... hives are invaluable each spring. ...
I just took this sentence. I have told many times that I have nursed bees over 40 years. 3 winters ago I lost 60% of my hives. I suppose that I took all my knowledge into use and I got more honey with those 40% bees. Under pressure of necessity I renewed my whole spring nursing system. And after that my average honey yield jumped 80%. None of these "tricks" were natural.
In this procedure the main point is HEALTHY BEES!
I have got my best knowledge here from internet. They are new knowledge produced by universities and professionals.
As derbeemeister says there are basic knowledge witch will not change because it is right. Many new beekeepers invent those old fact as new. One guy found "long hive". It is years old trick which we abandoned in Finland 40 years ago.
I tell my up-80%-tricks only to show that there is none natural tricks but idea is to GET HEALTHY BEES
After cleansing flight:
* check hives. Clean bottoms. Put electric heater on every bottom. (beginning of March)
* If nosema had made colony weak, restrict the space with medium wall.
* Start to feed hives with pollen-yeast-soya protein when snow has gone and bees get drinking water. (beginning of April)
* Do not try too much with small colonies or nosema weakened colonies. It will not succeed. They will easily get chalkbrood. If it is nosema, bees are not able to feed larvae.
* Take good care of best hives. Warm and heat them. When big hives get emerging brood enough give new emerging bees to small colonies. (May)
* When weak colonies get new healthy nursing bees it will develop normally.
* Give more emerging bees so that hive is one box full of bees. So it continues itself.
* Electric heating helps to the point that whole frame is warm and all bees emerge. In natural condition frame will catch cold and plenty of brood is not able to emerge. In April we often have -5C at night.
* When you take care best hives, they grow and tend to swarm. Prevent swarming. Give extra brood to small colonies. (Maarec) (Middle of June)
* When honey flow start, I put together my hives so hives have 6 box bees and balanced measure nursing bees, brood, foraging bees.
* With these tricks I have got average 160 lbs. ( 80 kg) yields in July when they have been 3-4 frame colonies in the end of April.
* My main yield comes during one month from canola and from fireweed. Best foraging period lasts usually 2 weeks. At the end of July honey yield is over.
* It takes 2 months to get smallest hives to normal foraging hives.
AND more. My all deeps are insulated plastic hives.
tried to catch some special honey but it cannot be ordered.Here is one small colony, too small to over winter in natural conditions. It stays in hive from October to March. Terrarium heater included