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This is only my 2nd year of beekeeping. I have lots of questions. I had one of my two hives that made it through our long WI winter. My question is do you always have to divide an overwintered hive in order to stop swarming? This hive did swarm last year. My goal isn't to really get more hives, I now have 4 this year. I want to get more honey. If I give them enough room and add 2 supers now that the dandelions are finally blooming, and they don't swarm is it possible to avoid doing a split? What should I be looking for in this hive besides swarm cells at bottom of the frames? How do I know when I need to make a divide? What about a reversal of the top and bottom deep box?
 

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My understanding is that you don't have to divide it, but you can use it as resources. i.e. use the nuc to bolster your production colonies with a frame of brood. Allow them to then take and draw out a frames for you to use for another frame of brood, etc. You can use the nuc's resources, just keep it ahead of swarming and don't take too much from it to demoralize it (causing absconding).

I haven't successfully used this technique yet, but am working towards it this year.

Have you seen this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznzpiWEI8A

I learn something new from it every time I watch it.
 
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