For those who are unfamiliar, a split is the taking 4 or 5 frames of bees, brood (eggs, larvae & pupa), honey and pollen from a strong hive and putting them in an empty hive body or nuc box. If you don't have a new queen to introduce, whichever hive that is left "queenless" will instinctively begin raising a new queen within a few days.
I'm not going to pretend I'm some pro at splitting hives. I attempted it once and it failed because of mistakes on my part. And although I learned from those mistakes, I was understandably a little nervous about the possibility of fumbling a second time. As luck would have it, Jennifer Berry wrote the neatest little article on doing splits in this month's Bee Culture magazine, and after reading it, I was pretty pumped and ready for round two.
I planned to use a 5 frame nuc box to perform the split, but before I made the pilgrimage to the bee yard, I did a little prep; most of which was to prevent a truck cab full of angry bees from taking my eyes off the road. To begin with, I attached the bottom board to the nuc box with a couple of brackets I bought at Lowes. Next, I cut a piece of wood to block the entrance and secured it with a few thumb tacks. Then, I added a screened inner cover for ventilation. Finally, I rounded up an adjustable bungee cord to secure the inner cover so it wouldn't pop off coming down the road. With all my gear in check, I hit the road.
|Bracket attaching the bottom board to the nuc for transport|
|Screened inner cover for ventilation|
|Entrance block held in place with tacks|
|Adjustable bungee cord. A truck cab full of angry bees wouldn't be good.|
|Newest addition to the flower bed|