Dividing 1- 3lb Bee Packages into 2- 1.5lb packages
In an effort to save money purchasing honeybee packages I thought I would split 1 package into 2, buy a new queen for one of them and save money.
This sounds like a reasonable idea and I think it could actually be done if done correctly. My first attempt created a very hostile apiary and the death of one of my hives. I wrote about this here http://greenroadfarm.com/beekeeping/?page_id=649
Basically, splitting a 3lb package of bees into two 1.5lb packages create two weak hives. The mistake I made was to not take extra precautions for the hive to protect itself. I also think that I should have fed this hive well into the nectar flow so that there was less effort needed to provide honey stores.
If you are thinking about splitting a package into 2 packages here is what I would do.
– You could put them in a Nuc hive or a single super hive but make sure the entrance is only the size of a wine cork (1 inch wide and tall).
– Feed them a 1:1 ratio of sugar water (by weight) until their numbers are greatly increased, disregarding nectar flow. The 1:1 ratio mimicks the springtime nectar flow and the emphasis in the hive is to produce honeycomb & bees and not honey storage.
– Another thing to think about is whether you have frames that are already drawn out with honeycomb. All of my frames are drawn out already so I think the chance of success next time are pretty high
The cost of bees is becoming quite expensive as of 2015 and I may try this again in the spring of 2016.