I split the hive last week. My original hive came out of Winter really strongly. I checked on them towards the end of Winter and they had obviously missed the memo that it was still Winter and that they should be quietly puttering along, not expanding just yet. They were almost out of space. I made the decision to give them more space instead of splitting them as I thought it would be easier to transport one hive to the farm than 2. I was wrong. One hive 3 boxes high is a jolly tricky thing to move and it does not fit in a car which was my planned mode of transport for the girls. Anyway, lesson learnt. I moved the large hive to the farm on the back of a hired ute, challenging, as a word, does not encompass that experience.
Last week I split that 3 box hive that was almost full again (busy busy girls!) into two 2 box hives. I am hopeful that it is early enough in the season that I will get honey from both hives. I took one full frame of honey off them when I split the hive. Made sure each hive had plenty of honey, pollen, eggs, brood (babies) and nurse bees. Said hello to the queen. Closed them up and called it a day. This is called a walk away split, although I located the queen I did not keep track of her so ultimately do not know which hive she ended up in (I have a strong suspicion but don’t know for sure) so I made sure both hives had eggs and the one that is now queenless will make their own new queen from one of the eggs. Amazing huh?
I moved the new hive to a different location as my choice for the old hive wasn’t great. I will slowly move the old hive to a new spot too. My brother very kindly made me another bee stand so my bee friends are raised up off the ground and the chickens can tidy up under the hive. This is only theoretical at the moment as the chickens have not ventured down to where either of the hives are, they have only explored a tiny part of the farm, Christopher Columbus they are not. They will go slightly further if I lead them to a new area but they leave as soon as I do. Chickens…