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Splitting my one hive question

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tkwinston4 

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I have done something daft; i have been thinking!!!:iamwithstupid:

Can i split my one hive by putting two brood boxes on, allowing the queen to lay in both and then when i find my first sealed queen cell move one of the brood boxes (with queen cell and no queen) to a new location?

Or is that a really really daft question?:banghead:
 

taff.. 

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I'm pretty sure that the artificial swarm requires the part that stays behind with the old queen to be broodless and devoid of young house bees.

this then tricks the bees into thinking that they have swarmed already and they give up the swarming impulse.

there has been plenty of mention about splitting strong colonies on double BB's to make up a number of nucs, but I dont have practical experience of doing it.

someone will be along shortly and answer that, I'm sure :)
 

Mosquito 

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You can do that.
But I would do an Artificial Swarm.
I have only room for 2 hives.
So join my hives up. (witch I have already done)
Then I am going to do an Artificial Swarm later and end up with 2 hive again.
It also stops them trying to swarm for a few weeks.

Mozzy.
 
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oliver90owner 

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If you are waiting for a queen cell there is a law that says you will wait a long time!

The bees will not necessarily build cells in anticipation of swarming for the whole season!

By all means encourage a double brood. Then, if no swarm cells are built, separate the boxes with a super, with the queen under a Q/E which is on the bottom box. Frames with eggs into top box, then wait and watch. If no queen cells within 6 days, place more eggs upstairs and maybe add another super between the top and bottom parts.

They will make supercedure cells eventually - probably sooner. Then do your artificial swarm.

Regards, RAB
 

cutnrun 

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....if no swarm cells are built, separate the boxes with a super, with the queen under a Q/E which is on the bottom box. Frames with eggs into top box, then wait and watch. If no queen cells within 6 days, place more eggs upstairs and maybe add another super between the top and bottom parts....
I hope this isn't a daft question but why put the super in the middle?
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
You put a super in the middle so that the bees think that the queen is weakening, and start the supercedure process. In normal times, the queen emits pheromones that tell the rest of the hive that she is there and all is well. When she is old and weak, these levels reduce, and the bees realise that they need to supercede her with a new queen. This is a nice controlled method of renewing the queen, and ideally mother and daughter will work together for a while.

By splitting the eggs in top and bottom brood boxes with a super, you are weakening the pheromones in the top box, so the bees start the supercedure process. Bees looking after eggs and larvae and very weak (or no) queen pheromones will create queen cells. This doesn't happen when you have loads of supers on....because there are no eggs in there.

I'm trying to work up the courage to do this to one of or hives. I'm worried that I'll provoke them into swarming and lose them!
 

peteinwilts 

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You put a super in the middle so that the bees think that the queen is weakening, and start the supercedure process. In normal times, the queen emits pheromones that tell the rest of the hive that she is there and all is well. When she is old and weak, these levels reduce, and the bees realise that they need to supercede her with a new queen. This is a nice controlled method of renewing the queen, and ideally mother and daughter will work together for a while.

By splitting the eggs in top and bottom brood boxes with a super, you are weakening the pheromones in the top box, so the bees start the supercedure process. Bees looking after eggs and larvae and very weak (or no) queen pheromones will create queen cells. This doesn't happen when you have loads of supers on....because there are no eggs in there.

I'm trying to work up the courage to do this to one of or hives. I'm worried that I'll provoke them into swarming and lose them!

newbie question!

where do the flying bees bring the nectar\pollen?? do they prioritise one set or another, or do they give it to each set based on needs??

once the top bees gain a queen, will each colony defend themselves from each other (bearing in mind the top bees need to travel through the bottom bees to get in or out) or are both sets of pheromones available so they accept each other?
 

oliver90owner 

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No particular problem. Colony has not changed size, just spread out. House bees will service the dwindling amount of brood in the top box with no problem.

There will not be two colonies there together, ever. When queen cells have been built, the boxes are separated. I would always do it before the cells are sealed - just in case Her downstairs were to leave - unlikely but I bet it has been known to happen.

