Hello, I am new here and also a new beekeeper (going on the 3rd year). I’m located in Belgium in West-flanders. A little background I suppose:
Our hive was a caught swarm, it’s first season it did okay, although it didn’t explode. It over wintered well but seemed to do a little slow the second year, it’s population did not explode and we did not get any excess honey but all in all they were healthy and did well. This is its third year and they over-wintered great and their population was bursting at its seams.
Instead of adding a super, we decided to split them because we wanted the benefit of having 2 hives for comparison reasons. We also opted to let them make their own queen.
We split them yesterday. We do not have the option of moving the old hive to a different location and there seems to be a discrepancy on whether this is necessary, anyway.
We put 3 frames that had some eggs, larvae, capped brood and honey with nurse bees in the new hive and put it in the old hives spot, then moved the old hive over about 20 cm and closed up their entrance to allow 1 bee at a time (We made a special hive entrance that has “doors”. It is 2 pieces of perforated metal, the holes are not large enough for a bee or hive beetle to pass through but still provides ventilation while allowing us to reduce or enlarge the entrance depending on how strong the hive is.)
This morning, once they were active for an hour or 2, it seems that all of the foragers have found their way to the new hive. There are a few bees hanging out on the fly plank of the old hive but I did not notice many bees flying to and from the hive, just 1 coming back every so often. Based off the fact that people will move their old hive far away, that the current nurse bees will become the forages, the eggs and larvae will replace the nurse bees, we still have an egg laying queen and some stores of honey until the nurse bees are ‘promoted’ my gut tells me that the fact that we don’t have many (if any) forages in the old hive isn’t a huge issue, just a minor disturbance in their calendar.
However, I am a worried mommy and wanted to make sure we don’t need to move the old hive back for a bit to collect some foragers. I did a search but really couldn’t find a direct answer to this question so I thought I would ask all you lovely people’s advice.
Update: It’s the afternoon now and I had a look. There are bees coming and going from the old hive. Not nearly as active as the new one but there is actively, unlike this morning. I did not notice any fights breaking out to indicate it is a case of robbing over forages coming and going.