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Author Topic: How to increase the hive strength/population?  (Read 1280 times)
New Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 31

Location: Western Ghats, India

« on: April 22, 2014, 03:43:28 AM »


I have one hive with with 4-5 frames of bees in the brood chamber and 4-5 frames of bees in the honey super. I would like to strengthen the hive. Is there any way to encourage the queen to lay more eggs and workers to build more combs?

Honey flow in my area lasts only for the next 5-6 weeks (at max). Then comes monsoon. In the last year, it kept raining continuously for 2 months! Hence, though I'm committed to feed them during their hard days, I would prefer these girls building more combs and store a lot of natural food by the end of May.
Galactic Bee
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Posts: 3036

Location: Jacksonville FL

« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2014, 11:44:11 AM »

Add a frame of drawn foundation (foundation if you do not have any drawn, just takes longer) in between the brood frames to give her more space to lay eggs. If she has enough bees to cover the brood she will keep filling them up with eggs. This also reduces the hives inclination to swarm.
Don't use a queen excluder and she may start building up.
Field Bee
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Posts: 508

Location: Marysville, CA

« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 07:40:10 AM »

Giving them pollen or pollen substitute will promote increase brood production. If honey stores are low, then supplement with sugar syrup as well.

Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
House Bee
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Posts: 58

Location: La Union, Philippines

« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 08:07:05 AM »

Giving them pollen or pollen substitute will promote increase brood production. If honey stores are low, then supplement with sugar syrup as well.

I agree with this statement. Pollen is important for "brood" rearing, therefore a sufficient store of pollen and honey encourages the queen to lay more eggs and the hive to rear larvae. When feeding sugar during monsoon try 3/5 sugar and 2/5 water ratio. Here in my country we experience heavy rains and during those times I use the ratio I have just given. Brood rearing is essential before the main honey flow, as the hive needs a lot of forager bees.

It is highly recommend that split be done with only strong healthy hives that have at least two Brood Chambers with Brood in all stages of development. Frames with capped Brood should be split evenly between the two hives.
Joe D
Super Bee
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Posts: 1991

Location: Ovett, Ms

« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2014, 12:34:27 AM »

With 8 to 10 frames of brood, I would thing is a good amount, or are you talking bees and not brood.  Down here we usually give sugar syrup for a few weeks before the flow starts.  I had some hives this spring that had up to four boxes on before flow.  One hive when I did first inspection had 18 or 19 frames of brood, the other had a good build up.  The one was ready for a split. 
Good luck to you and your bees, Bubblebee.

House Bee
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Posts: 490

Location: S-E Michigan

« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 06:07:26 PM »

not sure because you seem to have a short time with a monsoon season, but typically I say make a bunch of nucs. one queen can lay lots of eggs, sure. however 10 queens can lay a lot more. you then rejoin or add into other hives and not worry about over wintering them, or if you want to over winter them, then do so, and if they die, then who really cares? you've lost nothing. now this of course comes with the idea of making sure they have a hive and resources to handle a larger colony, of course. If you go too gun hoe you can force them to swarm, and well that isn't good, so pay attention.
 one hive of 60,000 bees produces more honey than 2 hives of 30,000 ea. though.
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