Friday, May 1, 2015

Getting Ready for Spring Splits | Splitting Beehives

Overwintered queen and newly emerged bees
April was wonderful for buildup. On my first inspection on 3/31, the queen had just started laying with only a couple of frames filled with brood/eggs.

I kept adding patties weekly as the bees were going through them pretty quickly. We had some marginal weather during the first half of April, but the buildup continued steadily.

As of my last inspection on April 26, the bottom box is fully filled with brood and the brood nest is expanding into the second box. The first round of brood is emerging - you can see some brand new fuzzy white bees on the bottom left of the queen picture.

At this point, I can either start expanding the brood nest to try and prevent/delay swarming or I can attempt some early splits. And yes, I have drones!

At this point, I am not planning on letting them raise
Bee patties are going quickly
when the brood rearing gets going
their own queens, because I don't want to miss the early spring buildup. The dandelions are just starting to bloom. Instead, I have ordered VSH queens and they should be arriving some time next week (May 2). The long range forecast calls for lows in the high 50s and highs are in the high 70s. Perfect time for spring splits.