A Good Day to Make Splits

“Five hundred. … five hundred fights, that’s the number I figured when I was a kid. Five hundred street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that’s what you are.” Vin Diesel, in Knockaround Guys

After a long (very hot) afternoon of beekeeping, I came home and jumped in the shower – that’s when I saw them. Four stings on my forearm. I knew I had gotten a couple of stings; one on my back and one under my arm but that was it. That’s when I realized I had come to a turning point. I quit counting stings about a month or so ago (right after the day I got those (60) at one time). It stopped being the point… and I got past the silliness of it all.

This may be as much to do with the calmer hives I have begun to breed. At present I only seem to have one cantankerous hive left at Dr. D’s place. Hive-A is still fairly aggressive but Hive-A.1.VSH has become as calm as a Hindu cow.

All and all it was a great day of beekeeping. Here is what we did:

Hive D.3.VSH has succumb to the hive beetles. In fact it has also begun to have Wax Months. There was still about a cup of bees in the hive but the beetles had destroyed all the wax. For now we just left it but I will retrieve it this weekend.

Hive A.1.VSH was dealt with next. We opened the top and found it full of bees. No further inspection was needed. We stapled #8 HW Cloth over any openings and ratchet strapped the whole thing tight. We then loaded it up and took it to the house.

Hive B was then split. I did this in the walkaway split style. First I moved the top two boxes of honey to the new location. I then placed the brood chamber on top. From there I split the brood chamber in half, making sure to put eggs and stores in both. I then used the frozen frames (after they thawed) to fill in the open spaces. I then placed the single box with about two frames of nurse bees back on the original location.

When complete, I had a new hive… Hive B.1 I didn’t put a VSH egg in this one because it was already calm and I want to keep some genetic diversity in the apiary.

VC was last. VA and VB are the two five frame nucs that the beetles destroyed. I’ve decided for now just to keep the letters running in order. VC was filled with two frames of brood, eggs, & bees from Hive A and one frame of just eggs from Hive VSH. We then took it home with us. At home, I took the mini mating nuc full of bees and added them to VC. I also took the VSH frame of eggs and placed them in Hive D.VSH.

I would have like to have done more but the heat was pretty bad and my suit was stifling. Saturday I plan to do more. Nonetheless, it was a great day of beekeeping and I felt confident in all of my hive manipulations. It is late in the season but I think I still have time to make some gains.

Hive Count: (9) Hives and (1) Five Frame Nuc

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