Spring Splits

We had our first large scale spring split adventure this year. We did a combination of grafting queen cells, harvesting natural queen cells and purchasing cells from a Texas breeder. We made some mistakes, learned lots of lessons, and now have an additional 60+ hives going into the Spring.

These are the bees that have virgin queens in their hive. They’re set up with jar feeders and 5 frames. We’ll check on them again to see if they’ve started laying this weekend.

We will be watching the hives over the next few weeks as we wait for the virgin queens to be mated. The bees are building up quickly and are pulling in tons of pollen for brood production. We will supplement there carbohydrates with sugar syrup while they build new comb and get ready for their first major honey flow.  

So far we’ve really liked the idea of getting queen cells as it’s more economical and we have plenty of drones ready to mate. We’ve had a lot of help with spring splits this year – Thanks to David Boatcallie for manual labor, Jamie Manning for helping put frames together, and Steve Butler for supplying us with expertise, bees and nuc boxes! You guys are true rock stars. 🤘

5 queens one hive
Steve Butler found 5 queens and 6 Queen cells on a hive removal. In talking with professional beekeepers, it’s pretty common to have 2 or more queens in one hive during the spring (and even winter). This is counterintuitive to the “one queen per hive” rule, but the truth doesn’t lie 😉 Bees are full of surprises!!

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