Splits, or “increase” as it is referred to in some parts of the US, are usually performed by beekeepers in the spring. Splits allow us to recover from winter losses and grow our apiaries with new hives. Beekeepers have referred to splits as “nucs” or nucleus hives as they are normally comprised of:
- Two frames of brood, covered with bees on both sides of the frame
- One frame of honey
- One frame of pollen
- A new queen (or ripe queen cell) is added to the split/nuc/increase hive either immediately in a cage, or after two to three days. Once the split has accepted the queen, the hive begins to develop into a new hive.
As a management practice, splits are used to reduce the likelihood of colonies issuing a swarm. Beekeepers reduce the colony population by removing frames of capped brood when creating splits, thereby reducing originating colony congestion.
James Ranne of the Concho Valley Beekeepers Association offers his method of performing splits for your review. James has been keeping bees for decades, and worked for the largest beekeeper (The J.R. Petty Company with about 2,500 hives) in the San Angelo Area. We hope you enjoy his two part video presentation: