In this episode, we welcome back Colorado beekeeper, . Tom had a small commercial operation in Colorado in the late 70’s, running up to 200 or so colonies when he first started using two queen colonies. The biology of running two queens in a colony...
In this episode, we welcome back Colorado beekeeper, Tom Theobald. Tom had a small commercial operation in Colorado in the late 70’s, running up to 200 or so colonies when he first started using two queen colonies. The biology of running two queens in a colony does make sense if you use the technique Tom perfected, but the better you get, the more lifting you are going to do. His finished production hives had three deeps for brood production and seven mediums for honey storage. At the time, an average to strong colony in his part of Colorado would make about 70 pounds of honey in a season, Tom’s two queen colonies averaged between 240 and 270 pounds!
The advantages, beside huge honey crops, were that these colonies started with last year’s queen, and a new, second queen was added in early spring. When the season was over, the new queen almost always prevailed, thus starting the next season with a proven queen. Plus, with a foraging population as large as these colonies produced, there was a vast store house of pollen the next spring for that season’s buildup.
Two-queen honey production is becoming a lost art as it takes a lot of work, timing and an understanding of your area’s nectar flows. However, the payoff is big! If you have bees in a location with lots of forage and not too much varroa or pesticide pressure, this approach may work for you.
Tom and we would like to know if you or a beekeeper you know uses the two-queen approach. Let us know on our website!
Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:
Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website: https://www.strongmicrobials.com
This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!
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Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at www.beeculture.com
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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"