Colonies will be started using packages in April 2018 on Langstroth equipment. Each location will host three apiaries and the colonies will be randomly assigned to one of three management systems. Please note that these systems should not be considered best management practices. Instead, they are common management practices among beekeepers ranging from hobbyists to commercial practices.
COMB: Overwintering and plans for year 2
Spring has finally sprung in Pennsylvania and the COMB colonies are getting their first assessments. Overwintering survival varied in the three management systems with about 84% of conventional, 81% of organic, and 36% of chemical free colonies making it through the winter (Figure 1). Colonies were checked monthly over the winter, so we could determine when the losses occurred.
We are managing the bees for the COMB project for honey production. Therefore, aside from replacing our numbers with splits, we will be maintaining strong colonies in hopes of a large honey harvest. So far, things are looking like 2019 is going to be an amazing year.
Questions about this project?
Please contact Robyn Underwood