Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bob Sitko's Overnight Split Method


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.

Bob Sitko