How should I build up my # of hives this season
I went into winter with 9 hives and a couple of them were weak and as of this week I am down to 5 hives. One of the ones left is a nuc and it seems to be pretty healthy.
I would like some advise on how to get my numbers to 15-20 before winter 2013. I don't really want to buy bees, so I'm thinking swarms and a split or two.
How would you guys go about doing this? Should I be thinking more about splits? I still want to have some honey too.
Any advise would greatly be appreciated
BEES ARE NOT AN OPTION