How many splits can you make from just 2 colonies in one season?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Matty Brown

New Bee
Joined
Nov 12, 2023
Messages
29
Reaction score
14
Location
Ireland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
10 hives using the rose hive method with national brood boxes.
Hi,

Next year I am planning on splitting 2 of my beehives into as many nucs as possible. All my hives are on a double brood right now. What would the best method of splitting these hives be?
I heard that you get better results if you add a mated queen instead of adding a queen cell or letting the nuc raise its own queen. So I will be raising my own queens getting them mated then adding them to nucs.
My plan is to split each hive into 10 nucs as early in the season as possible, and once they outgrow the nuc I will split each nuc again. I am wanting a minimum of about 20 nucs from each hive, that's 40 nucs in total, but if I can split more I will be more then happy.
Is there a better method of splitting a hive into nucs? And how many splits do you think I can make from each hive, so I know how many nuc boxes to build?
I am hoping for as many splits as possible.

Thanks

Matt
 
Bear in mind they will probably only be filling one brood box or less by spring and will take some time to build up. Stimulative feeding may help.
Once built up split into maybe 3 nucs adding mated queens to the queenless ones.
Then build up again before splitting again.
 
You want to be careful thinking of splitting nucs and then doing it again you’ll end up at the end of the season with lots of week nucs .
From a double brood I would split and make 5/6 strong nucs but only once the nucs by early mid July will be in single brood boxes I have split these further but only in to two 6 frame nucs

Stimulated feeding with fondant throughout the whole process unless they are rammed with stores then only enough to let the colony except and settle the queen
 


He reckoned you could split 1 colony that's on double brood into 80 nucs in 1 season.
But he ran out of free-time, money and equipment so only manged 20 splits from 1 hive, however these 20 splits had already outgrown there nuc box by mid June.
 
Last edited:
How many? Difficult to give a number. Will you take what the two colonies can give you, without destroying the colonies?
Will you take everything the two colonies have and eliminate them from your apiary?
I spoke at the recent NHS about this. Using my "Brood Factory" management, I made 305 nuclei from 93 brood factories, after I set up 52 queen cell building colonies to create 1100 queens. Total frames of brood harvested and used in the program...1064 frames or 11.4 average. This work was done between May 13 and July 10. After the work was completed, the brood factories rebuilt and went into winter in great shape, ready for the 2024 season.
The presentation will be published.
 


He reckoned you could split 1 colony that's on double brood into 80 nucs in 1 season.
But he ran out of free-time, money and equipment so only manged 20 splits from 1 hive, however these 20 splits had already outgrown there nuc box by mid June.

40 colony’s I read ?
For a new beekeeper what he suggests to do isn’t easy and he is using his own queens ? Not bought in ?
 
40 colony’s I read ?
For a new beekeeper what he suggests to do isn’t easy and he is using his own queens ? Not bought in ?
He first aimed for 40 splits from 1 hive, but later saw that it was possible to split these 40 splits again later in the season and end the season with 80 splits.
 
He first aimed for 40 splits from 1 hive, but later saw that it was possible to split these 40 splits again later in the season and end the season with 80 splits.
Ok in theory it’s possible and I get the idea how experienced are you how would you manage all of those production colony’s the following year?your going to need to spend a few k on equipment to start with or make it let alone the management of the colony’s ,
Maybe it’s just me but slowly slowly nicely nice .
 
Ok in theory it’s possible and I get the idea how experienced are you how would you manage all of those production colony’s the following year?your going to need to spend a few k on equipment to start with or make it let alone the management of the colony’s ,
Maybe it’s just me but slowly slowly nicely nice .
I am pretty good at woodwork, so am planning an building most of my equipment myself in the next few weeks. Will save a lot of money on building it myself then buying equipment from a supplier.
 
I am pretty good at woodwork, so am planning an building most of my equipment myself in the next few weeks. Will save a lot of money on building it myself then buying equipment from a supplier.
Experience?
Your management for 40/80 production stock next year ? Your going to spend some time making equipment for them
That’s a lot of frames and brood boxes if they all go double brood , how are you set up with harvesting and apiary sites forage etc .
 
Experience?
Your management for 40/80 production stock next year ? Your going to spend some time making equipment for them
That’s a lot of frames and brood boxes if they all go double brood , how are you set up with harvesting and apiary sites forage etc .
I will be buying frames. I have made some before but they are very time-consuming. I have got one new apiary site for next year that's about 5miles from me, still am looking for a few more though.
 
Experience?
Your management for 40/80 production stock next year ? Your going to spend some time making equipment for them
That’s a lot of frames and brood boxes if they all go double brood , how are you set up with harvesting and apiary sites forage etc .
For once, Mark, I agree ... it's pie in the sky ! Just a disaster looking for somewhere to happen ... for so many reasons.
 
For once, Mark, I agree ... it's pie in the sky ! Just a disaster looking for somewhere to happen ... for so many reasons.
Possibly a disaster , I don’t know how much experience @Matty Brown has that’s why I asked .
 
Hi,

Next year I am planning on splitting 2 of my beehives into as many nucs as possible. All my hives are on a double brood right now. What would the best method of splitting these hives be?
I heard that you get better results if you add a mated queen instead of adding a queen cell or letting the nuc raise its own queen. So I will be raising my own queens getting them mated then adding them to nucs.
My plan is to split each hive into 10 nucs as early in the season as possible, and once they outgrow the nuc I will split each nuc again. I am wanting a minimum of about 20 nucs from each hive, that's 40 nucs in total, but if I can split more I will be more then happy.
Is there a better method of splitting a hive into nucs? And how many splits do you think I can make from each hive, so I know how many nuc boxes to build?
I am hoping for as many splits as possible.

Thanks

Matt
IMHO if you are raising your own queens you are not likely to be able to raise more than about a dozen from each hive as by the time you get the queens mated it will be a bit too late to do an early split. BMH splits using bought in queens IIRC.
RP has a method of doing this whilst raising queens.
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/rogerpattersonmethod.pdf
Edit. Also if you propose to split the nucs you will not be able to use 2/3 frame nucs as they are not likely to be big enough to split by the time they get too crowded. As said on another thread 5frame nucs would be best.
 
Last edited:
I have been keeping about 10 full colonies + a few nucs for about 5years now.
Thanks for replying matty your pretty much a seasoned beekeeper then .
I love your enthusiasm but I think you need to think about it some more , if you have the will and experience and money to expand by buying queens etc then go for it but in my short experience forecast three years in front the forth being a bad year for harvest .

Is your plan to become a beefarmer?
 
Thanks for replying matty your pretty much a seasoned beekeeper then .
I love your enthusiasm but I think you need to think about it some more , if you have the will and experience and money to expand by buying queens etc then go for it but in my short experience forecast three years in front the forth being a bad year for harvest .

Is your plan to become a beefarmer?
Hi,

I am actually planning on becoming a beefarmer in the future. At the moment only part-time as I still have another job.
Do you think I am on the right track of splitting my colonies into as many nucs as possible to sell.
I am hoping I can sell some overwintered nucs in spring 2025 to cover costs of equipment.
I will be more then happy if I get 20 splits from each hive at the end of the year, but would like more, although if I don't get, it doesn't matter too much.

Thanks for answering my questions.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top