Effect of Initial Strength of Honey Bee Colonies (Apis mellifera) Supered in Different Ways on Maximizing Honey Production in Nepal

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A study was carried out to investigate the effect of the original strengths of honey bee colonies supered in different ways, on the production of honey by Apis mellifera bees in the Terai region of Nepal. Bee colonies of three different original strengths, in which the bees covered 5, 10 and 20 combs, were supered in three different methods. The results showed that honey production was highly correlated to the number of worker brood cells in the colonies (r = 0.96, p = 0.003). Colonies of 5 comb initial strength (CIS), as farmers’ practices in Nepal, produced the lowest amount of honey (30.1 kg per annum). Bees in colonies of 10 CIS with a deep super, produced twice as much honey (62.2 kg), and colonies of 20 CIS with deep supers produced even significantly more honey (74.5 kg). However, the relationship between the financial values of the produced honey to the cost of its production was the highest - 1.52 : 1 for colonies of 10 CIS with a deep super. Therefore, this bee colony management is recommended to the beekeepers in the Terai region and lower hills of Nepal. This fi nding has global application.

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Journal of Apicultural Science

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