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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Farwell, Michigan,USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Spring expansion questions

    I have 1 hive of Carnalion(sp?) it seems to be doing well and expect it to make it through the winter. I just ordered 5 packages for pickup in April. My question is this if my original colony is strong after winter can I use brood from that hive to kickstart 1 or 2 of the new hives into gear? Was thinking of adding a couple frames of brood to 2 new hives and replacing with empty frames. Figured that might help with swarming on old hive as well? Also the new bees are italians will that be a problem as they are different breeds?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Spring expansion questions

    You can put frames of brood in with package bees. You can mix sub-species, or lines. It will give the hive a 1 to 3 week head start. The only possible risk is transferring diseases, pests, and parasites. That can occur through drifting anyway. You might want to brush the bees off, but young nurse bees are usually accepted by the new hive.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Farwell, Michigan,USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Spring expansion questions

    excellent thats the info I was looking for. Thanks alot. The pest and health issue will be interesting, I did not treat this hive at all, would honestly like to not have to treat them for mites. I dusted them with powdered sugar twice last fall before setting up for the winter. I will check closely before mixing frames.
    Another question would it be better to split all my hives between locations? Is this a disease and pest prevention technique? Seems like it would help with cross contamination. Was thinking of just keeping the one hive here and spreading the others out across my traveling area after I make sure the new ones have a good queen and shes producing brood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Spring expansion questions

    Spreading out the locations of single hives for diease control;

    Remeber that, visiting Drones are carriers, and they are welcome to your hive.

    PCM
    Last edited by Barry; 02-06-2011 at 11:45 AM. Reason: excessive quoting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,876

    Default Re: Spring expansion questions

    If I pull a couple frames of brood from an overwintered hive in the spring or to split or to supplement a package, I've limited the honey production for that hive for that year. At least here in Maine, I have to keep in mind that a hive's limited resources can be used to make bees or to make honey.

    Splitting a hive as a swarm prevention technique is shooting myself in the foot if I want to harvest honey from that hive.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Farwell, Michigan,USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Spring expansion questions

    I would assume though that by placing one or two frames of brood into 2 new hives, in turn jumping their production up faster, it would come close to being equal in the end, and would also help with swarm prevention, as I could replace the pulled frames with empty frames which in turn opens up the hive and gives them something to do

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,876

    Default Re: Spring expansion questions

    I think pulling frames from a going hive in the early build-up period and replacing them with two empty frames does nothing for the original hive but set it back. Sure, you're giving the bees something to do, that is to try to catch up with where they need to be. The colony isn't like a plant whose growth can be stimulated by heavy pruning, at least mine aren't.

    I think there are better ways to prevent swarms than to intentionally weaken the hive. You could place supers early and reverse brood boxes like Mike Palmer describes or Checkerboard as described by Walt Wright. I'd look for their threads on these forums.

    Wayne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,381

    Default Re: Spring expansion questions

    Quote Originally Posted by waynesgarden View Post
    ... keep in mind that a hive's limited resources can be used to make bees or to make honey.

    An excellent point. The direction you take depends upon what your goals are. Do you want to get a good honey harvest from one colony, or build up all 6 colonies as much as possible and focus on increasing your colony numbers?

    If you are not worried about honey this year then taking frames of brood from your original colony this spring is a great way to really jump start the packages. It's not out of the question to split one good overwintered colony into 3 or 4 new start up colonies. You shouldn't expect any kind of harvest, and will probably have to feed them, but it's a great way to expand.
    To everything there is a season....

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