“I want to split two of my honeybee hives this year but I don’t know when I should do it. I still would like to get some honey so when is a best time to make a split?” — Lily
When Is The Best Time to Make A Split
The answer to your question is actually in your question. You said you want to split two of your honeybee hives but you also want to get honey this year so the best time for you to split is after the nectar flow.
If you want honey this year, you want your bee colonies to be strong so they can collect enough flower nectar to dehydrated into honey for their winter use as well as extra for you. To do that, they need lots of foragers taking advantage of temperatures between 75F and 85F, when flowers produce nectar to attract pollinators.
If you split now during the nectar flow, your bee colonies will have less bees to forage for flower nectar, which means you will need to monitor them to make sure they have enough honey stored to make it through winter. Usually split colonies do not have enough bees to make extra honey.
Once the nectar flow is over, you can then split the colonies and continue feeding them a nectar-like sugar water mixture. The sugar water mixture will keep their wax glands stimulated so they build wax on the new frames and also have ready sugar water they can dehydrate and store for winter. You don’t want to harvest this stored sugar water for your use because it is not honey.
Hope this helps you as you decide how to manage your honeybees!