Finsky, what is your method of swarm control? .
In fact I have had difficulties. I had 10 years Carniolans and they were some year bad to swarm. At same time I had a nebour beekeeper and he had italians and not swarm allmost at all. I change back to Italians.
I try to obey MAAREC papers: http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/PDFs/Swarm_Prev_Control_PM.pdf
what do you look for before a hive swarms? do you replace queens in the spring or fall? .
Our summer is short. I replace 80% of my queens every year. I replace them in the middle of summer or in autumn during winter feeding.
and im also going to plant buckwheat after the clover dies off. .
Buckweed honey has awfull aroma. :P
I hope to split a few hives but I want good honey production also, what technique would you offer doing these splits , my hives im not going to split will be easier getting good honey production .
That is very easy. You feed and raise upp your best hives because they react best on feeding.
1) When hive has 4 boxes you make a nuc. One frame of emerging bees, frame of pollen and frame of honey and some empty room for egg laying.
Bye a queen and start the small hive.
If you make 2 egual hives from 4 box hive you need over 6 weeks time to make it ready to collect honey.
If you have at spring insulated brood boxes it gives speed to spring development. Pollen feeding helps. With pollen feeding and terrarium heater I have got 3-times faster colony development compared to normal.
2) When yield is over, you may take from strong hives brood frames and give them to weak ones.
3) Also after honey season you can split your hives to equal size and give queens to the parts.
I do not know, what is your honey seasons and what is your spring and autumn.
4) Last summer I had a hive which tried to swarm. I raised with it 10 queens. When queens emerged I splitted whole hive into 10 nucs. To every 3-frame nuc I put bees with frames and a queen cell.
I moved nucs to 3 miles distance. They started without troubles and I can give them more bees if it seemed suitable. I can change young brood to big hive and give emerging brood to nuc.
5) At late summer when bees emerge they are not able any more collect honey. You can give them to nucs so they help nuc to develope for winter.