okay I read and studied and understand its easier to get to drone frames and get them out, that said the honey totals were lighter for the tower colonies so if I read correctly its not the best for honey production. is there another advantage I am not seeing?
Here are the points.....
1) I have seen many times, good intended beekeepers put in drone comb, expecting to keep drone comb removal going as needed. That being removals at least every 23-4 days. But I would say, that 8 out of 10, never did that. They in fact were just producing more drones (and thus mites) than if they never put the drone comb in. Excuses were, a) forgot b) too many supers on.
So the two tower colony does in fact allow easy drone comb removal all summer, without lifting honey supers off.
2) Mite levels. The average mite count the beginning of September was 25 in colonies not using drone comb. But averaged 8 with drone comb.
3) The samples of the initial testing was a small amount of colonies. The honey production was not significant, but they also pointed out that a couple of things could of played into this. It is well known that many honey producers of the past used two queen colonies for maximum production. That knowledge is well known. The testing was done in 2005. Since then, additional testing has been conducted. I think a conversation I had with Dennis in the past, indicated that about a 10% increase in honey production would be seen. This may of been attributed to synergies in heat retention between the two colonies making them use less energy, or even a leveling out of work force (adapting) being able to handle increase nectar, etc. Honey production would actually be expected to be more with the tower colony than two stand alone hives.
So this tower colony allows an easier implementation of a known IPM strategy to lower mites. Mites are 1/3 lower by using drone comb. And honey production will not suffer. Other synergies, may include comb protection if one side dies, to even allowing the work force to over compensate in areas to help one side that may need resources or bees for heat, feeding, etc.
It may not work if your moving hives around.
But if I was a backyard beekeeper trying to go without treatments, this fits nicely.