ERBA and Splits

The ERBA had its monthly meeting tonight, focusing on the inner workings of the hive. Tom Fifer gave most of the talk and it was good. I opened my big mouth, primarily because of my general excitement about bees. In retrospect, I probably had the least experience of anyone in the room!

The problem centered on questions about ‘what to expect when you open the hive’. Well, I can tell anyone reading this blog that you can throw that out the window. I would say that about 50% of the time, I see what ‘people tell me to expect’. The other 50% of the time, I see things that no one prepared me for. As Tom Fifer said at our meeting tonight, ‘my bees didn’t read the same book that I read’. So, I was dying to speak the whole time, as if these folks gave a hoot what I had to say! Heh.

Regardless, I wish the talk had been on creating splits, like I thought it was going to be. I have a bunch of scenarios that could pop up in the next 72 hours that could require this knowledge. I have been combing the internet and trying to prepare myself, but who knows how it will go.

Of note, Tom did give me one tidbit of knowledge that I had not picked up before. To begin with, he only drops one frame of bees with the queen cell into the hive, adding a frame of honey and a frame of pollen to get them going. He doesn’t add more. I’m guessing this is partially due to the fact that he has that Deep divided into 3 or 4 sections that will only take a few frames. Regardless, the real bit of knowledge was what came next. You need to move your split at least 3 miles from the original hive. Any foragers that you move will simply go back to the original hive if you do it closer. I am guessing this is because the average foraging distance is about 2 miles. Go 3 and the foragers will not be familiar with the area. This is good info, as I had planned on placing my split about 3 feet from the original hive! It would have been yet another costly venture. I suppose I will have to move them out to Charles City and start my beehive out there.

Well, back to researching splits. The next post is likely to be a doozie…

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One Response to ERBA and Splits

  1. Doug Ladd says:

    I will have to disagree with Tom, although he is right that if the split is moved the foragers will return to the old hive location…

    Now think about this! Use that instinct to YOUR and the split’s advantage. Make your split (with 5 frames, 3 brood, 1 pollen, 1 one honey) and move the OLD hive to another location in YOUR yard, i only move mine about 10 foot or so… Then place the SPLIT in the OLD HIVES OLD LOCATION. What will occur that evening and the next day is the foragers will return to the SPLIT!!! This will provide the extra bees to forage and to keep the brood warm in the split at night. This will be a big advantage to the split.

    You will notice the old hive will not be very active externally (since the split recieved all the foragers of age)this will subside as soon as brood starts to hatch in the old hive, nothing to worry about because its stronger anyway than the split.

    So to recap:

    Move the OLD hive to a new location
    Place the Split in the Old hives old location.

    I believe if you think about this you will be much happier with a stronger split(5-8 frame split) and many foragers to help the split limp along while they make a new queen, she gets mated, she starts laying, and then the new brood hatches…

    [Contact info removed to prevent spam bots from spamming poster] if you need more info or just want to talk. I did this same procedure to my dads hive i gave him last weekend in Quinton VA, You can still see the results today…

What are your thoughts on this?