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Hive split

  • 04-01-2017 10:29pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 253 ✭✭


    Happy new year to all

    I have read somewhere recently that it is possible to split a hive early in the spring I thought that it was only possible later in the year when the queen is in full swing. I started looking into it but cannot find a time of year to split. Dave Cushmann says it is possible to make a 3 frame nuc but doesn't say what time of year although he does say it is better to have a queen for this.

    I would like to increase my hives this year with out spending a fortune if they survive the winter that is but I have seen them out flying which is a good sign so far.

    Thanks


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,023 ✭✭✭Satriale


    If you want to increase your hives would you consider making up a few bait hives?
    40litre or so volume, put in a bit of brood comb, 2 inch square entrance, (maybe a drop of lemongrass oil). I notice you had swarms from your own earlier on in the year, maybe leave one near your own apiary as well in case you miss them next time.
    Good hunting!


  • Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭welsummer


    emergence cells 1 007 - Copy.jpgBe careful of what you read on the internet as most of it is not suitable to Irish conditions. its impossible to splits and increase in the springs as we don't have enough bees or any drones in the hives worth talking about till late April / early may. You are better letting the colony build up to full strength and on the first sign of charged queen cells remove the queen and make a nuc with her and then continue to split the hive down to another 3 nucs and remove to another apiary for mating.


  • Registered Users Posts: 253 ✭✭dto001


    I defiantly will be setting bait hives as there is other apiaries in the area but I was thinking of a split as well on one of the hives to be sure. Plus I would like to do a split for the experience.

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 253 ✭✭dto001


    welsummer wrote: »
    emergence cells 1 007 - Copy.jpgBe careful of what you read on the internet as most of it is not suitable to Irish conditions. its impossible to splits and increase in the springs as we don't have enough bees or any drones in the hives worth talking about till late April / early may. You are better letting the colony build up to full strength and on the first sign of charged queen cells remove the queen and make a nuc with her and then continue to split the hive down to another 3 nucs and remove to another apiary for mating.

    I read it on the Teagasc website:

    http://www.google.ie/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwju04b58KrRAhUCKsAKHeroC8YQFggQMAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.teagasc.ie%2Fmedia%2Fwebsite%2Fpublications%2F1996%2FHoney_Production.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFTj5eRCjpTeEYxj1frM_i5zRJ50A

    (I know it is called profitable beekeeping it's not the reason I want to do it)

    Usually I look into these things more once I read something on the Internet as most of it is from the states etc. But this is funded by the Irish beekeeping association so I am curious as to when the early splits are carried out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭welsummer


    read it again, its says nothing about early spring


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  • Registered Users Posts: 253 ✭✭dto001


    welsummer wrote: »
    read it again, its says nothing about early spring

    Cheers but how early is an early split if it is to be ready for the main honey flow?


  • Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭welsummer


    what do you mean ready for the honey flow. splits are not going to make honey for you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,761 ✭✭✭Effects


    If it's for honey production you are worried about then you are crazy to do a split in early spring. There's unlikely to be any drones around.
    A new queen in a split is going to take around a month to come into lay. Then there's the time it takes for her to lay the workers and for them to hatch.

    Your best option, in my opinion, would be to order a couple of queens from a reputable breeder. Then you'll have laying queens ready to go into action. It still might not give you enough time for them to build up to produce a massive honey surplus. Generally it's your overwintered stock that'll produce your honey.

    Most of all, I'd say don't be so worried about honey production. Don't force your bees to do something that isn't in their best interests or will put them under undue stress.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,761 ✭✭✭Effects


    welsummer wrote: »
    what do you mean ready for the honey flow. splits are not going to make honey for you.
    They did for me in 2016!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,761 ✭✭✭Effects


    Another thing, there's a good Irish Beekeepers Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/bees.ireland/?fref=nf

    It's not as good as a proper forum but there's not that many people on here. At least on Facebook there's people in the same region to give advice on what's going on at that time and whether there's flows on, times to treat with oxalic etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 253 ✭✭dto001


    Effects wrote: »
    If it's for honey production you are worried about then you are crazy to do a split in early spring. There's unlikely to be any drones around.
    A new queen in a split is going to take around a month to come into lay. Then there's the time it takes for her to lay the workers and for them to hatch.

    Your best option, in my opinion, would be to order a couple of queens from a reputable breeder. Then you'll have laying queens ready to go into action. It still might not give you enough time for them to build up to produce a massive honey surplus. Generally it's your overwintered stock that'll produce your honey.

    Most of all, I'd say don't be so worried about honey production. Don't force your bees to do something that isn't in their best interests or will put them under undue stress.


    Cheers,
    It's not all about honey for me although some would be nice, I do want to increase the number of hives I have without having to buy too many nucs. While I was reading up about it I came across the Teagasc page so I asked on here but after reading more of it there it does say to do an early split in May.
    It's all a learning curve.
    I will try getting some queens


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,761 ✭✭✭Effects


    It varies from year to year depending on the weather and other factors. I had to do swarm control in May in both 2015 and 2016.
    I wouldn't have called it an early split! The queen was running out of room in a brood and a half setup.


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