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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    315

    Default How to build up bees for next year?

    I'd like to prepare for increasing my apiary next year. What activities can I do now to do that? I'm in Michigan, Zone 5 so my window is small I assume.

    I have 2 hives from package starts this year. They are just now coming into their 2nd deeps now. My goal for this year is to just get them though this coming winter. I am not expecting any honey harvest. I don't think anyways.

    Other than the obvious keeping them healthy and pest free are their other things I should be doing now?
    Am I in a position to create a nuc or some kind of split now without putting the current colonies at risk for this winter?

    I may be way ahead of myself here but I'd like to expand when I can. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    783

    Default Re: How to build up bees for next year?

    Feed syrup and a good pollen sub

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: How to build up bees for next year?

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthomas View Post
    I'd like to prepare for increasing my apiary next year. What activities can I do now to do that? I'm in Michigan, Zone 5 so my window is small I assume.

    I have 2 hives from package starts this year. They are just now coming into their 2nd deeps now. My goal for this year is to just get them though this coming winter. I am not expecting any honey harvest. I don't think anyways.

    Other than the obvious keeping them healthy and pest free are their other things I should be doing now?
    Am I in a position to create a nuc or some kind of split now without putting the current colonies at risk for this winter?

    I may be way ahead of myself here but I'd like to expand when I can. Thanks
    I think at this point you don't do anything, but get those 2 hives as strong as you can going into winter. That means as many frames drawn out as you can get, as much honey/syrup stored as you can, as much pollen, and nice size populations going into winter. Then as we get further into the year the easiest course of action would be to then order some queens for spring delivery 2014 (when ever your weather up there starts to break normally). Order a bunch of more equptment: frames and boxes, tops and bottoms (build these if you can). I'd also build a few of the dcoates 5 frame nucs (plans on the build it yourself section here on this website). Now you will have the things you need to do some splits next spring with the bees you hopefully overwintered and the queens that you ordered. Rinse and repeat (minus ordering queens if you are comfortable starting to make your own)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,042

    Default Re: How to build up bees for next year?

    most of my increase has come from splitting the spring just prior to swarm season following michael bush's description of 'cut down split' on his website, along with catching swarms and setting out swarm traps.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,296

    Default Re: How to build up bees for next year?

    I agree. If they are just now going into the second deep they have a lot more work to do to be ready for winter. Continue to rotate undrawn frames towards the center of the box and try to get all frames in both deeps completely drawn out before Fall.

    As was mentioned prepare equipment over winter so you are ready before next spring. It sounds like your goal for next year is primarily apiary expansion rather than a honey harvest. There are many methods for spring splitting so explore your options and have a plan in place for next year. If you have a booming hive next Spring it's not unreasonable to expect to make 4-5 nuc splits from one strong colony. It depends on how quickly you want to expand your colony numbers and how much time you have to devote to it.

    The main thing, always have more equipment ready to go than you expect to use. Things can change very quickly in the Spring and sometimes your window of opportunity is very narrow, no time for building extra equipment.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: How to build up bees for next year?

    As Birdman said. Feed

    Feed, feed, feed - both syrup and protein.

    Aside from taking one of your hive and creating some overwinter nucs with a new queen or two, your best bet is to give them all the food and equipment resources you can use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: How to build up bees for next year?

    One of the two hives, that is lagging just a bit, stopped taking syrup after just 3 weeks. The other hive will take all I give it. Any ideas?

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