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Sounds bizarre to me, but maybe plausible??? I read somewhere that once a hive is well established and a flow is on, one can pull the queen and the remaining hive workers will no longer have to tend brood and will spend their remaining days simply gathering nectar and making honey. Is this an urban legend??? Or is there some rationale to it?

Beecuz
 

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The broodnest is the honey pump of the hive. You can do more honey with the broodnest present all the time. Especially when moving the bees from flow to flow.

Nectar gathering is boosted by:

- the smell of fresh brood
- the smell of fresh wax
- empty cells
- nurse bees (unload the nectar from the foragers)

...and some more.

The integrity and functioning of the broodnest is most important for good honey yields. As said it is the "honey pump".

I sometimes pull the queen for special purposes. I would not recommend it if it can be avoided.

Bernhard
 

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I pulled my queen in preparation for making splits from a booming second year colony and it has filled 2 deeps and 2 mediums with honey in 3 weeks. If it is a legend, then I am living it. Honey was not my goal, but now I have lots. Looking forward to hearing what others have to say.
 

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Well I tried it and maybe my timing was just a couple weeks off or perhaps as I have heard others say "our spring poplar flow was minimum at best" but I had little success with this technique, I did get a great daughter off my original queen as they made a new one, but almost lost her as the broodnest was plugged with honey and very little in super so they had made 7 open queen cells and were making swarm preps, luckily I got her moved and gonna let them make another queen. Next year I will not attempt that method of honey collection
 

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I did cut down splits right before the flow got going. Two of my stronger hives are going to store 100+ pounds of honey for sure.
 

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I do this type of split with queens that are near or over a year old for swarm prevention. It works great for that. If done at the right point of the flow the bees will put up a lot of honey. However most of it will be in the broodnest.

If your timing is a little off or the flow is slow it doesn't work that well.

I haven't got the timing thing down yet. A couple things I do know. Comb has to be drawn, my bees don't draw well without a queen. The hive needs to be loaded with bees because mine don't work very hard until they get a queen.

Overall they will usually put up about as much as a queen right hive beside them and you have an extra hive without having to deal with a swarm.
 

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A hive that does not swarm will store more honey than if it did swarm during the flow, but nothing about removing the queen for this purpose is as simple as it sounds.
 

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Try pulling the open brood frames but leaving the queen and sealed brood in the hive as the flow starts. Shake the bees off frames removed and give the frames to a less strong hive that has enough bees to care for the naked brood frames. It boosts the weaker hive and makes more honey stored in the stronger hive. Add a super or two when doing this, depending on your flow strength.
 
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