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Ok, I swear I am going to get a book on this stuff. Here's another dumb question.

Can I control the size of a colony by reducing the size of the hive?

The problem is that my space is limited, I live in the city and I only want a small amount of honey and to observe the bees.

Thanks

Jason
 

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>Can I control the size of a colony by reducing the size of the hive?

Sure. If you do, they will swarm and half the bees will leave.


>The problem is that my space is limited, I live in the city and I only want a small amount of honey and to observe the bees.

Try a caging the queen for a month starting two weeks before the main flow. This will limite the number of bees, increase your honey harvest and cut down on mites. You can do it again in the middle of summer if you like, but I'd make sure she raises some brood before they go into the fall so there are young bees to go through the winter.
 

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Greeting vinterj . . .

When I started w/ bees, I too wondered if the bee would "outgrow" the hive.


My answer is, no.

I started w/ONE hive, and still have only ONE hive. I have never had a swarm leave or had to split because it was "too big".

If you confine the bees to a "small" hive they may swarm, so plan to use at least 2 deep brood chambers and (I, and others recommend) a deep food chamber. If you add honey supers as needed (or before), after harvesting about 5 or 6 gallons honey, your big hive will fill only two deep chambers in fall and only one during winter. Come spring, they begin to increase and the cycle starts over.
 

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Hmm,

Michael,
since you're not one to engage in BS I assume your serious.
I wouldn't cage the queen like that to reduce colony size, I don't care about that, but the idea of reducing varroa load is interesting. Obviously this breaks the brood cycle. Does anyone know how long an adult varroa lives? How long does it take to get rid of them by denying them the ability to reproduce?

Interesting
Dave
 

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>since you're not one to engage in BS I assume your serious.

Yes, I'm serious.

>I wouldn't cage the queen like that to reduce colony size, I don't care about that, but the idea of reducing varroa load is interesting.

And if you do it just before the flow it won't hurt the colony size nor the harvest.


>Obviously this breaks the brood cycle. Does anyone know how long an adult varroa lives?

Pretty long, I'm afraid, but skipping one or two complete brood cycles in a year will cut the total varroa at the end of the year to about 1/4.

>How long does it take to get rid of them by denying them the ability to reproduce?

You won't get rid of the Varroa, but you will cut their population down. You also create some wonderful oportunities to treat with something like Sucrocide or Oxalic acid while there is no brood.
 
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