If you are going to make a split in the spring then MAKE A GOOD ONE! It kills me when I hear beekeepers that want to make their splits before the weather is appropriate. If you make a tiny split it will struggle terribly to survive the cold temps and you risk killing them completely. Furthermore I really get steamed up when I hear about a person wanting to sell nucs too early just to try to get the jump on the “competition”. I wish they could just realize the importance of helping new beekeepers get started off successfully is the longevity of the business.
The nuc business is riddled with beekeepers trying to sell 2 or 3 frame nucs… REALLY? I have made 2 or 3 frame splits before in the summer, but I have never tried to sell such a small wad of bees to a customer in the spring.
A 4 or 5 frame nuc full of all age bees and brood has the proper ingredients and has a much better chance of survival in early spring than a 2 or 3 frame. As the season warms up and spring arrives these small splits can be made without trouble but it is very important to sell those to experienced beekeepers who know how to handle them.
A 5 frame nuc is a much better option for a beekeeper of any degree. Think about it! A Five frame nuc has everything it needs to survive if the beekeeper selling them cares anything at all about customer service and return business.
Don’t get me started on those guys that don’t stand behind their product!
Bee Well Honey Farm in Pickens South Carolina stands behind their bees and makes sure to give the customer what they are paying for.
A Five frame nuc is an established colony operating as it should with at least 3 frames of brood and 2 frames of pollen and honey.
If you don’t have all the ingredients you have not made a healthy split. Make sure your split contains 3 frames of brood and enough bees to keep that brood covered during the cold nights and days that still come in early spring then surround that brood with honey and pollen by placing full frames on each side of the brood then shake in 2 or 3 more frames of bees to make sure. This recipe will give you a healthy split queen or no queen. Good Luck!