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Monday, April 15, 2024

How to Make Your Honeybee Colony Stronger

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Every beekeeper knows the importance of a strong, productive colony. When your beehive is full of healthy workers and a productive queen, you know your bees have the population and resources they need to withstand the threats nature throws at them. A strong colony has better defenses against pests and produces more honey to feed its population.

As your honeybees work through the spring and summer, it’s important to keep an eye on them and ensure they have everything they’ll need to make it through winter. Every colony has different needs, but there are a few surefire ways to protect your bees and give them the resources they need to grow. Keep your hives successful with this guide on how to make your honeybee colony stronger.

Combine with a Stronger Hive

If you have one colony that’s failing and another that’s thriving, you can combine the two into a single hive. Just be sure to get rid of the queen from the weaker hive before carefully merging the two colonies. You can also combine two weaker colonies to create a single, better-populated hive.

If you don’t want to completely merge the hives, try taking a frame of capped brood from the stronger hive and putting it in the weaker one. This will give the weaker colony a free population boost, which means more nurse bees to help the queen lay productively and more workers to make honey and defend the hive. If you do this, make sure you used capped brood so that the weaker hive doesn’t have to spend their resources feeding the new larvae.

Fight Off Pests

Some of honeybees’ biggest threats are the pests and parasites that can make their way into the hive, spread diseases, and feast on a colony’s resources. Weaker hives have less worker bees to fend off these pests, which means they’re more susceptible to infestations. Give your bees a helping hand by setting up traps to prevent these pests from taking over. Take preventative measures against hive beetles, wax moths, and other potential intruders. Make sure you have a plan to get rid of varroa mites and other common beehive pests. By protecting your hive from these little critters, you prevent diseases, resource loss, and other problems that can make your colony even weaker.

Perform Regular Inspections

The hive inspection is one of the most important jobs a beekeeper has. Regular inspections help you figure out what’s harming your hives and how to make your honeybee colony stronger. You should perform hive inspections every seven to 10 days. As you disassemble and investigate your hive, pay close attention to the brood patterns and honey stores. This will give you a good idea of how productive your queen is and how well the rest of the population is doing. Hive inspections help you catch problems early so that you can correct any issues and keep your colony on the path to success.

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