Hive management for bee health, colony multiplication and honey production.
Management for bee health
Bee colonies are not treated with accaricides against Varroa destructor. Bee health is favored by the small hive volume and widely spaced hives. Importantly, colony multiplication is accomplished by natural and/or artificial swarming, no splits or nucs. This setup is intended to limit horizontal transmission of disease (e.g. American foulbrood, Varroa destructor) among hives trough drifting, robbing or splits. It should also favor benign host-parasite relationships and select especially for less virulent forms of Varroa destructor by allowing for vertical transmission through swarming.
In addition, swarming reduces the parasite load within the colony. The aforementioned implications of horizontal and vertical pathogen transmission for honey bee epidemiology have been reviewed comprehensively by Fries & Camazine (2001).
Management for colony multiplication
Colonies are multiplied by making use of the swarm instinct: catching swarms and/or providing empty hives (bait hives) nearby established bee colonies.
Methods to provoke swarming artificially (e.g. driving bees) may also be tried out. In every case, the old queen has to be separated from the eggs and brood.
Management for comb honey production
Bees are not forced to expand upwards but are invited to build one additional honey comb sideward.
Comb honey may be harvested from this fully movable 38mm width Huber-style leaf frame.
Hive volume, spacing, design and management.
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