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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Friday, November 30, 2018

Think about package bee strategy

 Beekeeping is all strategy. The question to ask yourself, how can I get my hives to peak population at the start of the nectar flow? If you have a few hives with drawn comb there are things you can do to get your hive strength to a higher level.
 Here is a different strategy for you. Say for example you have four empty hives and you want to start the hives with 2 lb package bees. I am saying to get five 2 lb packages and start them all in one deep, or in nuc boxes. Then when it is time to add the second box, around May 5th to May 10th, take that fifth package and split it evenly between the four packages, add the bees to the second box of the four packages. Put the queen from the fifth package in a five frame nuc box.with a frame of bees. This will get all the packages an increase in hive strength. The extra bees will give the queen more bees to cover the frames for more brood. There should be two cycles of brood emerging after adding the bees and the start of the nectar flow. This strategy should give you a bigger hive population earlier than normal. Everything is timing of having peak or near peak population at the time of the start of the nectar flow. Our problem is that the nectar flow can vary by a week to ten days, So swarm control must be practiced.
 Now the economics, the extra 2 lb package will cost you $120.00. You are splitting the package between four hives. So, $30.00 per hive. If the new packages produce an extra five frames of honey, that is about 20 pounds of honey. @ $3.00 per lb. That would be $60.00 per hive. Now this is more than you paid for the extra package. You will also have an extra queen that is worth $35.00 is available for you to use if you need one.
 There are many ways to keep bees. Using well thought out strategy's before a new season starts, should give you a more successful season.