A simple method of maximising honey production while still making increases
The problem with splits is that you are effectively removing a large proportion of your your honey producing workforce. Essentially one large colony will likely be producing more honey than the two small/medium sized ones you have just created combined. There are methods like the Demaree which allow you to keep swarms at bay without increase, but if you don't fancy dealing with enormous stacks of supers there are other options available.
I read this guide from a very experienced and well respected member of my local beekeeping society and wanted to share it with you. Of course this is just one method, and it can be achieved in so many different ways; But I thought it was an interesting enough technique and will definitely be trying it out for myself this season:
1) Produce lots of drawn comb by using a brood box as a super. Standard UK National are the easiest to do this with, and you need a honey extractor that can take brood frames.
2) Each weekly inspection remove one or two frames of brood – sealed brood to strengthen other colonies immediately or open brood to put above queen excluder – after 2 weeks when removed, this is hopelessly queenless emerging brood is perfect for introducing queens to in nucs.
3) Replace with frames of drawn comb in positions 4 and 7 in the hive.
This keeps the colonies close to the point of swarming without making preparations (there will always be a few exceptions so keep an eye out!)
It produces a frame or two of brood for strengthening colonies or making up nucs every week for increase or making up losses. It maximises honey production by balancing colonies in an apiary and making new colonies.
There are some synergies that help the system. Firstly the frames are usually laid up by the next visit and these are the ones moved up with larvae of similar age. As well as the brood frames in the brood super the bees are drawing new drawn comb and filling with honey. It takes only a couple of minutes more than performing a standard inspection and is a lot less time than swarm control.