Best time frame for splitting a hive

After the helpful advice I received following my post a few days ago regarding my concerns that my hive was being robbed, I was able to do a hive inspection yesterday.

I found lots of bees, eggs, capped brood, honey and pollen stores and a fair amount of capped drone brood. I currently have a 2 full depth super set up and there was capped brood, eggs and larvae in both boxes.

What I did not see was a lot of space, so I feel that I will need to split the hive.

What would be the best time frame to carry out this split?

I have pre-ordered a queen from a supplier, but they will not be available until mid October. ( I ordered the queen as this hive came from a swarm, so I don’t have any information regarding the current queen)

Should I carry out a walk away split, or wait for the new queen to arrive? I have a work colleague who has a feral hive in a bird box in their yard that they have asked me to remove, so I could use the queen on that colony.

Should I wait until I see Drones emerging from my hive, which would hopefully indicate that there are Drones from other hives in the area?

Should I carry out the split on my next inspection (hopefully in about 10 days or so, weather dependent) as by the time my hive produces a queen, there will be Drones about?

Any other advice would be appreciated.


Why not add a super?


If you add a super and open the broodnest you will probably get a good harvest and could even do a split when your queen arrives. This all depends on where you are located though.



If your current Queen came with this swarm & it sounds as if they are thriving why would you need to re queen? If you do end up doing a split you could just as easily let them make their own?


Morning Bro from Stateside… I’m with the others … I’d just add an addition super to keep them happy n building a stronger hive n work force … This way you save $$$'s n probably score a good harvest there.

The only reason for a split of any kind is that they are already making Swarm/Queen cells or you just want a second hive. If your answer is “NO” to those thots … I’d quickly add an additional super n keep them going for n a possible great harvest !

Good luck n happy beekeeping.,

Thanks everyone for the advice.

I’ll throw another super on the hive as soon as I can

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I think people typically will move some honey from the lower boxes, and sometimes brood, into the new super and empty frames into the brood box. The idea is to give them more space down there.

I’m a newbee though so defer to other’s advice.

You shouldn’t need to move any brood. If you’re adding a super, that is.

G’day Matt, now’s the ideal time to do a walk away split. I’d let the split make a new queen through natural selection. That way you get a good queen with strong progeny. The queen you order could be propagated from fertile eggs picked at random, therefore you miss out on the advantage of natural selection. That’s my strategy & it works for me.

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