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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lebanon, OH, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Combining for honey flow?

    Does this make sense? I have 5 new hives, from packages a month ago. We have our best honey flow late spring, early summer, locust trees. As there is not enough time for the packages to be very strong could I move one queen and a couple of frames into a nuc and combine the rest of that hive to another to make a stronger hive just for the honey flow, and then split them back later in the summer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Yes but No

    You can but don't do that to your new colonies. It's better adapted to a short flow and done with colonies that can spare the bees without harm. Say you have 100 boomers gonna swarm in one yard. Move 60 or 70 of them 50 yards away and super what is left, no swarming, easy honey production. Good for a short, uncertain flow that appears promising.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    233

    Default

    you could try a 2 queen colony
    "The establishment of a two-queen colony is based on the harmonious existence of two queens in a colony unit. Any system that ensures egg production of two queens in a single colony for about 2 months before the honey flow will boost honey production (Moeller 1956). The population in a two-queen colony may be twice the population of a single-queen colony. Such a colony will produce more honey and produce it more efficiently than will two single-queen colonies. To operate two-queen colonies, start with strong overwintered colonies. Build them to maximum strength in early spring. Obtain young queens about 2 months before the major honey flows start. When the queens arrive, temporarily divide the colony. Replace the old queen, most of the younger brood, and about half the population in the bottom section. Cover with an inner cover or a thin board and close the escape hole. The division containing most of the sealed and emerging brood, the new queen, and the rest of the population is placed above. The upper unit is provided with an exit hole for flight. At least two brood chambers must be used for the bottom queen and two for the top queen. Two weeks after the new queen's introduction, remove the division board and replace it with a queen excluder. The supering is double that required for a single-queen operation, or where three standard supers are needed for a single colony, six will be needed for a two-queen colony. When supering is required, larger populations in two-queen colonies require considerably more room at one time than is required for single-queen colonies. If a single-queen colony receives one super, a two-queen system may require two or even three empty supers at one time. The brood chambers should be reversed to allow normal upward expansion of the brood area about every 7 to 10 days until about 4 weeks before the expected end of the flow, after which the honey crop on the colony may be so heavy as to preclude any brood nest manipulations. Thereafter, give supers as they are needed for storage of the crop

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lebanon, OH, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default

    "To operate two-queen colonies, start with strong overwintered colonies. "

    I wonder why they specified that! I have one month old colonies, 7 frames of bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Don't mess with your 7 framers, they're doing as well as can be expected and will probably make a little surplus if conditions are good. Observe.

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