Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    York Region, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    46

    Default I don't want to get any bigger.

    How do you manage to NOT expand your colony numbers every year?
    I just want to stick with the 50ish colonies that I am keeping now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    Sell packages or nucs?
    Let them swarm?
    Use the Bond method?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Blythe,California,USA
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    Colonies Die.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,336

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    Give away or sell splits from your colonies and use the rest to replace your dead outs. You should have 20-30% dead outs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    Merging hives is not a problem.

    Also practice swarm prevention techniques.

    Have a look at:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...arm-Prevention

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...rst-year-hives

    If you haven't got enough drawn comb the key is making sure there is always a good percentage of open brood.

    Matthew Davey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,781

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by whix View Post
    How do you manage to NOT expand your colony numbers every year?
    I just want to stick with the 50ish colonies that I am keeping now.

    Usually, beekeepers struggle to keep numbers up, and employee methods of nucs to help maintain a consistent operating number. They will then sell off surplus hives according to the year

    That could also be an option for you. When you assess you hives in the spring, take the surplus strength and make up nucs with it. Winter them and sell off accordingly. There is a strong market for nucs, and it will provide another stream of income for you. But most importantly, it buys you insurance for heavy loss events.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,065

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    Really? Help me, I have too much money.
    Nuc-ing you must go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    More stringent quality control. Eliminate the least productive queens and combine the bees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: I don't want to get any bigger.

    You can do combines of the small ones every fall. You can do combines just before the flow to maximize production. You can sell colonies. You can sell nucs. Having too many bees is a very good problem to have and easy to resolve.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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