Making splits the bee bumbler way
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Making Splits the “Bee Bumbler” Way. Clear Lake Apiary Mansfield, Louisiana. Making Splits the “Bee Bumbler” Way. Examine your colonies and determine how many and which colonies are strong enough to split.

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Making Splits the “Bee Bumbler” Way

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Making splits the bee bumbler way

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

Clear Lake Apiary

Mansfield, Louisiana


Making splits the bee bumbler way1

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Examine your colonies and determine how many and which colonies are strong enough to split.

  • Ensure you have enough hive bodies, bottom boards, tops and frames to make the needed splits.

  • Order the number of queens needed from a reputable queen breeder.

  • Prepare the colonies for splitting.

  • Split the colonies.

  • Introduce the new queens.

  • Check colonies for queen release, brood pattern and acceptance.

  • FEED, FEED, FEED, FEED (Sugar water, syrup, pollen patties, Honey-B-Healthy, Fumagilin B).


Making splits the bee bumbler way2

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Colonies must be strong and healthy

  • Plenty of worker bees, 1 full deep hive body

  • 6-8 frames of brood, young bees

  • 2-4 frames of pollen/honey stores


Making splits the bee bumbler way3

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • 10 pallets holding 4 colonies each

  • 40 deep hive bodies

  • 40 bottom boards

  • 40 migratory hive covers

  • 360 - 400 frames of foundation and/or drawn comb


Making splits the bee bumbler way4

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Order queens in advance from a reputable queen breeder

  • Gardner’s Apiaries, Spell Bee Company, Baxley, Ga.

  • Pick-up and delivery by R.D. Trichel


Making splits the bee bumbler way5

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Force bees down to bottom brood chamber

  • Remove (half) equal frames of brood, pollen and honey stores from the bottom brood chamber and replaced with frames of foundation/drawn comb

  • Ensure no bees remain on pulled frames and place them in second deep hive body

  • Queen must be in the lower brood chamber


Making splits the bee bumbler way6

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Place queen excluder on lower brood chamber

  • Place second deep hive body above queen excluder with the removed frames of brood and pollen/honey stores

  • Finish filling hive body with frames of foundation and/or drawn comb

  • Place remaining brood boxes on hive and add the top

  • Nurse bees will move up to cover brood in the new second brood chamber

Second deep box

Queen Excluder

Original brood box


Making splits the bee bumbler way spring

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way - Spring

  • At a later time (2-4 hours, or the next day or two) remove lower brood box with bottom board from bottom of colony to be split

  • Put a top on the bottom brood chamber and set off to the side for later transporting


Making splits the bee bumbler way spring1

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way - Spring

  • Place remaining brood box on new bottom board and return to the original location (queen to be added later)

  • Returning workers will return to the queen-less colony with pollen/nectar

  • Take bottom brood chamber with half of the bees and the old queen to new location


Making splits the bee bumbler way spring2

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way - Spring

  • Take bottom brood chamber with half of the bees and the old queen to new location

  • Grass placed in front entrance to keep bees from boiling out and flying away


Making splits the bee bumbler way fall

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way - Fall

  • At a later time (2-4 hours, or the next day or two) remove second brood box from above brood chamber on bottom of colony and place on new bottom board

  • Put a top on the removed brood chamber and set off to the side for later transporting

  • Place remaining brood boxes on original brood chamber containing old queen

  • Returning workers will return to the colony with pollen/nectar

  • Take removed brood chamber with half of the bees to new location with new queen to be added later


Making splits the bee bumbler way fall1

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way - Fall

  • New queen-less colonies in new location

  • Queens can be added when available

  • Colonies will be fed and medicated as needed until the honey flow starts

  • Another brood chamber (medium) can be added for expansion and/or honey stores

  • Migratory hive cover with hole cut in top to accommodate feeding jar

  • Unsealed/sealed frames of honey/pollen from the last robbing can be added as a feeding substitute


Making splits the bee bumbler way7

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • When queens arrive they are placed in the queen-less colonies (1-2 days after splitting / removing original queen)

  • Remaining queens are banked until needed


Making splits the bee bumbler way8

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • The queen cage is placed on top of the frames of the brood chamber

  • An empty super is placed on colony to protect queen

  • The top is placed back on the colony and checked at a later date for queen release and brood pattern


Making splits the bee bumbler way9

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • The re-queened colonies are checked in 2-3 days for queen release and acceptance

  • When queen has been released, remove empty queen cage and super

  • New colonies will be fed and medicated as needed until the honey flow begins

  • Empty queen cages are placed on top of feeding jars as markers (Colored stick pins)


Making splits the bee bumbler way10

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • The colony will be checked in 3-7 days after queen release for a laying queen and brood pattern

  • Look for queen cells and remove them if found

  • Queen-less colonies can be requeened, combined with another colony or given fresh eggs to raise their own queen if there are enough drones available for mating


Making splits the bee bumbler way11

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • The colony will be checked in 14-21 days for brood pattern and the emergence of young brood

  • By this time you should be able to judge the egg laying capacity and brood pattern of the new queen

  • There should be examples of all stages of colony development

    • Eggs

    • Larva

    • Capped brood

    • Emerging brood and young bees

    • Foragers and workers


Making splits the bee bumbler way12

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Save one queen-less colony to bank queens until they are needed.

  • Queens can be banked for a couple of weeks this way

  • When there is 1 queen left, use her to re-queen the bank

  • Extra queens can also be used to re-queen any of the original colonies that show spotty brood patterns or failing queens


Making splits the bee bumbler way13

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Apiary (Bee Yard) full of newly established colonies

  • Feed, feed, feed

    • 1 part sugar to 1 part water for forage and wax production stimulation

    • 2 parts sugar to 1 part water for food storage and hive build-up

    • Medications can be added as needed to syrup

    • Pollen patties, etc


Making splits the bee bumbler way14

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Medication

    • Terra-Pro

      • Terramycin

      • Bee-Pro

      • Sucrose

      • Vitamins and Minerals

  • Pest Control

    • Mite-A-Thol

      • Tracheal Mites

    • CheckMite+

      • Varroa

      • Small Hive Beetle


Making splits the bee bumbler way15

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

  • Things to remember – There is more than one way to skin a cat or split a colony

    • Watch for failure of the queen

      • Spotty brood pattern

      • Queen cells

      • Re-queen or combine with another colony

    • Continue to feed the colony until the nectar flow begins

      • Can feed sugar water, corn syrup, pollen patties,etc

      • A nectar flow (sugar water) is necessary for wax production to pull out foundation

      • Rain will cause the bees to eat up honey stores

    • Apply medications as needed

      • Honey B Healthy and/or essential oils

      • Fumagilin for Nosema disease

      • Terramycin for EFB and AFB

    • Be aware of pests and parasites and treat accordingly

      • Varroa mites – Deformed wing syndrome – miticides, essential oils, grease patties

      • Trachea mites – K-wing syndrome - menthol

      • Small hive beetles – Presence of beetles and/or larva in hive – traps, CheckMite+, hive tool


Making splits the bee bumbler way16

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

Questions? Comments?

Thank-you for your attention

*Special thanks to R.D. Trichel and Jimmy Williams for their help with this project.

www.beebumbler.com

[email protected]

Clear Lake Apiary

Mansfield, Louisiana


Making splits the bee bumbler way17

Making Splits the“Bee Bumbler” Way

January 2010

Clear Lake Apiary

Mansfield, Louisiana


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