I've known about this video (http://vimeo.com/23178333 part 1 of 2) for quite some time, but hadn't taken the time to watch them until last night. First, I want to thank Michael for sharing his vast knowledge with us and also the Prince William Regional Beekeepers (thanks Karla) for going to the effort to make this video series publicly available. I'm teaching a short course this weekend and plan to reference some of the great ideas presented by Michael. I really appreciated the historical references to Brother Adam near the beginning and the follow-on reference to Kirk Webster. I believe that the techniques presented in this 2-part series are applicable to anyone interested in breaking a package treadmill and wishing to become a more efficient and productive beekeeper.
I do have a couple of questions (hopefully Michael will find this thread)
1. One of the big messages I took away was: don't take resources from your biggest booming colonies to throw at your worst performing colonies, instead re-purpose these dinks into nucs. Of course this is pretty contrary to what is conventionally practiced. My question is: What methods do you employ to control swarming? Your video showed some monster colonies, making 250+ lbs of honey each.
2. What recommended adjustments do you suggest for different localities? In the Southeast, our honey flow is nothing like that in Vermont. Nectar flows start to peak in early April and usually stay strong through the end of May. June thru September are typically hard months for our bees due to the heat, which results in very little nectar. Getting nucs through this dearth can be challenging. Those around agriculture (cotton and soybeans) don't have this same problem, of course the heat is still an issue.
I definitely recommend setting aside some time to watch this two-part series.