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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,889

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    Does anyone use the Killan method for comb honey? As I understand it you build up as much as possible before the main flow (feeding pollen and syrup etc.) and then you pull all the open brood out and crowd the hive into one brood chamber and possiblly even remove the queen for a short time or cage her so she can't lay, so that all the nurse bees are freed up for foraging (except the ones you leave with the pulled open brood which you use to make a split or combine with open brood from other hives to make one strong one). Then add your comb honey supers. The theory is that you want to build up brood before the honey flow, but you don't want to spend resources taking care of brood when there is nectar to harvest. Then the hive resumes brood rearing after the main flow.

    Anyone doing this? Any corrections to my description? Any advice? Observations?

    I have not tried it before and was considering trying it this year to get more comb honey.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    MB,

    I use the Killion method (slight variation however). I build up population as strong as possible, really try to crowd 3 deep colony. I then cut down to a single deep for the production colony. Most of the bees are shaken into this colony. I then set the other two boxes behind the parent facing other way adding a queen/ cell, ect. This will cause massive crowding and I add two section supers at the same time as the cut down. The daughter buids up and makes surplus later on or brood for nucs or whatever you want. You need to keep an eye on the section production colony for swarming for a bit (2 weeks). Then just make sure the bees don't get bound with brood or honey (open up to keep the bees going along). You can handle the rest.............then in fall combine parent and daughter to re-establish winter setup. I rank the Killion method as the best......then shook swarm second.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    >I rank the Killion method as the best......then shook swarm second.

    If that was the Killion method, what is the "shook swarm" method?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Post

    Michael:
    I have the tape ( loaned out now ) but I can try to get a sopy to before Bee season.
    Ed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Micheal,

    Shook swarm you make an artificial swarm like package bees onto foundation.You could even use a large swarm. I have found that empty combs don't work as well for me. The bees focus on the combs ignore the section supers sometimes. The last time I used this method I produced 5 ross supers and could have easily gotten a 6th but I opted to set them back up for winter as I don't feed syrup. All in all that was a good year, I think the Killion method is more reliable and would give better consistency year after year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,889

    Post

    Let me see if I understand this correctly. I'm running mediums, so I assume I want one or two mediums left on the original. I suppose I could go for one if I wanted to REALLY crowd them.

    I assume I want to put all the open brood in the daugter to free up nurse bees in the parent?

    I assume I want to put most of the emerging brood in the parent to boost the population of foragers?

    Another effect I was informed of by someone who uses this method, is if the bottom box is all emerging brood and honey, the bees will move a lot of the honey up (building comb as they go) to free up brood space for the queen to lay. I would assume this would require uncapping so they would be more willing to move it.

    This person also removed the queen for a few days and destroyed any queen cells and then put the queen back confined for a while in order to interupt the brood rearing cycle.

    Is it a bad idea to leave the mother hive queenless? What if you put the old queen in the daughter hive and let the mother hive raise a new queen? If this didn't disrupt things to much it would cause requeening (a needed step anyway). But may have a disheartening affect on the mother hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    I have sold more comb than most things so I was going to try to produce a significant amount this year. What do all of you find is your best selling product? Cut comb? Chunk comb? Ross Rounds, Sections? How do you package them?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    MB,

    I would cut down to 2 mediums if it were me so as not to have the swarm impulse kicking in every other week.

    I balance the emerging brood between the two colonies, but try to make sure there is some open combs for the queen to take to. I try to remove larvae that could produce a queen as a swarm control technique (open brood).

    When you cut down the bees are suddenly without storage space. They will pack the broodnest with nectar using it to draw comb in the sections then move it up. If you have a bound broodnest (too many capped combs) harvest a few and add more foundation or empty combs.

    MB writes:

    This person also removed the queen for a few days and destroyed any queen cells and then put the queen back confined for a while in order to interupt the brood rearing cycle.

    Is it a bad idea to leave the mother hive queenless? What if you put the old queen in the daughter hive and let the mother hive raise a new queen? If this didn't disrupt things to much it would cause requeening (a needed step anyway). But may have a disheartening affect on the mother hive.


    reply:

    The Killians removed the queen for a few days as you say then added a queen or cell. They basically used requeening as a method for swarm control. I don't bother anymore. I just make sure there is some empty comb for the queen to lay till the bees take to the sections. I prefer to remove brood or honey (relieve congestion)rather than fool around with a good queen at a time where it could ruin a crop.

    I mostly do ross rounds for the ease of it. I use the normal ross packaging. But in the last few years I have been trying the round section trays that betterbee sells. I use the ross supers without the rings. Then I cut the sections out like cut comb and place in the round trays or you could do cut comb and use the round section cutter, using the scrape pieces to do chunk honey. The trays are nice in that they can be used to hide imperfections. But I still really like the ease of the ross packaging and how it shows off the beauty of the comb. Here's my secrect........Use the rings all the time.....put the purdy nice sections in the ross, cut around the rings and put imperfect ones in the trays. Unfortunately sections aren't my best seller... too bad as I love working bees to produce them. Creamed honey stands as the my best sales behind liquid sales.



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