This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Divides - Why do them

Overcrowded hive - A swarm in the making
This year many beekeepers had over wintering success. Many colonies are packed with bees and are bringing in honey from the dandelion flow and the fruit bloom. Both of these events are about 3 weeks earlier than usual.
 As soon as these two events are over and the weather warms up, swarming will kick into high gear.
Dividing strong colonies is the only way to prevent swarming. If you think the hives are full now, by mid May there won't be room in the hive for the bees. It will be hot in there from overcrowding and they will start hanging out on the front of the hive.
Swarming hurts the bee population of a colony. When the bees swarm, most of the field bees and the queen leave the hive for new digs somewhere else. The loss of the field bees will affect the amount of honey collected this year by the colony. It may take a hive six weeks to two months to recover the population lost to swarming. Usually the main nectar flow is ebbing by this time. Missing the nectar flow, beekeepers may have to feed more for the hive to overwinter, to make up for honey uncollected by a weaker hive.
There was a tee shirt around a while ago that read "United we swarm, Divided we thrive"
The simple saying, more bees means more honey. Less bees means less honey.
Some beekeepers don't want anymore colonies. Nature's Nectar buys divides. Call me if you are interested.