Weak colonies have a low bee population and a few frames of brood. This may be because the queen is poor and not laying many eggs. However, there are many factors that may contribute to weakening of a colony. Weak colonies make little honey and are slow to build up and do not develop into strong units if were left alone.
The advantages of the equalization:
But, be careful, there is the risk of disease transmission between colonies in the apiary.
Overwintered hives are a force to consider in the Spring. They build up fast and furious. Despite a week of snow and freezing temperatures that caught them in the middle of their Spring build-up, they already have anywhere from 4-6 frames of brood in the second brood box and the bottom brood box is packed. Drones are already emerging.
As a beekeeper, my job is to pace them until our main flow arrives in mid June. Since it is early, I still equalize by switching the places of the strongest and weakest hives. In this way, the foragers from the stronger hive pad out the population of the weakest. The goal is to have all the hives as even as possible, so the manipulations can be done at the same time. Of course, a good record keeping system is a must – you don’t want to propagate a hive that is lagging behind.
Next week, I will equalize the brood frames between the hives. It takes 42 days to raise a forager. The brood that is raised now is going to be collecting the honey harvest.
Be with Maria and find out what are the methods od equalizing and what techniques she use in her apiary! ?