I had 2 hives and one queen went missing so rather than ordering a new queen (I've ordered about 5 this year, they just disappear) I just combined them.
Now I have 1 hive 3 brood chambers high and I live in Louisiana were everyone tells me to just use 1 brood chamber. Now should I split this hive into 3 or leave it as one huge hive, AND will 1 Brood chamber be enough bees to have surplus honey?
Or will the huge hive produce more honey? Thanks
>Now I have 1 hive 3 brood chambers high and >I live in Louisiana were everyone tells me >to just use 1 brood chamber.
They read to many books. Most serious honey producers use at least two brood chambers. The only really good reason for using one chamber is for a light easy to move pollinator colony. There are quite a few beekeepers that use three brood chambers both in the north and the south.
>Now should I split this hive into 3 or >leave it as one huge hive,
I'd leave it as one. Open the colony up to get the queen laying in all three brood chambers, but at least two. In the spring make up a small nuc (4 frame) to make increase. But still run the colony as a triple. You should need at least two deep honey supers or equivalent maybe three. Use no queen excluder and manage the bees using the unlimited broodnest management. To do this keep opening up the brood nest to give the queen laying space and pulling honey up to maximize brood area. Let the third box plug out with honey for winter you shouldn't need to feed (very little if at all). also one can play robinhood too. If a colony is weak give it honey from a colony that is storing honey in the 5 or 6th.
>will 1 Brood chamber be enough bees to have >surplus honey?
yes one can, but the population just can't get as big as a colony with brood space in three boxes.
>will the huge hive produce more honey?
Yes, they almost certainly could with proper management.
It boils down to this: One can work small colonies which are easy to handle having a smaller crop yet they have one. Or a large colony that in all likeliness will have a large crop but will require WORK and need lots of equipment to run. Try running triple box colonies see if this is what you want from bees if not you can alway go back to the smaller units. But I think you will be pleased on the production of the larger colonies. But its up to you.