Splits And Swarms

Our winters here are quite mild, so I left a super on top of our suburban hive hoping that it would build up brood in the super so I could split the hive in Spring. They did not disappoint and there was plenty of brood in both boxes to split the hive in October.

 

This split was basically a walk away split. I took 4 frames of brood and 4 frames of honey from the parent hive. Two of the brood frames appeared to have a couple of queen cells on them. I was pretty certain that the queen remained in the parent hive.

Walk Away Split

 

After a day I decided to swap the positions so field bees would drift to the new hive. This they did and the parent hive did not have a lot of foraging activity for a few days so I tried out my frame feeder in the parent hive.

Eight days later I checked the new hive, it was getting a bit low of brood, but there were queen cells present. I plan to add another frame of capped brood and may be some honey to keep it going in another week.

 

The day I inspected the split hives a small swarm decided to cluster in our front yard. It was the easiest swarm I am likely to ever catch. 80cm above ground hanging on a shrub right next to the garden path. Very placid bees. I could have captured this swarm without protective clothing.

I was ready too, I had a Nuc box ready to go.

Swarm Was Put Straight Into a Nuc Box

 

We got most of the bees into the Nuc, only a handful remaining on the shrub cluster.I had a couple of frames of drawn comb with I put in the box instead of foundation, hoping this would encourage them to stay.

We sealed it up and transported the Nuc box down to our farm. They remained sealed over night and first thing in the morning I placed them in the yard and opened the entrance.

After two days I inspected the hive and noticed they had been very busy drawing the foundation. Just to be sure they had enough resources, I gave them a frame feeder and a frame of brood (about 1/2 full) from the other hive down there. A few hours later they were going nuts foraging. I am confident they will stay around now. Next week I will transfer them to a full size box.

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