Re: Sustaining Treatment Free - How Many Colonies Do You Need?
i have room for 12 hives in my home yard, and my goal is to have them strong and capable of honey production.
last year i caught six swarms and located them at an outyard.
i lost six hives between both yards over the winter, so the extra six allowed me to start spring with a full compliment of 12 at home.
i caught more swarms and reared some queens this year, so i'll be going into winter with 12 at home and 15 five frame nucs at the outyard.
i can only attribute one of my losses last winter to mite overload, the other five appeared to be from queen failure. i feel that having the nucs will allow me to requeen any of the production hives if needed in late winter/early spring which is before queens are locally available.
any surplus nucs will be sold and i'll start the process again. time will tell, but i think this plan will make my sideline operation sustainable and allow for growth when i retire from the day job and have more time for bees.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf