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Splitting Hive in Brisbane late in season


I am wandering if it is too late to split our 8 frame Hybrid flow hive in Brisbane. We have had so much wet weather we haven’t been able to get in the hive til last weekend. Really strong with lots of young bees and stores. 1 of the flow frames is completely full with the other 2 50% full.There is a little room in the brood box and no signs of swarm cells. Never seen so many young bees at once. First time we have had trouble getting the bees back in the brood box as we were closing up. Any use of smoke and all the young ones just dropped to the ground and gathered in little clusters? I ended up putting some spare frames leaning from the ground to the hive so they could climb back up. Took more than a day for them to all get back on the hive.
As always would appreciate some responses. Just when you think you are getting to understand your hives something new comes along.


Not a great time to be splitting a hive, your climate will probably allow for enough drones for the queen to mate but this may weaken your hives for the winter (not that you have much of a winter). Having a brood box full of bees is something to cherish as a beekeeper, my strongest & best performers are choc-a-block with bees, they pour over the sides when the lid and super is removed. This sort of strength keeps the hive beetle and wax moths at bay.


Thanks Rod appreciate that.
This Hive was made from a split last September and the parent hive still swarmed as I delayed the split.
I caught it but am more cautious now.


You have said nothing that would indicate a hive thinking about swarming. Apart from the rain the weather has tended to be warmer than usual up here so you should not be seeing a drop in bee numbers yet so I would leave well enough alone and do a split in early spring with another hive. The hive is not making queen cells so a split might not be a wise move at the moment. Look and listen and analyse what you are seeing and hearing, you didn’t say the hive was angry so they are happy the way they are.


Thanks Peter. I am more cautious now as the last time I split after I saw a swarm cell they still swarmed from the parent hive.


Normally bees will swarm and spit only for a couple of reasons like the hive is too large for the hive space being probably the most common reason. If the queen is no longer producing eggs well I have seen new queens produced and what appeared to be swarming but found that was actually the new queen doing her mating flight and she would return to the hive and begin laying and the hive settle. I follow the additch of caring for the bees and if they are happy then leave them be. Regularly do your hive checks and you will learn from the hive what is needed.
Glad to be able to give you what advise I can.


Hi Gaz, it possibly isn’t too late to split. Bees are swarming around here. I lost a swarm recently. Another hive was preparing to swarm. I got a call about a swarm in Mountain Creek earlier today plus a few days ago a flow hive swarmed & moved into a neighbors wall cavity. I’m suffering a bit of vertigo today otherwise I would have grabbed the one at Mountain Creek, it’s not far away.

A really strong hive with lots of young bees with possibly lots more emerging is a recipe for a swarm (in my view), given the right conditions.


Hi Jeff yes I might take another look soon, I have everything ready for a split if needed and last year they just kept going through winter, doing spilts at the end of August.
Hope your feeling better.


Thanks Gaz, I’m out & about today. I had second thoughts about that swarm y’day afternoon, but discovered that the lady had a private number. Not to worry, I have some work cut out for me weakening some of my stronger hives.