So 2 years in now and I just started my first NUC. I was super nervous about doing it but I got really worried when I found a bunch of swarm cells in my strong hive. Does anyone have any tips on what is a must when you split a hive? I took a 5 frame NUC and put 4 frames from the strong hive in it! 1 with capped brood, 1 with larvae, and 2 with eggs and really young larvae. Then I put a frame feeder in it and ordered pollen patties so they didn’t need to worry about foraging since I think I only got nurse bees anyways. Looking for any tips on what to do from here? I really don’t want to kill both hives in the process of splitting 1 strong one so any tips would be appreciated. Thanks all of you for all the help on my bee keeping journey I have learnt so much from you all.
A “must do” when I do splits is to take the split several k’s away so that the older bees stay put.
I also take mostly sealed brood, because I split colonies to prevent swarming. Taking sealed brood puts a temporary halt to the population buildup.
I don’t feed splits because I do it when the bees are likely to swarm. Therefore there is always lots of forage for the bees during those periods. Also there is sufficient stores in the frames. Added to that, sealed brood doesn’t need feeding.
Having said that, I also make sure there is either eggs or very young larvae included with the sealed brood.
That kind of sums it up. Write down the date & don’t look in for a month.
@JeffH has very well covered it and I totally agree with him about leaving the hive alone for a month. You wanting to ‘have a look’ is only going to stress the colony. They need to be left alone to ‘bond’ to the hive and disturbing them will run the risk of them moving out to find somewhere ‘safer’.
It is time now for you to just sit back, observe and enjoy what you have achieved.
My reason for suggesting not to open for a month is because a young queen, I found is very vulnerable to getting balled & killed by the workers during that period. If the bees get stressed, they sometimes take it out on the young queen for some reason.
PS, just an afterthought to add to my first reply:
I put splits in large brood boxes, 8-10 frame brood boxes to give the bees plenty of room to expand, seeing as I’m including mostly sealed brood in the split. That will give the split a fair population increase during the following couple of weeks.