Healthy and happy bees create hives by swarming, a natural occurrence were hives split into two groups. The queen leaves with half of the hive, while the other half stays to support a new queen in the old hive.
We encourage this type of hive reproduction by moving the queens and bees to new hives prior to swarming. We selectively pick the hives to split based on traits that indicate better genetics. This way with each generation we are hopefully breading bees that will better survive in our local environment without having to use chemicals or medications. We call this doing splits. In January and February, we build new boxes and frames to allow our bees the room to grow.
I might add that the dry and warm 2015 winter has made for some very happy bees for this time of year. All of our hives are strong and look ready for a productive year.