I am after some advice as to which way to play this.
In a month or so, I am going to have a first-ever crack at splitting my two healthy hives (both outer hives in the picture).
I will grab a mix of frames from both hives and place into my new larger flow hive (The centre hive in the picture). Do I cross my fingers and hope that they create a new queen for the middle (new) hive? but I am thinking to just order a Queen and place her at the same time as i move the frames? by doing this, will this keep the bees within the new hive?
My other beginner question is will the bees keep working the newly moved frames in the new hive? OR just simply move back into their original hive?
Interested to hear the sage advice from anyone who has done this before.
I live on the Central Coast of NSW
thanking you in advance
Splits are fun! You have the right concept; grab 2 brood frames from each hive and at least 1 frame of honey and put in the new box. It would be ideal if you leave the queen in the original boxes, or at least make sure you don’t take 1 queen from each hive in the process or you will end up with only 1 out of 3 with a queen. If you want them to raise their own queen then you need to have fresh eggs on at least one of those frames for them to turn into a queen. Developing larvae is too old. You want to have nurse bees in that colony so make sure you are getting 2 frames worth from the other hives (they are the ones that are newly born and tend to the developing larvae and don’t fly yet) because they will be needed to sustain the colony and won’t fly back to the source hive. You will lose the foragers to the original colony so shake more bees in than you think is reasonable. Then feed feed feed until the new colony won’t take the feed anymore. And then you are in business. Keep us posted with progress pictures - it helps everyone learn and appreciate your hard work.
I would be holding off till the start of September and the weather warming up. There will then be more eggs and young brood to use.
Nurse bee moved into the new hive will stay, older bees will return to the original hive they have come from. Just be sure that you don’t transfer both of the queens to the new hive, if your not ‘hot’ on queen spotting then you should get some help. Queens that are marked make it much easier. I don’t normally do a combined split but every Spring when the hive is strong I do ‘walk away’ splits in my apiary to reduce the risk of swarming. If you do it too early then you could loose the advantage in swarm control and it could still happen.
Awesome advice as always, and keeps me thinking and learning about all the what & whys.
Mid-September is when i am planning to have ago at this, so i will update here on how I go.
No, I am not very clever in spotting my Queens to date, so a big thankyou for making me aware that i may actually move both my existing Queens, so this will be my focus for sure. good tip!
Once again, thank you Tim & Peter for your wise help , it is muchly appreciated.
Mark D [Bee L plates on]
Yes, please let us know with an update how it goes, I’m sure Tim appreciated your thanks as much as I do.
In the past I have snuck many a great weekend in your area from the Hawkesury to recharge my batteries. a very unspoiled area of paradise.