An excellent method of splitting spring colonies which is fast, avoids looking for the old queen, and ends with all young bees which easily accept a new queen.
1 – Place an upside down outer cover and empty hive body next to the hive to be split (the parent).
2 – Open the parent hive and remove 5 frames of brood, one frame at a time, shaking (and brushing) the bees back into the parent.
3 – Place the now bee-less brood frames into the middle of the empty hive body, sealed brood in the center, open brood next to them.
4 – Remove two combs of pollen; shake off all the bees, and place them next to the open brood , one on each side.
5 – Repeat with two frames of honey, removed from the parent, shaken, and placed out side of the pollen frames.
6 – Place the inner cover on the split to conserve heat.
7 – Any brood remaining in the parent colony should be moved to the center and empty frames given on each side.
8 – Put an excluder on top of the parent colony, the new split on top of the excluder, outer cover and you are done.
Here is how it works: Overnight, the bees (mostly nurse bees) move up to cover and care for the brood while the queen remains below the excluder. The following morning, move the split to a new stand and give them a new queen using the slow release method.