Splits, honey production, nucs and swarms
I've been reading thru the forum about splitting and still getting honey production.
I want to start selling honey this Spring to get some return on our investment.
If our 4 colonies and 1 Nuc survive the Winter, I'd like to make more Nucs and get back to 5 colonies.
We run unlimited broodnest.
A beekeeper in our group feels that we can split anytime from 4/15 to sometime in June.
If I split the stronger hives around 4/15, would removing 3 or 4 brood frames plus the unlimited broodnest be enough to minimize swarming? Those frames would go right into a Nuc and they make their own queen.
That may be early enough for our area that the main colony can recover and still produce a crop.
Or do I move the laying queen with a few frames of brood and food stores into a Nuc?
The main hive she came from would make another queen.
Wouldn't the main hive then get a brood break from mites and those bees would be focused on honey production?
There is more drawn comb available from this past season so they don't have to spend resources on building comb. One hive died out so all of that drawn comb can be used for the splits in Spring.
Or, I could hold off on splitting till as late in the spring as I can.
Once I see swarm cells, then either remove the frames with cells and make Nucs, or remove the queen with a few frames and make the splits then.
I'm also on a swarm call list so hopefully will get lucky with free bees.
6 to 10 Nucs is the goal this season in our home yard.
It shouldn't be too much trouble to grow those Nucs into three story 5 frame deeps for the winter.
We are also ordering 6 Nucs from an apiary here in Pa to establish 3 other bee yards for next year.
Either way, it's gonna be an exciting Spring.