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Dealing with rampant growth


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theres not alot you can do to control the amount of honey coming into a hive but you could run your hives as two box units until late October and then split using a split board so you have your old queen up top and you queenless unit down below.

if you dont want to buy or raise a queen or queencell then let the bees make their own.

By letting the bees in the bottom raise their own queen it will give you a good brood break which will help limit mite buildup and also hold back the build up of the hive. also splitting helps with swarm control.

 

if the queen successfully mates you can either run the hives as two seperate units which would require two excluders and a hive matt for the top unit but sharing bottom board and lid. or you could run as a two queener which would require 2 excluders, one to seperate each brood box and one under the honey boxes. or you could kill the old queen and unite which leaves you with a young queen to carry into next spring

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theres not alot you can do to control the amount of honey coming into a hive but you could run your hives as two box units until late October and then split using a split board so you have your old queen up top and you queenless unit down below.

if you dont want to buy or raise a queen or queencell then let the bees make their own.

By letting the bees in the bottom raise their own queen it will give you a good brood break which will help limit mite buildup and also hold back the build up of the hive. also splitting helps with swarm control.

 

if the queen successfully mates you can either run the hives as two seperate units which would require two excluders and a hive matt for the top unit but sharing bottom board and lid. or you could run as a two queener which would require 2 excluders, one to seperate each brood box and one under the honey boxes. or you could kill the old queen and unite which leaves you with a young queen to carry into next spring

 

I must write all that down ! :notworthy:

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What I want is two healthy queens in two healthy colonies that don't swarm, don't produce more honey than I feel like harvesting, and don't require enough input to disrupt my busy .... regime

Seems reasonable to me. I don't accept that an ever increasing number of hives is a good thing either, it's just weak management. Just combine more often than you split. Simple.

But you can't stop them gathering honey, that's what they do. Even one hive can easily gather more than your annual consumption. You cant do bonsai honeybee hives. If you don't want it all, tip it away, you wouldn't be the first.

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You could catch the queens at some point in spring, when you think their enough brood (need to time this).

 

Catch and cage queen, leave in hive. Release when you want to let the hive grow again. Set a standard, say 5 frames brood at October? then cage for 2-3 weeks. Then release.

 

A really good chance to do a mite treatment of formic/oxalic when near brood less.

 

It's about growing a hive. I always reckon that a small looking hive in spring is a good hive in summer- (queen dependent) Require far less work than a heaving unit.

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