Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dinna Fash Yourself or the Bees

I spent the last few days agonizing over how to best manage my hives.  The bees are running out of room.  The last time I opened the hives I thought I found some queen cells.  I added a super to the top of each hive about a month ago.  Two weeks ago I added queen excluders between the top deep box and the super. My next step was to split the hive. 

In preparation for the split I bought and assembled two deep eight frame boxes. Unfortunately, I only bought one bottom and top.  I really should have bought three more sets.  My hives are full to capacity and I think I can probably get two splits off each hive.  If the split that I just set up works, I'll be heading back to the bee store.

After reading and reading and reading about how to split a hive I came to the conclusion that:
1) There are as many ways to split a hive as there are bee keepers.
2) There is no single right way to split a hive.
3) Stressing over how to manage my bees in not productive.
4) I'll never know until I try.

The advice of one of my favorite fictional characters holds true again, "Dinna fash yourself."

I received similar advice from my very wise daughter, H13, who said, "I have found that animals very often know what's best for themselves."

On these expert opinions, I made my way to the hives today to try a walk away split.  I placed the new eight frame hive next to my second hive.  Then I swapped four frames from the second hive with the empty frames from the new hive and put both hives back together.  The idea is that in the end my four frames of brood and food will develop their own queen and become a new, healthy hive.  I'll check them in a few weeks and see how they are doing.

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