising a queen from an egg or young larvae at time of split - so you'll have an emerging queen at around day 14 after the split.
If you force an emergency queen with a split they will use a larva, and it could be 3 days old.
Subtract the 3 days for the egg that have passed; subtract the 3 days the larva has already had (6 days in all) from the 15 days total it takes to form a queen.
Queens only pupate for 7 days tops, they make emergency queens quickly.
 

Josh

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@boyesee how did the split go?

My vertical shows lots of empty cells, but no laying queen at 4 weeks. So I've added a couple of egg frames as a test. Either they're QR but not laying yet, or the queen failed to mate. Will check for cells again in 10-14 days.
 
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Josh

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No cells generated by my two frames of eggs, because I had a queen 😅 The rather unreliable weather and whatever else was at play, meant there must have been a small delay in mating. But found a nice fat queen today with solid brood lay up. Very chuffed, this successful split and two healthy nucs from @BRB means I’m back up to 4 hives again.
 
8
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
sounds perfect, now that you know they have capped cells and are raising an emergency queen, think about how long until your next inspection and what you'll be looking for. My suggestion, but as @tristan indicated - mileage may vary, and if there are a lot of counter-opinions you should consider them very carefully and think on whether alternative approaches are better, anyway, my suggestion:

  • They're raising a queen from an egg or young larvae at time of split - so you'll have an emerging queen at around day 14 after the split.
  • You don't really want to be opening a hive up with a likely just emerged virgin queen running around (that may vary with more experience)
  • Queen is likely to head out on mating flights +/- a week after hatching (so about 21 days after the split)
  • You'll likely have brood in young stages about 28 days after the split.
  • I suggest not opening the hive again until about this time ^ 28 days after the split.


What were the stores like at the time of the split?
Also, if you're getting stung through the suit then that's pretty aggro or the suit is really thin (maybe a combo), what's your smoker use and control like? including temperature of smoke (hot smoke is bad).
If they didn't have a queen at the time of the split then so long as they also had brood frames all stages then they should also be raising a new queen.
So update after a few weeks…the hive with the old Queen on the old site is doing really well. I put the extra box on and that seemed to calm things down. After checking back about a week later the queen had laid about 4 frames of new larvae in the new box in great pattern. Activity in hive back to normal so have just left them to it.

The new hive on the new site though. Had several Queen cells so I left. Activity picked up and on a couple of afternoons had lots of bees swaying back and forward outside so thought might be a mating flight. About a week after that the hive swarmed. (Just what I was trying to prevent!) Recaptured the swarm and rehoused. The new hive still had a few Queen cells and I couldn’t see a queen so squashed all but one and have left hive. Checking in again on this hive in couple of days to see if it now has queen.
 
8
4
auckland
Experience
Beginner
sounds perfect, now that you know they have capped cells and are raising an emergency queen, think about how long until your next inspection and what you'll be looking for. My suggestion, but as @tristan indicated - mileage may vary, and if there are a lot of counter-opinions you should consider them very carefully and think on whether alternative approaches are better, anyway, my suggestion:

  • They're raising a queen from an egg or young larvae at time of split - so you'll have an emerging queen at around day 14 after the split.
  • You don't really want to be opening a hive up with a likely just emerged virgin queen running around (that may vary with more experience)
  • Queen is likely to head out on mating flights +/- a week after hatching (so about 21 days after the split)
  • You'll likely have brood in young stages about 28 days after the split.
  • I suggest not opening the hive again until about this time ^ 28 days after the split.


What were the stores like at the time of the split?
Also, if you're getting stung through the suit then that's pretty aggro or the suit is really thin (maybe a combo), what's your smoker use and control like? including temperature of smoke (hot smoke is bad).
If they didn't have a queen at the time of the split then so long as they also had brood frames all stages then they should also be raising a new queen.
Cool thanks. Have been working on smoker use. Definitely make a difference to use a little smoke but more often. Think I was blowing too much smoke in.
sounds perfect, now that you know they have capped cells and are raising an emergency queen, think about how long until your next inspection and what you'll be looking for. My suggestion, but as @tristan indicated - mileage may vary, and if there are a lot of counter-opinions you should consider them very carefully and think on whether alternative approaches are better, anyway, my suggestion:

  • They're raising a queen from an egg or young larvae at time of split - so you'll have an emerging queen at around day 14 after the split.
  • You don't really want to be opening a hive up with a likely just emerged virgin queen running around (that may vary with more experience)
  • Queen is likely to head out on mating flights +/- a week after hatching (so about 21 days after the split)
  • You'll likely have brood in young stages about 28 days after the split.
  • I suggest not opening the hive again until about this time ^ 28 days after the split.


What were the stores like at the time of the split?
Also, if you're getting stung through the suit then that's pretty aggro or the suit is really thin (maybe a combo), what's your smoker use and control like? including temperature of smoke (hot smoke is bad).
If they didn't have a queen at the time of the split then so long as they also had brood frames all stages then they should also be raising a new queen.
am trying different approach with smoke and doing small amount of smoke more regular and when the bees start clumping on top of frames. Seems to be working better.
 


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