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A divide is when a strong overwintered colony is split into two hives. If strong overwintered colonies are not split, the hive will more than likely swarm. If the hive swarms, that colony will probably not yield an excess honey crop.

A divide can happen when a colony has eight frames of brood and bees. If you do not have that much brood yet, wait a week and check again. Make sure a queen is available when the divide is ready for a queen.

Steps to make a split:

1. Divide eight frames of brood between two boxes on the hive. Brood is, frames containing eggs, larvae and capped brood. I like to mix up the brood types in the divide. This assures getting bees of all ages on the split frames.

2. Put a queen excluder between the two boxes of brood. Wait four full days.

3. After four full days, go into the hive and inspect the boxes where the brood frames have been placed. You are looking for eggs. Whichever box with the brood has eggs, then that is where your existing queen is. Leave the box with eggs called the Parent, and takeaway the other box. Put honey supers on the parent.

4. Put the removed box with brood, called the divide, by itself in the bee yard. Put a feeder pail on the divide. There is better queen acceptance during a nectar flow. Approximately 24 hours later install the new queen using the slow release method, using a hard candy plug.

5. Seven days later, check the divide for eggs. If it has eggs, the queen has been accepted. Now the divide is in a single box. It will remain this way for around a two weeks when another brood box is added. Add honey supers before the nectar flow starts.

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Part 2