How to make increase - the easy way

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New Bee
Jan 29, 2010
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Suffolk, uk
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Hello Everyone

Many beekeepers would like to make increase - especially those with only one hive. If you have a bad winter with one hive then your back to Jail, and do not not pass go.

One easy way of making increase which I have found extremely successful is the following. Its particularly good for those who want to have 2 different types of hives in their garden and its a quick way of making strong hive increase:

1. Place a queen excluder on top of your hive - brood box, not with supers so you'll want to do this early in the season.
2. Place your empty brood box with new frames on top of the queen excluder, put on crown board and feed lots of sugar syrup. I feed at least 2 Gallons.
3. In about 7 days time, go and take off your top brood box with queen excluder and inspect as normal. Find the queen and put her in a match box.
4. Put on queen excluder and top brood box and put the queen back into the top box - she cannot go down to the bottom box because of the queen excluder.
5. After about 4 to 5 days, she should have laid plenty of eggs in the top brood box as the frames would have been drawn out and a good queen would be desperate to lay in a strong hive. Go through the top brood box find the queen and put her back into the match box. Take off queen excluder and inspect bottom brood box for queen cells, as they do tend to start them if the queen can't get back down.
6. Once inspected, leave the queen back down into the bottom and put on queen excluder. Put on top brood box for a few days.
7. In a few days time take take off top brood box and place onto your new site.
8. Put supers onto your original hive.

Finally after 1 day, any old bees in the new hive would fly back to the old one. Put a new queen into the new hive.

I did this again yesterday, and before I put the new queen in, I quickly looked through the new hive. WHAT A SITE. Four frames of jam packed solid brood, and plenty of stores. I put 2 Commercials onto a Dartington so Polyhive, I am putting my Dartington Hives to very good use.

The advantages of this is that you do not have to increase using a Nuc box. Also, within just over 2 weeks, I have a new hive which is not far off as strong as the original. The disadvantages is that you need 1 strong hive and a good queen and you must feel comfortable picking up the queen. Also look out for possible started queen cells and you MUST feed them lots.

I'm sure reading my instructions, you might feel thats complicated and risky but its not. Also its just one way, but it has been extremely successful for me of wanting good strong extra hives, at the BEGINNING of the season.

Sounds very easy Tim except where do you get a new queen?
I might do that. But I would not be bothering to 'matchbox' the queen all the time.

Just find the frame she is on and move that, with her on it. Less disturbance.

Every time you remove the queen, you run a risk of trouble. May be a small risk and no problem, if you have lots of spares, but for a new beek, KISS principle all the time.

Regards, RAB
.if i need more hives, i have a mating nuc as a start.
When the queen has layed 3 nuc frame full, i may add a frame or two emerging bees. I put the colony to a normal brood.
the goal is to get a box full of bees. After that the colony is able to raise the whole box full of brood.

another way is to join several mating nucs.
Hello again

If you do not rear your own queens, and most beekeepers don't, buy them from a queen breeder. Associations will have good reliable contacts.

In terms of simply moving the frames instead of match boxing the queen, your absolutely right. Its just that I put 2 commercial brood boxes with foundation on top of my Dartington so the frames are not compatible(Dartington usually has 2 hives in one system) and I also like to know that Ive secured the queen.

The key is, make sure you feed very well and its a fantastic feeling getting another strong hive off your original in just one in 2 weeks. Infact, I could now make a further nuc out of the original hives because you leave the bottom one very very strong and don't withdraw any brood, bees or stores from your original brood body. Though obviously, its important to ensure that you leave your original as strong as possible if you want to get a good harvest.

You are obviously not using your Dartingtons in the way that the originator expected.

Using them like you are doing is OK when you have them in an out-apiary and lots of colonies. That is not the advised, or design, mode of use for the person with just the one hive.

Me? I would simply run two 14 x 12s separately - and avoid any complications which may arise with treating the one hive as two Nationals.

A simple way is to split a big hive into 3 parts and give a laying queen in each.
Do it after main yield.

the worst way is to split in early summer because you loose summer's yield.

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