Saturday, September 26, 2009

New management method for comb honey

The Warre management method is not suited for comb honey, because the combs are darkened from been used for brood prior to honey stores. To get marketable comb honey, a honey super must be used.

The hive will spend the winter in 4 medium hive bodies, one honey store, one mix honey store and brood, one brood, and an empty body as the sump.
When the honey flow starts, a shallow super will be added at the top.
Inspections will consist of examining the bottom of the sup, from below, to detect the presence on combs. If combs are present, then the hive will be opened to inspect the top hive bodies. The supers filled with honey will be removed, and an empty hive body will be added at the bottom of the hive. If the colony is strong and the honey flow is good, a second shallow super may be added at the top for more comb honey production.

The season will be ended with 4 hive bodies, one for stores, one mix store/brood, one brood and one empty. This is the standard configuration for winter.

I haven't determined yet if the use of hollow frames at the edge (#1 and 10) is useful, since the addition of a shallow super will deal with swarming due to strong honey flow.

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