I read somewhere (was it Finman?) someone wrote that if you do the math - the extra honey you get by not overwintering and leaving an extra super and just buying packages in Spring
When you named my name, I again write. In Finland we use packages at all. We overwinter bees and winter is long.
In my experience if hive is during winter in 2 box, it takes 1,5 month to get itself ready to gather honey.
If hive is less than full langstroth box, it takes 2 months to get in condition.
If hive is less than 5 frames, it is difficult get it big enough from May to July to gather honey .
You have there longer summers. It is able to get hive in condition. But in cool climate, when you have uninsulated boxes, and the brooding is slow during spring.
Rob write extra honey
? We take all honey away and we give sugar for winter. I don't undertsand their "surplus" honey or "extra" honey. If you understand business, the profit of company belongs to the owner
, not to workers :D
The key is that the beginning is so big that colony have good start for summer. As I wrote I help week colonies giving them brood from strong hives.
When honeys flow starts, I put colonies togethet so they have hives big enough for honey cathching. Also I may take queen off and I return it after 2-3 week brood stop.
What I talk is new for Finland too. I have asked to give lessons this spring, how to get small hives to produce honey.
But most important: If you have poor pastures, no matter how big you hives are, from nothing comes nothing. Pastures are more important than big hive.