Expansion plan

Engaging a mode of expansion is how you keep ahead of mites and breed bees that can handle them. Get in the practice of staying ahead, and avoid the bad habit of always trying to catch up.
Grappling Coach
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Expansion plan

Postby Grappling Coach » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:05 pm

I started over this year with 6 hives. 1 cut out, 3 swarms and 2 purchased nucs. My plan is to see which ones survive and then breed from those survivors to expand the number of hives and create nucs.
I understand this to be the basic expansion model, but am wondering if I should try to expand this year at all. 3 hives are booming, 2 are doing ok, and 1 is struggling due to skunks.
My question is, Should I make a couple nucs to give me more chances for survival? We are entering our summer dearth, so the timing is not the best. I have some frames of honey I could give them and hope for a good fall flow.

moebees
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Re: Expansion plan

Postby moebees » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:54 pm

I am doing a split this week with purchased mated queens. I am in northern Illinois. I would only do it with a mated queen introduced right away. Raising their own would be too late for where I am. I would think you could do the same in Missouri. I don't know if you still have time there to raise your own queens or not.
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SiWolKe
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Re: Expansion plan

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:52 pm

I just now introduced a mated queen into a split ( I hope they accept her or I will recombine with the other part).
I have a weak swarm queenless which must have a virgin now, I fear these I will have to shake out. Let´s see in one week.
If there is a queen laying I have food combs and drawn combs for them but it can be they need a donation of a capped brood comb just hatching.

3 hives are booming, 2 are doing ok, and 1 is struggling due to skunks.


The struggling one I would give a brood comb into help them along.
You might take some combs out of the 3 booming ones and make one split. Use a good egg/ young larvae comb and two capped brood combs maybe with nurse bees sitting on. Put in new box without scent.
Watch the food situation and density of bees, they must cover the brood.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

Grappling Coach
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Re: Expansion plan

Postby Grappling Coach » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:01 am

I got into my hives for the first time in weeks. I found a lot of capped brood in most of them, but very little open brood, even though I found the queens. I believe they are shutting down for the summer dearth.

lharder
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Re: Expansion plan

Postby lharder » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:00 pm

It sort of depends on where you got your bees from. You could have problems if your bees have no TF pedigree. In that case getting nucs going with queens purchased from either TF keepers with some history, or a breeding program that takes mites seriously may be a good thing. But you are late.

The later you start, the more you have to supplement them with brood from other hives to get them up to speed. You need to have a clear idea about what size nuc you want to be going into winter with, making sure you have enough comb to accomplish this goal, and having the resources to feed them up if necessary.

I have a bunch of late starts going, but I am giving them brood when the queen starts laying, and extracted comb as I harvest honey. They have 2 months now to get ready for winter.

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Nordak
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Re: Expansion plan

Postby Nordak » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:25 pm

At this stage in the game, it would be a little late. Lharder gives some great advice. One of the problems you'll have is if they are indeed shutting down for dearth, you would be stealing brood from bees that don't plan on making any more bees for a bit. They need all the workforce they can get this time of year for hive defense, especially from small hive beetle.

If I were to do this myself, I wouldn't commit many resources and would try to build up from maybe 3 combs by feeding them. Make sure your feeder is in a secure place and doesn't leak, as you could set off a robbing event which could be disastrous for the other hives this time of year. Having a mated queen would be a must, as moe said.


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