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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    2

    Default How to control over size of colony

    Hello

    I am planing to start beekeeping just for my needs and for polenating.

    I have read a lot of material. I am planing to start with two hives. Only thing I haven't found is how to cpntrol the size of colony without making new hives. I do not want more that 2-4 hives. So how to keep constant nunber of bees.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,588

    Default Re: How to control over size of colony

    Buddy up with another beekeeper. I'm sure they will take excess bees of your hands!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,530

    Default Re: How to control over size of colony

    welcome to beesource! if the bees get too crowded they will swarm and start new colonies near your location.. that might be good for your pollination and it will also help to provide drones for mating when your colonies are making new queens. the swarms will usually make a new home in an old hollow tree. if you do not have a lot of woods nearby or if you are in a city, it would be better for you to split the colonies when they get too crowded and sell the bees to others.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How to control over size of colony

    Yes of course that is a primary idea.

    I was also reading this methods. They all sound good. How about confining queen?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,530

    Default Re: How to control over size of colony

    i have not tried that, so i can not give advice.

    here is a good resource for you that i think can answer a lot of questions:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

    this was very helpful to me when i first started with bees.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: How to control over size of colony

    Like another poster mentioned, when your hives get ready to swarm, split them. Sell the nuc for $100 or whatever the market price is.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: How to control over size of colony

    >So how to keep constant nunber of bees.

    You can't. The number of bees goes up and down throughout the season. The natural order of things is that they swarm when they reach a certain level. If you don't want them to swarm, you have to intervene in some way. You can purposefully adjust the number of hives from time to time. You can combine hives after the flow starts to get less hives and more honey. You can combine hives going into winter to get less hives. You can split hives on purpose to get more hives. Sometimes, though, you will need to split them to keep them from swarming.

    You can't have too many bees. You can always sell them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Brazoria, TX
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: How to control over size of colony

    I move a frame of brood from the colony that is going gangbusters to one that is poking along. I started two colonies last year - the Italian one from a commercial breeder was very strong, but the Brazoria local mutts that I started a month later missed the big honey flow and needed some encouragement.

    Also I put on a queen excluder, so my Italian queen was limited to the bottom box. They had plenty of room to expand into the supers, but the brood space was fixed.

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