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Expanding to a new hive


As my hive fills up, can I, before they swarm, take a few bars out with brood and bees and place them in a newly built hive? Will they make a queen, or do I have to buy one? Thanks


These are great questions about what is known as ‘splitting’ or ‘dividing’ a Top Bar Beehive. Here are the two most popular methodologies

  1. Dividing a Top Bar - If you see queen cups nearing ripening, you can move the queen with 5 combs of capped brood and honey (considered to be the most minimal for a healthy transfer), and populate it into a new Top Bar. The original colony will raise a queen, and build out the population once again.
  2. If you do not see queen cells being formed, it’s questionable if they will reach the stage of finding it necessary to swarm. You can follow the instructions above in conducting a split, but you now will have to either ‘re-queen’ with queen that was provided to you (or mailed), and hope that she is accepted, or you’ll risk in hoping that a new queen is raised – and in enough time – to start laying again in rebuilding a new colony.

I hope this helps answer your questions, please let us know of any and all others you might have!