Do I need to split my bee hive?
The short answer is: No, you don't ever NEED to split your hive. The bees will live happily in the hive box for many years undisturbed. However, should you want to split your hive to expand your bee empire and have more hives, then that option is available too.
Will my bees leave if they run out of room in the hive?
No, once a native stingless bee queen is mated, she cannot fly and the hive will never abandon their queen. The hive will continue to thrive and may even begin the process of natural propagation. Natural propagation is the process of seeking out a new location, provisioning that location with stores and then installing a new queen in that new location. The old hive is not abandoned and continues to thrive. This is how native stingless bees multiply naturally in the wild.
When is the best time to split?
While native stingless bee hives can be split almost all year round in Queensland, my personal preference is to wait until the warmer months. When the night time temperatures are below ten degrees in winter, the bees are not as active and may not be able to quickly make the repairs needed to the hive after a split. Like most things, a little patience will ensure your bees are happy and strong.