First split of the year

First split of the year

The spring weather has got a little warmer so it is time to start my programme of splits. I am hoping to do about 9 of these manipulations.

The object is to create new colonies by making the bees rear new queens.

The method I use is to take a strong well developed colony. I look for two things. The first is to find some eggs that are less than three days old from a strong colony where there is lots of brood. The second is it to make sure that there are drones born or soon to be born.

Preparation

Having found these, I take a frame with fresh eggs, brush the bees off. I place the frame without any bees into the small hive. (in the photo it is the yellow box). I then look for a frame with a good amount of capped brood and do the same thing.

I place the small yellow box on top of the old hive with a queen excluder between the two boxes.

I close them both and leave them for 24 hours.

In place

On returning the next day the young nurse bees will have gone up to the top box to continue to look after their brood. In the bottom box the bees will carry on as usual and the queen will continue laying. I will then remove the top box and close the bottom one.

In the yellow box the nurse bees will realise that they are now without a queen and will start preparing a queen cell that has a less than three day old egg and feed this egg with royal jelly. In about two weeks the new queen will emerge.

Any questions and comments are welcome contact me at info@mjbees.com

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