Note to readers, attach is the complete final report for FNE00-308.
The original goal of this project was to compare the productivity of the Vertical Partition Two Colony Hive with that of the standard 10 frame Landstroth Hive. The Two Colony Hive is slightly wider than the Standard Hive (18 inches vs. 16 1/4 inches); both hives contain ten frames in each hive body but the colony hive has a 3/4 inch thick divider board in the middle of each hive body. The Two Colony Hives has two entrances on opposite sides of the hive and contains two separate swarms of bees. It is not unusual in the bee industry to have beehives with separate compartments especially among queen breeders; in most cases though, the divisions are not continued above the first hive body. It is believed that the Two Colony Hive should be more productive than the standard hive because spring buildup time should be dramatically reduced; each cluster only has to fill ten frames in a two story Two Colony Hive before honey supers are placed above as compared to 18 or 20 frames that a standard hive has to fill out. The Two Colony Hive is not intended to replace the standard hive. It is my intention to use this hive to produce “nucs” (3 to 5 frames of brood and bees with a queen). These nucs are used to restock standard hives that have died during the previous winter. The Two Colony Hive can then be “re-started” with two frames of brood and two queen cells. After ten days the new queens have taken their mating flights and begun laying eggs; after another twenty one days, young bees begin to emerge from their cells. If a standard hive was run in this manner, it would have little hope of producing a surplus for that growing season. Because of Two Colony Hive cluster is only occupying half as much space, this hive can be abused in this manner in the middle of May and will be producing surplus honey by August 1st. In terms of productivity, the most important measure being used in this project is dollars earned. The amount of money earned by the Two Colony Hive from nuc sales and honey production is being compared with the money earned by standard hives from pollination and honey production.