2 questions

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Guard bee
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:01 pm
Location: Pleasant Garden, NC

2 questions

Post by p51d » Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:28 pm


Two questions I would like to see what the answers would be.

(1) is it too late do do a split, add a new queen to the split and feed?
(2) is it too late to get rid of a queen and replace her with a new one for a weak hive?

I doubt the weak hive will survive the winter.


Guard bee
Posts: 1510
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: 2 questions

Post by Jacobs » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:02 pm

I would not be looking to make splits now, but am trying to combine weaker hives into strong ones to have the strongest hives possible going into winter. I have finally learned the lesson Kurt Bower has been preaching for years about taking your losses in the fall-- a strong fall hive has a better chance of survival and can be split in the spring. Two weak hives in the fall are likely to be two dead hives in the winter. That being said, if you are bound and determined to split something or to try and maintain the weak hives, my shot at answering your questions would be--

1. Check with local queen suppliers to see what they have. I would not try it if you were counting on having part of the split make its own queen. If the hive you are splitting is really strong and you can buy a mated queen, you could split. If you attended our last Zoom meeting, I would be inclined to try something close to what our speaker does for fall splits-a nuc with 2 frames of capped brood, a frame with pollen, a frame with nectar/honey, and a frame of open comb. Use a nuc introduction board (plywood board that covers an 8 or 10 frame box with a nuc sized area cut out of it) and a queen excluder to make up the nuc. Put the excluder and the introduction board over the top super of the strong hive and the nuc as set up above over the introduction board. In a few hours, nurse bees should have come through the excluder to tend to the brood and your queen will be below the excluder. Move the nuc to its location and add a queen in a cage to be introduced to the nuc. I would be reluctant to do this now unless the big hive was absolutely booming. I would have been happy to do this in early August.

2. My guess is that you would be better off pinching the queen and combining these bees into a strong hive. However, if you want to take a shot, and you could get a mated queen, you could try moving the best brood frames and some food frames in to a 2 super nuc with your new queen. Feed 1:1 sugar water this month and, if needed, boost with a frame of capped brood from a strong hive. The 1:1 will encourage the queen to lay and you can switch to 2:1 in October to encourage them to cap "honey" for winter. I would not want to pull too many resources from a good strong hive now that we are in winter prep mode.

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