Steps honey bee farmers could adopt to divide a bee colony

steps honey bee farmers could adopt to divide a bee colony to include:

  • Prepare your new hive first – clean and rub it with some beeswax or propolis so that it smells familiar for the bees. Put it next to the overcrowded hive.
  • Use your smoker and suit and keep your smoker alight nearby in case you need it.
  • Choose a big healthy colony to divide and check it has brood, eggs, pollen and honey.
  • Select a comb with queen cells, remove it from the hive and break all the queen cells except the biggest capped two. You need two just in case one gets damaged.
  • Now transfer the comb with the 2 queen cells into the new hive.
  • Also transfer one or two other combs with a lot of sealed brood and a little unsealed brood. More brood means adult bees will emerge very quickly in the new hive.
  • Also transfer one or two combs of food comb with lots of sealed honey and pollen.
  • You can make a division with combs as long as the new colony has female worker eggs of less that three days old and larvae in the combs transferred. From the very young larvae they will be able to make new queen cells within a few days and raise a new queen.
  • Include bees on all the combs you transfer and brush or shake in bees from 2 or 3 other combs as well.
  • Check very thoroughly that you do not have the old queen on the combs you move or brush off.
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