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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Hendersonville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default Question about honey

    Hello everyone! I have a question about honey production. I am starting my second year of beekeeping this season. Through a combination of my own ignorance and a rough winter, I lost 3 of my 4 hives. Determined to keep going, I bought several packages and a couple nucs to give it another attempt. I would love for at least one colony to make some surplus honey this year; however, my one colony that did overwinter never built up well. I ended up re-queening the colony with an extra queen I bought with my packages. So far, the packages have filled out around a 10 frame deep each and the colony I requeened is similar in size to them. While I do not know if this is true, I have read that 1 strong hive will far outproduce several weaker hives. Therefore, my plan is to pick whichever hive has the best laying queen and use it as my honey production hive. I then intend to take a couple frames from each of my other 4 hives and donate it to the designated honey production hive thereby creating a much stronger single colony. I hope to continue to do this throughout the main flow (until June 15 around here). My only concern is I do not want the hives from which I am taking frames to become too weak. Around here, it is not at all a problem to overwinter in single deeps, so I have no problem leaving the weaker hives in a single deep by continuously taking brood from them. How many frames of brood should I leave in each single hive after I harvest? How often can I harvest frames to donate to the honey colony? Is my plan a good one or should I modify it? I have probably another box or so of drawn comb to work with that is currently being stored.

    Thanks for the input and let me know if you need to know anything else!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: Question about honey

    I believe that 1 frame a week won't set them back too bad. Make sure they are capped brood which will be the best bang for the buck to the receiving hive (new bees, no work).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Question about honey

    I'm not an expert, but here's what I think. I would leave at least two frames of brood in the other hives. If you took one frame from each hive every time they go to three that would give you a lot of frames for the one hive. Be sure not to get the queen from the little hives!! I know, because I did that trying to strengthen a weak hive from a stronger one. LOL. As soon as you harvest, I would let the smaller ones gain as much strength as possible before winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Hendersonville, TN
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Question about honey

    Thank you for the help so far! Any more replies or opinions are greatly appreciated. When I move the frames, I assume I can leave all the attached bees along with them? Or should I shake the frames first?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bledsoe County, TN, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Question about honey

    I think it would depend on how weak it would leave the small hive. I wouldn't weaken it too much, but If the small hive still has two frames of open brood, you could take all of the attached bees to the big hive. I just hate raking them with a brush. When you leave the bees attached, there is a bigger chance of moving the queen like I did. LOL. I bet your big hive will get really strong really fast. The flow is coming up quick!
    Poplars are blooming on the Georgia-Tennessee border and I'm not really ready. arg.

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