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This year I started out with 4 hives. I split them in May and ended with 8. I thought that with splitting that early I would be able to harvest honey in July. No luck there. I think my problem was I took frames from my strong hives and gave them to my weak hives to help them.

Next year I'm going to reverse my strategy. If a hive is weak I'll divide it between my strong hives. Only the strong survive is not only a song. Doing what I did cost me a honey harvest. I'm also going to use nucs as brood builders ala MP. It's also time to start raising queens instead of buying them.

I had a few hives at 3 different places. I've also centralized them so I can move frames between the hives.
 

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Well, at least you've increased your colony count.

Splitting a new hive isn't likely to give you honey in July, unless maybe you used drawn comb to complete the splits and to replace the frames that were removed. All of the gathering goes into the construction of new comb and raising of brood. You might have some honey in the Fall, though. But, I'd be cautious about leaving them light on stores for the winter.
 

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it's hard to get a good honey harvest until you get some comb drawn out, and it's hard to get comb drawn if you split or if they swarm.

adding brood to the strong ones will increase the likelihood they will swarm, and if they do you won't get much comb or honey production.

i would consider cut down splits on your strong hives. mike bush describes them here, about half way down the page:

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

if you time it right you might get lucky and have a decent harvest. i usually just split out the queen and make a small three frame nuc. you could even try adding a frame of brood per week from your nucs back to the parent hive after you make the split until they have a new queen.

the trick is doing it just before your main flow, and before they start swarm preps on their own.
 

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Before you give your strong hives frames from you weak hives make sure you find out why they are weak.
If it's just a failing queen, probably OK to divide. If they are weak because of V-mites, T-mites, SHB.........
you might want to clear up the issue so you don't infect the strong. Then again, if you fix the weak hive you may want to keep them the way they are,
 

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Each year is different - notably rainfall, timing, and flower production all vary a bit. I'd suggest keeping your hives equal as much as possible, except if you are raising queens or have only a few hives and need more combs drawn.

It takes a strong colony to raise good queens, and big colonies draw out combs much faster that small colonies. Other than that, robbing is greatly reduced if hive numbers are equal.

Robbing is very, very costly. As this year's nectar flows decline, add robbing screens to your hives entrances, and move honey up in the hive and away from the entrance, while moving the broodnest nearer to the entrance. This minimizes the effect of a robbing attack, without suffocating the hive as sometimes happens with entrance reducers.

During robbing season, work one hive at a time with a net, and keep them well-fed during the nectar dearths. This helps bring a good population going in to winter.

Good luck.
 
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