- Hi, I am located just outside of Stratford, Ontario, Canada and had a few
questions about hive splitting. We have decided to make two more hives from
our "Mother" hive and have ordered two queens from Hawaii. The queens are
scheduled to arrive in the week of May 10th to the 14th. We have the book
"Hive Management: a Seasonal guide for beekeepers" the book says that you
should take about half the brood from the "Mother" and place it in a new
hive. Then you shake in some extra bees. My first question is, when you do
this, shouldn't you check to see that you are not moving the queen as well?
Then you are suppose to introduce a new queen. How do you do this? do you
just release the queen into the hive and let nature take its course? Also,
we have two hives at the moment and were originally going to make two more
hives from the one hive because the bees are more aggressive and clean.
Would this put too much stress on the one hive? Would we be better off
making one hive from each of our original hives? With the bees arriving in a
certain week some time, when should we move the brood and extra bees over
into the new hive? Should we move them when we move the queen in or does
that cause too much confusion for the bees?
Thank you in advance for any questions you may be able to answer, this
information will be very valuable to me now and forever.
- My wife and I used to go to Stratford every year when we lived in Cleveland,
I live in CT now.
I used to love Perth County. So green!
Yes you have to make sure you know which hive the queen is in when you split
Presumably your queens will come in a queen cage with a candy plug. You
suspend it in the hive with the candy plug upward (not downward) and by the
time the bees eat through it they will be used to the new queen and not kill
her. If they don't come that way you need to construct a cage. Plastic ones
are available from most of the bee supply houses. Dadant. Brushy Mountain.
Mann Lake. Betterbee etc.
Hard to advise on whether to make a third hive from combining brood from the
two existing vs. just one. My guess without knowing the hives and
characteristics is that it would be better (more productive) to let one hive
stay full force while you nurture two along for this year. The rule of thumb
is that 60000 bees in one hive will produce a lot more honey than 30000 bees
in each of two hives. If both hives are really strong though, you could take
one or two frames from the other hive to put less stress on the one you are
Let me know how it turns out.