3.2. Colony management
Colony management is important and has to be planned and prepared in advance, before the beginning of the test. Colony management has to fulfil specific requirements of the test: standard procedures should be adopted for all colonies in the test to enable comparative results. After the test has started, changes in colony management may significantly influence the results.
During the planning process, decisions should be made on the following issues:
- distribution of queens within the apiary
- type of hives
- kind of wax foundation or comb
- kind of stands for the hives
- water supply
- feeding sources
- nectar and pollen supply / migratory activities.
Large differences exist in different regions regarding colony management. Colony management can significantly influence test results. The main task is to ensure standard conditions for all colonies within each test apiary.