Friday, March 27, 2009

Added Honey Supers

The hives are doing great, I now have 3 hives since the split. I think they have actually increased in size and vigor more rapidly than if I had not split the hive. I feel that the hives should be challenged to prevent swarming. I have very little hive beetles since I installed the hive beetle traps in my hives. I am now only seeing 2-3 hive beetles with each inspection. I placed a queen excluder below each honey super. Hopefully we will be extracting honey soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Split a Hive

On March 17 2009 I formed a new hive from two hives. The procedure I used is as follows:
First I smoked the donor hives and opened them to the brood hive. I took 2 frames of brood, and 2 frames of honey from one hive and 3 frames of brood (opened and closed) from the other donor hive. I did not shake the nurse bees. I added some empty fundation to make a total of 10 deep frames to start the new hive. I was careful not to take the queens from the two donor hives. I also switched the new hives location and orientation to the same location of one of the donor hives. I turned one of the donor hives a different direction. This was done so that returning field bees would go to the new hive and not the donor hive. On March 21 2009 I introduced a purchased queen to the new hive. I could have allowed the new hive to start their own queen but I did not feel like waiting 3 or 4 weeks for her to start laying. At any rate I now have a new hive that is growing quickly. I feel that you must challenge your hives to prevent swarming. This allows healthy multiplication of your hives. Oh and by the way, the small hive beetle traps are excellent. I did not observe any SHB's during the above process.