I started with one hive last year just to see if this was for me. I was hooked and thought that "if 1 hive was fun, what about 2?" So this year I have the 2 but I made some changes that I'm not sure about.
Hive 1 was originally 2 deeps, excluder, super, covers. I found that I had trouble lifting those deep frames when they are full of brood or honey. I followed some advice from a local beekeeper and split this hive up this last spring. Now I have 2 hives that consist of 1 deep, 1 super, excluder, super, covers.
In April, some crummy creature knock over one of the hives. No bear tracks but possibly a racoon by the prints left. What a mess. I set it all back up but could not find my queen right away. I waited about 5 days and checked again. I found new eggs but I have always had a hard time finding her highness. In hind sight, I probably should have replaced the queen but I just don't have years of experience to fall back on and everything I've read seems to contradict each other.
As summer progressed, Hive 1 did really well. Hive 2 (the one that was pushed over) did not. I tried feeding brood boosters, pollen substitutes and using the hive top feeder with sugar syrup. These stubborn little girls just didn't respond. At harvest, Hive 1 produced more than 2 supers full, Hive 2 didn't even draw out more than 1 frame of comb in 1 super. Very disappointing to a somewhat new beekeeper.
Now winter is looming and I don't think Hive 2 will make it. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated as I would really like to have them winter over. Is it possible?