We did some splits this spring to try to prevent our bees from swarming.  We could lose bees if we don’t find a capture a swarm.  The split creates more hives and gives the bees more room so hopefully they don’t have as strong of an urge to swarm.


Kirk smokes the old hives to prepare for the splits.

Kirk sets up all four hives with one pointing in each direction.  East hive is the oldest at 3 years, then south hive at 2 years and the west/north hives are in the first season.

We selected four frames from each of the established hives that were heavy with brood, pollen and honey to transfer to the new hives.  It is a means of creating an artificial swarm to cut down on natural swarming behavior.


Kirk removes burr comb built in between the super box and brood box.  This is mostly drone comb which contains male bees.  Male bees are used for breeding only and are not contributing to the hive otherwise.

Notice the brightly colored pollen packed into cells by the bees.  The different colors come from different plant resources.

The bees are busy packing in pollen and making brood.

Kirk packs some good combs into the new hives and we hope for the best.

Chris is proud of our growing operation.

Four hives to start the new year.  We will keep them closed for a few weeks and then check on how they are progressing.  The new hives have screened bottom boards for pest control.

Removed drone comb with a varroa mite.  The mites prefer to live in drone comb because it takes longer to mature and they are protected from bee housekeeping during that time.  Some beekeepers always remove drone comb as a means of pest control.  We removed this comb because it was in the way  during the splits.

The girls begin housekeeping duties immediately.  They drag chunks of wax, dead bees and dead drones out of the hives.  Notice several bees working together to remove a large piece of wax.

The bees are always working.  We hope that they will work hard to make four strong hives for us in the coming season.