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Mid-winter Splits - S.E. Qld

It’s not even mid-winter, however we’re past the shortest day & it’s time for me to start splitting some of my colonies. I noticed one colony from my 2nd bee site in Kuluin was chock-a-block full of bees, so I decided to split it. This frame is one of the 4 frames, with bees, minus the queen that I took. I took 4 similar frames from another colony & combined them into one colony.
I’ll be going back again today to do something similar with 3 other colonies out of the 8 in total hives.


The bees are building brood right up to the top bars. Also right out to the outside frames. With all of the sealed brood in this & other frames, the hive was set for a population explosion & imminent swarm preparations.

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I did a split today here too Jeff, I wasn’t really ready thou I have the gear ready. but I recall having to do splits last July. Lots of full frames of honey and hives are strong so I guess I have more splits to do as well as extracting honey. Even found a colony with comb to the roof full of honey that I extracted from 6 weeks ago. I paid an evening visit to the apiary last night to find the hive I split today with too many bees bearding outside at night, simply too many bees for the hive.
I see the BOM forecast is for rising night and day temps and longer days so it seems the bees are responding to it. Busy days coming fast for the bees and me.
Cheers

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Gosh Jeff, I’m not ready for splitting hives yet!!! In 2017 I did my first splits on the 10th August, in 2018, following your lead, I did them on the 27th July. I will have to pay close attention to their population I guess. That is one amazing frame of brood you have there.

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Hi Cathie, Last July 2nd I was doing splits and this year both Jeff and I are having to do them now. I had made up more hives painted and ready but I was caught a bit unprepared to see how close a few of my hives were to swarming, even down to queen cells in use and more drone cells. All signs of an early ‘Spring’.
I would think your close to that happening where you are. I have spent the last 3 days at my hives taking frames of honey off and doing walk away splits. I hope the fine and warm weather hold for a while so I can catch-up. I fell like I have been dragging a heavy chain.:slightly_smiling_face:
Cheers

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Splits this time of year!!! We are expecting snow over the next few days. What a variable country we live in :sunglasses:

Good luck to you
Rob.

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Yeah Rob, life is so tough up here. :grin: I even took off my bee suit today, a really nice warm and calm day.
Actually when I moved up here it was all about a more stable and warmer climate thru the year. Getting back into bees came later on.
July is the start of doing splits to control swarming risks, I remember at Richmond in July the bees were not interested in flying, it is so different here. I had a steep learning curve up here.
I guess things for you are a bit quiet till the August Westerlies have been and gone.
Cheers

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The “August” westerlies have been here for the past week. Even with the snow alerts the days are surprisingly mild and a few hardy girls are flying. Talk about climate change…

Cheers
Rob.

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Hi Rob, they arrived up here last night. Even though it’s about 15 outside, it feels like 5. Too cold for the native bees. They wont come out until it’s 19deg.,

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that frame of brood looks increddible- I havn’t seen a frame of brood like that in any of my 13 hive for the past 12 months at least. Consider me jealous of your tropical environment… That one frame has more brood on one face than some of my hives have in total.

I was out of the wind yesterday doing more splits and even found a few with queens cells capped, so I figure condition were right for swarming very soon. I sort of got caught napping a bit this July, last year I began doing splits on July 1st. I have put a reminder into my computer for next July 1st.
@JeffH is 18 klms away from me, very similar conditions in climate but I had a dearth last mid November till mid March with plenty of flowering in the bush but no nectar while Jeff was still extracting.
@Rmcpb The “August Westerlies” are so reliable and a good indicator to make ready for Spring time when I used to get my hives ready to go to Mudgee for the Cape Weed and Salvation Jane that was a favorite location to build up the hives after winter. I saw on the news about snow around Oberon, that brings back memories of Winters, last Friday I had to strip off my suit with a warm day.
Cheers