Splitting your beehive in the spring to prevent swarming and to add new colony to your apiary. Before a hive can be split they must have sufficient numbers of worker bees, honey frames, brood frames with both capped brood and fresh larvae. You can do a hive split with a new queen or a new queen can be reared by the split without the queen. This can only be done by the bees if the queen-less side of the split has fresh eggs or larvae one to three days old. If you plan on splitting your hive with a new queen you will need to plan your split on the availability of queens. Their are several beekeepers on the front range and the Denver metro area who raise queens through out the year. See our bee club and information page.
You have verified your hive is ready to split depending on the hive you are splitting you will have from ten to twenty frames to work with, Almost like a deck of cards you are going to give each side of the split equal amounts of honey frames, brood frames and empty frames. You will need to locate the queen while you splitting the hive the queen-less side gets fresh larva and eggs. The side with the queen still gets brood but the fresh brood needs to be on the queen-less side. The queen-less bee split will rear a new queen or queens this will take about 18 days for the new queen to emerge. It will take her another 4 to 6 days for the new queen to mate or go on nuptial flights before she can start laying eggs at about 24 days after the split.
Splitting with a new queen gives them more of a head start as the queen is ready to lay eggs. After the split is done attach the queen cage to the top of one of the center frames and leave her in the cage. Come back in one to three days remove the cork to expose the candy or place a mini marsh mellow where the cork was. The worker bees will release the queen by eating the candy or marsh mellow. Leaving the queen in the cage for a day or two allows both the queen and the worker bees time to accept each other.
You may also choose to re-queen both sides during the spilt.
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