Second year beekeeper here. I just bought the BeeThinking plans to build a top bar hive. My plan is to build it over the winter to have it ready by next spring. I already have two Langstroth hives that are doing well.
So my question is this: I want to split one of my colonies to populate my top bar hive rather than buy a package. If I split it this season, and put the split in a top bar nuc box, how much time should I account for to insure that they will be strong enough to overwinter? I don’t want to do the split too early, or worse, too late.
Oh, and would it be a good idea to attach comb foundation (thin, no wires) to a top bar or two in the nuc box to give them a head start?
Also, I live in middle Tennessee. Our winters are fairly mild. We usually get 2 or three snow days a year, rarely more than 3 or 4 inches. Our first frost is around mid October and out last is usually early to mid April.