Its now mid may- which means the time to divide strong colonies has arrived.
This is done for two reasons. First, once a hive gets very populous, the instinct of the bees is to swarm and start a new colony. This is how bee hives multiply in nature. Beekeepers would rather keep the bees by starting a new colony before the bees swarm. Thus the second reason for splitting, to increase productivity.
This year, most hives are very populous and i’m running flat out 100 hr weeks trying to keep up. My method is the “logical” split. That is, I number and divide all the strong colonies into matched pairs. After three days, one hive will have eggs (indicating the queen) and the other will need a new queen. This saves allot of time finding queens or rearranging brood chambers. It does mean alot of night work making the divides.
I’m splitting as fast as I can produce the queens. That is a separate process that is about 25 days from grafting the larvae to mated queens. The first spring queens should be available next wednesday, May 23rd.
I’m still pretty concerned about overall capacity. Especially having enough hive equipment for more then 1300 hives. Yikes!