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Sometimes you have to take a chance on the weather

I checked a couple of hives today on the Sunshine Coast in Qld today to find new queens from recent splits. Most days are about 26C(80F). One single brood box with a single super leapt out at me with a lot of bearding at 2pm. I did a quick inspection and found too many bees for the present hive. Still lots of drones about. I’m out of poly hives which would be my logical answers. So I’m caught between a rock and a hard place to add second super of new frames with foundation to give the bees a job but they most likely won’t build the comb out before it gets too cold let alone fill it with stores. The other option is an Autumn split and donating brood frames from stronger hives which isn’t a problem,
My leaning is the second option given such a mild Autumn so far. If I had ordered more poly hives the answer would be to transfer the bees into a poly hive but I’m still waiting for the delivery of more hives, and a week to assemble, paint and fume off. I suspect I don’t have that time. I hate ignoring an obvious issue and risk loosing a swarm. I guess I’m looking for someone like @JeffH who knows my climate to agree or give me another line of thought.
Cheers

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Hi Pete, you’ll have no trouble splitting this time of year. You can get queens mated all year round. In relation to your first option, the bees would build & fill frames from fresh foundation. I think there’s a real honey flow imminent. In that case I would lift 3 of the brood frames to place in the middle of the honey super, replace them with fresh foundation, checkerboarded, then fill the rest of the honey super with fresh foundation. That way you get to see if the colony is preparing to swarm or not. There are still swarms around. I heard about a couple last week.

I’m heading off shortly to rob whatever honey is ready from 1/2 my hives.
cheers

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Thanks Jeff, common sense from you as usual. I have all the gear to make a split and will do that this afternoon. I spent too much time arguing with myself. Heavy bearding and the number of bees in the roof making comb, I should have gone with that straight away. After all it is real Spring weather in bee terms now. I don’t know why I procrastinated over it when I begin my Spring splits in July normally with success.
All the hives are actively foraging, especially on the paper barks flowering again and the bigger tress covered in buds. It looks good for another flow of nectar. Nice to have my bee suit on and not sweating up over heating. Good to be able to work at the apiary this time of the year.
Cheers and hello to your mentor

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UPDATE The split went well but not sure which colony has the queen but both have the making for a new queen, The brood box had various stages of larvae on all but the outside of the outer frames and the hive very full of bees, nectar and capped honey as well as pollen. Added frames of foundation so there is work for the bees.
Cheers

Hi Guys,
Yep looks like we will have a honey flow here on the coast shortly! Im looking to split a few nucs I have and order in a few queens just to speed the process up abit. Peter, please keep us updated with how your splits go! The paperbark around here is really starting the hum!
Regards Cooper
Beyond Honey

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Hi Pete, well done. You’ll just need to monitor the populations because sometimes one split can lure a lot more bees than the other, which can leave the brood of the weakest colony vulnerable to hive beetle attack…
cheers

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When I can I move the donor hive a half width to the side with the split next to it and find that help to reduce drift back to the original hive.
Think I had a brain drain about doing the split, Our April Autumn weather can be others mid-Summer.
Cheers

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Hi Peter,
Any news on the split? Was the queen mated successfully?
Cooper

Yes Cooper, she is laying full frames of brood, totally golden in color.
I was a bit nervous about making a split this late in the season but the whole season since the end of last June hasn’t gone to normal here. With the drought, bush fires, the bush in flower but no nectar in them and last Summer being the first time I have had to feed my hives to keep them alive I had to do ‘a lot of flying by the seat of my pants’. Good rain recently and a good nectar flow happening now and the Red Gums having started to flower and the bees working on them it is looking good mate. They will flower for a couple of months.
Cheers

Sounds great Peter, I may looking into doing another round in my queen castle so I can hit the ground running with new queens come spring. Is that the red gum you are talking about in the picture I have attached
Regards Cooper

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Yes, up here it is just called the Red Gum because of the color of the flowers, and when it flowers with some rain with it it is a great sauce of nectar and pollen. Around me it flowers most years when the weather cools down around May/June. WOW been a long time since something flowered when it should.
Quiet a bit in flower now in the heath areas as well as in the bush. You can always rely on the paper bark to flower after a bit of rain regardless of the month here. Looking at a fairly good ‘Winter’ season I’m thinking.
Cheers