This is my third Spring with bees and I've really enjoyed it. But it's really also gotten to be a pretty expensive hobby.
At one point, I was up to 8 hives. By the end of last Summer, I was down to 4 hives (CCD took 1, failed queen took another, 2 others died the previous winter).
I started the Spring here in Michigan 4 hives but shortly after it warmed up we had a really nasty cold spell which seems to have taken 2 of them out.
I'm thinking of using this Summer to split my 2 remaining hives up (they seem to be going strong).
My questions are:
1. Is splitting the way to go? I'm hesistant to keep buying more "stuff".
2. How many splits are safe? I'd like to get back up to 6 hives by the end of this Summer. I'm not worried about honey production.
3. Do you have any suggestions on maintaining strong hives that aren't "in the books"?