Doing a Fall split can be a bit tricky due to the fact you are in a race against the upcoming winter, and you need the hive to grow as quickly as possible! The most common reason for failure in fall splits is letting the hive raise their own queen and not giving a split enough brood to grow quickly.
But, if all goes well, you should be able to add a second brood box to the split within 4 weeks. That second box should be filled within 4-6 weeks. Continuous feeding is essential in the south. In the north, it will vary based on the area. If bees are not bringing in large amounts of nectar and drawing out new combs, then feeding is needed.
- Start with at least 8 deep frames of brood.
- Use a mated queen as opposed to letting them raise their own.
- Locate queen or make split and identify Queenless split within 3 – 4 days.
- Split using 4 frames of brood and ideally 2 frames of honey.
- Fill the rest of the space with frames of empty comb, foundation, or frames of honey/pollen.
- Install the new queen within 0-12 hours. If you wait more than 24 hours you will need to remove any queen cells the bees have begun to raise.
Feed both hives if there is not a strong natural fall nectar flow.
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