Splitting Hives

Splitting Hives

I’ve done this one!  It went really well. We didn’t have a clue where the Queen was until we saw eggs a few days later.  We created two additional colonies plus the original colony. The colony with the Queen even went on to produce a surplus of 13lb of honey that year.

  1. Smoke hive
  2. Remove 3-6 frames of bees from the original hive making sure there is a good mix of eggs, brood, bees and stores
  3. Place 6 new frames of foundation in the original hive
  4. Place 3 frames into each new hive making sure that each hive has eggs, brood, bees and stores
  5. Feed as required 
  6. Check 5 days later and keep your strongest Queen cell, cutting out the others

The hives with no Queens will raise emergency Queens from the eggs.

Worker and drone brood with emergency queen cell

Worker and drone brood with emergency queen cell (courtesy Laura Rittenhouse)

Empty emergency Queen cell

Empty emergency Queen cell (courtesy Laura Rittenhouse)

OK, OK … you want to see the Fat Bee Man in action.  Here he is splitting hives:

Further Reading

These how-to guides are provided for general interest and information only.  No liability is accepted for any injury or loss arising out of the contents of these pages.


Splitting Hives — 2 Comments

  1. Good question. From my understanding some queen cells might not have any egg or larvae in it. A good queen cell is one where you can see the larvae in it before it is capped. Failing that … a big queen cell rather than a small one.

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