Usual protocol is to artificial swarm at that stage, so the queen will lose any swarming tendency for the current season (hopefully!)

Regards, RAB
 

fatshark 

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I thought I was keeping up until the last comment from Rab about doing an artificial swarm ...

I'm doing this at the moment (first timer) and so guess I'll find out in due course. The plan was to separate the double brood box once the top box was well occupied, put the supers in between, allow QC's to be raised and then split the top box into nucs. (following the earlier thread). Should I then also plan to do an artificial swarm on the original box which is still at the bottom? Even though it shouldn't have QC's? Or do I wait to QC's in the bottom box and then do an artificial swarm?

With thanks,
D.
 
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peteinwilts 

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I will also try it today!!

I presume no frames are in the seperating super?
 

peteinwilts 

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also, should a piece of newspaper or another crown board be placed upon the lower brood box to aid insulation during the coming cold days?
 

oliver90owner 

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I'm not sure where we have got to by now. I am not expecting anyone - well maybe just a few - to be doing this now. Building up a second box from the initial post was to be starting now(ish) so any splitting/artificial swarming will be a ways off yet. It may have been warm the last few days, but up here in Lincolnshire it is decidedly chilly at the moment.

These new queens will need to get mated and they will need a few days of continuous warm weather for optimum mating conditions.

Just not warm enough yet, this year, for me to be confident of queen mating conditions - it can be poor in the Uk even in June! So I am in no hurry yet to be splitting off nucs and the like.

So, Peteinwilts, building up will just mean a further brood box on top of an already strong colony on the single brood - one may not want to put on a full brood box of foundation if the weather is not good enough (packing out with dummy blocks is an option to keep the boxes warm enough). When both the broods are nearly filled is the time to separate them, so the super placed between will have frames in it - they should by then be collecting large amounts of excess nectar in most areas so would normally have, or need, a super on top already. That super, if it is there, can be used to separate the brood boxes, or another if they have already filled one already. There should be few issues of a cold colony when this is done as the colony should be very strong and the weather more like summer than it is just now.

I never like to be prescriptive of when to do anything with bees. There is a large difference in conditions from the Channel Isles to the northern parts of Scotland or even from the west to east coasts. I have bees on single 14 x 12s and some with an extra super for brood and a super for honey. But it is still only a chilly April so I am just letting them build up further and collect some honey. Last year all sorts were swarming or ready to swarm by now, around here, including my bees.

Don't rush it or you may finish up with poor queens being superceded later in the year, along with the problems that may entail, if very late in the season. Any nucs split off will blaze away if the weather is warmer, but may struggle if it is cooler. for inexperienced beeks with few hives it is very important that you don't get your bees weakened by a cold snap and splitting too early. Have I made my point?

Regards, RAB
 

peteinwilts 

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Good advice as ever! Before reading your post, I viewed the bees and even though they are a very strong colony, also decided it was too early...

As with winter, patience is a virtue...
 

Hombre 

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I have done something daft; i have been thinking!!!:iamwithstupid:

Can i split my one hive by putting two brood boxes on, allowing the queen to lay in both and then when i find my first sealed queen cell move one of the brood boxes (with queen cell and no queen) to a new location?

Or is that a really really daft question?:banghead:
Most of your question has been answered, except the first part of course, which is making sure that the brood box that you put on gets efficiently filled with bees. If you have drawn comb or foundation and took two frames of brood from the middle of the bottom box and put it into the top box in much the same position, and the two frames of foundation removed placed at the ends of the bottom box, after closing up the gap in the brood nest. This will draw young bees up into the top box to service the brood that you have put there and draw out the foundation or prepare the drawn comb for HM to lay up. This is a good way of decongesting the bottom box and giving the bees work to do while working towards the ends indicated by others. :)
 

tkwinston4 

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Ok so maybe it wasn't such a stupid question. Excellent information from everyone there but a special thanks to Oliver90owner and Hombre for making it really clear for what we should be doing and when. Thanks guys x :)
 

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