rate of expansion
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default rate of expansion

    This year I had about 40 production colonies and I started about 100 new colonies. It kinda looks like I may get decent enough survival this year (I'm tf) to have 100 or more colonies that could go into production this year. I have room for them, but my biggest concern is the amount of comb I have. Lets say I have about 6 boxes with comb for every production colony from last year, and about 15 frames (all mediums) for each nuc I had going into winter. Generally speaking I like to keep my overwintered hives, but is there a rate of expansion on a percentage basis that commercial keepers would be comfortable with to avoid problems with swarming in their operation?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    wright, mn, usa
    Posts
    39

    Default

    expand at the rate you have the infrastructure to handle.
    Last edited by dtp; 02-04-2019 at 06:41 PM.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    "You wouldn't leave woodticks on your kids or deerticks on your dogs."

    Hopefully you also wouldn't expose your kids to insecticides to remove those woodticks...

  5. #4

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    lharder has been a regular tf poster and clearly already knows what he's doing and what losses to expect.
    I am a 'treater' and resent it when tf folks try to hijack my threads.
    Common courtesy would dictate that you answer his question if you have any information to offer but keep the sermon to yourself.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,272

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    Expand as fast as your wallet allows. Foundation and syrup are available commonalities. Find you limiting factor.

    Crazy Roland

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    262

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    You could set up a bunch of Plamer style NUCs to draw out comb for you. I suspect you could also split to NUCs faster than the conventional hive. just an idea, I only have 3 hives, so no experience at your scale.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    El Dorado, AR, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    I think a critical aspect of making splits that people don't consider very often is drone availability. Yes, you can split your colonies in half no problem, but when you start making alot of smaller splits at the same time I think you start to run into a lack of mates. Making splits at different times can solve this. My personal favorite is a Drone mother hive. But the main concern is what Roland said. Your wallet is the main factor.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    3,040

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    Fatigue.

    With limited comb your game plan of shuffling comb gets critical. Depending upon your bee, getting them to move onto a new frame can be easy or require constant manipulation. A very good flow year and you are swamped, light and not so bad.

    You will know by July. Happy to supply mostly useless input of, it depends. No, have not faced it on a commercial scale, just short on comb and 14 other priorities.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    3,040

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    lharder,
    Let me try again.
    I do not believe the traits needed for a TF bee are the same as a commercial bee. I see a difference hive to hive in non TF hives willingness to expand even under the same conditions.
    Can you drop a box between two drawn boxes and expect them to work it? Or do you have to go into an individual box and roll into spaces between drawn frames and/or pull individual frames up into the next box to get them to draw new frames? Not having TF bees to watch, I was wondering about the trait in your bees.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,272

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    Lharder - so how did things work out?

    Crazy Roland

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,272

    Default Re: rate of expansion

    I am entering data from years past. It appears that at the high end, without significantly decreasing honey production, a four fold increase is possible in good years. On the low side, three from two is all you get in a poor year.

    Crazy Roland

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