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Help needed making split please....

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acepestdetective 

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Hello all.

I'm gonna make a split of a colony who have been very busy here in the UK so far this spring.

They're spread out over two brood boxes and a super (work and weather has meant I've been late sorting them) and I have an un marked queen.

As for normal splits I believe I would find the queen and move her and a good divide of the frames to a new hive so the nurse bees go with her and the flying bees return home thus thinking the hive has swarmed.

However, due to the sheer numbers and the fact they are quite a nasty strain of bees I'm not sure whether my queen spotting skills are going to be any good and thus want to know if there's anything else I can do?

I won't be buying in a new queen or anything because she is a great layer and the workers are going at it hell for leather.

My only other thought was to move the hive to it's new site so the nurse bees stay there with the queen and the flying bees go back to the old hive where they would find queen cells/young eggs ready to develop into a new mother. Or, would the flying bees simply stay with the queen?

Any advice would be greatly welcomed please and I'm sorry if this has been covered a hundred times or more but I'm currently trying to fit a months work into 2 weeks.

Regards,

Rob.
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
If you are doing well on double brood, then I would be surprised if (like ours) they haven't started preparation for swarming. We had to do an artificial swarm last week, which (I think) is better than just splitting because the bees have raised a queen in their own time, rather than being forced to do so by circumstance.

Flying bees will go back to the original hive location, as that is where they think home is.

My plan would be:

1) Wait until you have queen cells with larvae.
2) Find the queen - it really helps if you have someone with you. Only concentrate on looking for the queen, you look one side, the helper looks on the other. Much quicker, and less chance of the queen moving around in the box without you knowing.
3) Do an artificial swarm.
4) 8 days later, split the "queenless" double brood, and distribute the queen cells across the two boxes.
5) Hope at least one of them mates....
6) With a bit of luck you then have 3 queens, and can combine the colonies based on your requirements.
 

acepestdetective 

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Thanks for the idea Rae.

After looking through I found a nice fat larvae in a queen cell and popped this into the spare hive.

I split the two broods and put a couple of supers on each hive giving the girls plenty of room and storage space.

Fingers crossed it works out ok!

Well will see.

Cheers, Rob.
 

oliver90owner 

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However, due to the sheer numbers and the fact they are quite a nasty strain of bees I'm not sure whether my queen spotting skills are going to be any good and thus want to know if there's anything else I can do?

All done. Ok, but just a hint for future reference.

If time, put Q/E between brood boxes. 3 days later you will be able to tell where she is. Move that box away and the flying bees will return to the old site. Then you may find your queen that much more more easily 'cos there will be only half the frames, and few flying bees. So fewer frames and bees to hunt through and less nasty flying bees to cause you grief.

Regards, RAB
 

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