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How to Split a Hive

Things you need to split a hive:

  • A thriving colony of bees (there are bees on all of the frames)
  • A queen (for splits that do not have swarm cells)
  • An empty box (nuc or hive)
  • Bee suit (they will NOT be happy!)
  • A lit smoker (because they will NOT be happy!)
  • A J-Hook or Hive tool

Steps to Split the Hive:

  • Set up your new “hive” with the empty box or nuc where it will be located.
  • Open the thriving hive and locate the queen.
  • Pull 2-3 frames of capped and uncapped brood and place them in the center of the new hive.
  • Pull a couple frames of pollen and honey and place them on the outside ends of the brood frames.
  • Fill the rest of the new hive with drawn comb so the queen has a place to lay eggs.
  • Replace the pulled frames from the thriving hive with empty frames or drawn comb.
  • Place the OLD queen in the new hive uncaged. The bees already know her so there is no fear of them not accepting her. The old hive has swarm cells so they have already begun making a new queen. Let them do their thing!

Feed both hives with 1:1 sugar water for at least a few weeks to give them time to build up their population.