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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Does swarming reduce honey harvest for non migratory colonys?

    So does swarming actually reduce honey harvest for hives that are not moved from site to site. It seems to me that the colonies build up populations just prior to and during the main honey flow. Then as the flow slacks up they swarm from overpopulation ( out of room). This in effect removes those bees from consuming surplus as the flows slow (except for what they take with them). Late summer early fall swarms actually decrease the necessary store requirements to overwinter.

    I know it is totally different for migratories, but most hobbiests and a lot of sideliners don't move their hives. Swarm capture is a good way to increase hive counts but is swarm prevention actually decreasing harvestable honey in static beekeeping operations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,875

    Default Re: Does swarming reduce honey harvest for non migratory colonys?

    Around here I find that if a healthy hive swarms I can forget about getting surplus honey from it. The bees will generally put enough honey by for themselves. My experience anyways.

    I am trying to remember that an experience in one location does not establish a rule. So others may very well have different experiences elsewhere.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Does swarming reduce honey harvest for non migratory colonys?

    Fair enough and understandable. Thinking through it my hives that have not swarmed and have not been split seem to gain more surplus over summer in my area than less populous hives. This is to deceide best time to split or if checkerboarding is really useful in a static operation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Battle Ground, Washington, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Does swarming reduce honey harvest for non migratory colonys?

    I can tell you as a nonmigratory, who has been unable to control swarms well in the three years I've been beekeeping, that yes swarms most definitely do ruin your honey harvest. Around here our main flow is late June, early July. Prior to that is our swarm season. I've actually found that once the main flow starts, mine loose all interest in swarming. Until then, they do it. And what's left of the hive is so small they won't collect a surplus. This next year I'm splitting hard and recombining right before the main flow so I can get some surplus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,936

    Default Re: Does swarming reduce honey harvest for non migratory colonys?

    >>So does swarming actually reduce honey harvest for hives that are not moved from site to site.

    yes
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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