Splitting For Exponential growth

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

            Bees like to work the center of the hive whether it is drawing wax, raising brood, or storing honey; this method of management takes advantage of this instinct.

            There are many ways to split bees. On this page I am going to go over a method to split bees for exponential growth.  For the beekeeper that is trying to increase his hive count this is a perfect way to manage your bees. For the beekeeper that is trying to produce honey a different method will supply better results. This method can also be incorporated with Varro control. If you want to increase your hive count you can apply this splitting method to half of your hives or only a few.

            Remember all hives are not equal.  In order to get the most out of splitting your hive should be headed by a queen that is a big brood producer. Italians and Carnolians are perfect. In order to keep this method from getting to complicated I will apply the splitting to 1 hive.

            1. When temperatures start hitting the 60s consistently you can start your management. First you want your hives to begin producing huge volumes of brood. You will want to being by rotating empty frames of drawn comb in between the frames of brood. You have to be careful as in spring time the temperature can still drop, and you want the to be able to cover all the brood. 

            2. Feeding pollen sub. will help a lot. Also feeding sugar syrup will help but you cannot feed too much or the hive will begin to store the syrup instead of raising bees. Once you have about 8 frames of bees you can begin splitting. 

3. If you use mated for your splitting you will have better success, however, queens are about 8 times as expensive as queen cells. Using queen cells will help with Varroa treatment a lot though (See last Paragraph) Queen cells are harder to find unless you raise your own. Queen rearing is time consuming but totally worth it. Click here to see our queen-rearing page. 

            4. We will assume our hive has 8 frames of brood. Confine the queen to a nuc box with 2 frames of brood and a frame of honey.  You will then separate all the remaining 6 frames of brood and bees into a 3 separate Nuc boxes.  The half frames of brood will go on the outside with the brood facing in. 

            5. Here is the configuration of what your Nuc boxes should look like.