Inside the Hive

Swarming by Mark Winston

From: Apiculture: An Introduction to bees and beekeeping by Dr. Mark Winston

Dividing colonies for increase and is a good method of swarm control as well. If division is made as a method of swarm control only, then the divisions can be reunited just before the main honey flow to provide one strong colony to gather honey. This is a good time for the beekeeper to use the queen excluder to good advantage. When examining the colony rearrange or cull out poor brood combs.

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Wintertime: Ventilation in the Hive

Information taken from ‘Apiculture, An Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping by Dr. Mark Winston, 1983.

As bees in a cluster do not hibernate, the cluster is constantly active throughout the winter months. The bees on the outside of the cluster work in toward the centre and the bees in the centre work outwards. The temperature within the cluster is maintained by the process of body metabolism, thereby generating heat. If an air-tight inner cover is placed over the super, the heated air which is given off by the cluster rises and condenses when it comes in contact with the cold non-absorptive surface of the inner cover. It is this moisture which often results in dead colonies, mildewed combs and fermented honey. A rough box, or an empty super filled with an absorptive pillow consisting of a burlap sack containing approximately 6 inches of loose dry planer shavings, will solve the problem of preventing dampness in the brood supers. This box containing absorptive material is placed on top of the hive. The box may have a bottom nailed to it, in which is cut two holes of at least 3” in diameter to allow moist air to move up into the box. (Remember this is only 1 method to try).

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Extracting Honey, Handling Combs and Cappings

The information in this article is taken from: "Apiculture: An Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping", Dr. Mark Winston.

Extract your honey as soon as you remove it from the hives. Extracting will be simpler and you will glean more honey. At warm temperatures honey is much easier to remove from the combs. Extract honey as soon as possible after removing from the hives if it is warm. If weather and honey is cold then the combs must be warmed to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit before extracting.

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