SiWolKe wrote:I had a deadout on Saturday.
This colony was made as a split in June 2017, I splitted in two strong parts because I was not able to find the queen ( supplier 16 years tf), they had 12 brood combs dadant and bursted with bees. Genetics: AMM descendants from a "resistant survivor " queen, treatment free for 4 years in Germany.
So I splittet half half and the queen was in one split in the end with 6 combs, mostly capped.....
Unsure what is your strategy and many hives you want to carry, but...
.. as for me in this case I would kept splitting and made at least three (and try for four colonies) out that single source.
I have made three splits out of my single survivor.
Almost made four splits but due to my own fault one nuc failed to mate the queen.
My last splits I made were at the end of July and were successful too.
So - four successful splits out of a single source colony are totally feasible.
Now I know and will try this again.
I think you went too conservative.
So my take is that (since I am trying to establish and grow and don't care of any product output), more variety is more valuable to me than fewer but stronger colonies. I would readily go for more (but smaller) hives even is this means I may need feed them into the winter.
But my system allows for smaller colonies to successfully winter too - a consideration.
Also, I have a questions - how do you allow your bees to raise drones (with all that SC foundation)?
Were there any drones raised by the splits at all?
There are many arguments around, but most all are agreeing that drones are natural mite sinks and are significant in that particular function.
Most all of my nucs did raise their own drones (bigger hives raised lots and lots of drones for sure).
I am foundation-less and my combs may look a total mess and contain lots of irregular, honey, and drone combs (to some keepers).
I even have mixed in several LC combs here and there just because it so happened.
Not worried too much.
I believe all that mix of combs is important part of the healthy ecosystem and must exist for a robust colony.
A normal colony maintains 10-20 distinct cohorts of bees at once (each from different father); each of those maintains different traits, including slightly different sizing. So let them build what they want and be done with it.
In the same line of thinking, it maybe actually desirable to have 1-2 LC combs in the colony just to make those larger combs mite sinks out side of the drone season. Loose some - keep the rest alive is the logic.
Anyway, will see what happens with my stock in few short months and any of the above matters.
Too early to tell.