2 brood boxes + Flow Super weren't enough!

Yesterday’s inspection revealed 3 swarm cells in the upper brood chamber at the bottom of the bars.
One of the cells was full of creamy royal jelly and the other two were just eggs.

Space/overcrowding is the issue. My queen has been laying like crazy since I started with a 3-frame nuc 9 weeks ago so there are a LOT of bees. All 16 frames in the two brood chambers are covered with bees as is the Flow Super.

I’m not certain that I want to do a split just yet (need some more woodenware) so I’ll give it another couple of weeks. I cut the 3 swarm cells and added an additional super on top of the Flow Frame to buy a little time and to give idle bees something to do. I’ll have to inspect closely each weekend from now on since the urge to swarm has hit.

If they build more swarm cells I’ll make my final decision on splitting then.

Wish they’d have capped the nectar before I had to add the additional super.

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Unfortunately Bobby the bees have their own agenda - we do what we can but the girls are ultimately their own guide

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So it look like a brood box fill with in a month, so is that the queen that came with the nuc? and if so your flow hive is doing very well.

Hope mine take off as well as your. Using your time line you install your nuc to gauge with mine,

So my first hive is nearly 70% drawn so maybe if all go well in about 2 week will be adding a second brood box.

Hi Bobby, they will make more queen cells. Did you find any in the bottom brood box? If you break them down, you don’t want to miss one, otherwise they’ll be off.

You’d be better to do a split, even if you have to improvise with a poly fruit box till you get a hive ready.

Remember if they swarm, you lose half the bees as well as your honey production.

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They may swarm anyway without the queen cells. Were they using the Flow frames or ignoring it?

I inspected all frames @JeffH, only the three cells between both boxes. All were in the top box.
I’ll have another complete hive ready to go by tomorrow or the day after.
I’m able to get a queen from a member of my club as well so all should be fine.

@Zab be ready with extra woodenware ahead of time and bear in mind that the Flow frames might not be the only honey super you’ll need :slight_smile:

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@Anon The Flow Super is full, just not capped.

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Well done Bobby, if it was me, I’d just let the split make a new queen by natural selection. I think you’ll get a better queen that way. Taking a split won’t suppress the urge to swarm if the process has already begun. You’ll need to keep checking on them & remove frames of brood & replace them with fresh foundation until they stop building queen cells.

The good part is your main hive will still produce honey & you’ll get yourself a second hive up & running at the same time.

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@JeffH I plan on moving the queen with the split. 6 of one, half dozen of the other I suppose.
(third hive Jeff!)

Yes that’s for sure Bobby. The only down side I can see there is if the large colony still wants to swarm, it will with a virgin queen. Therefore you’ll lose half of the bees, whereas if you let the split make a new queen, chances are it wont swarm. That’s provided you give them plenty of room.

That’s what I do, I always use 10 frame boxes to put my splits into, even though there’s not enough bees to fill them. If you find you have to remove further frames of brood from the parent hive in the following weeks, you can just add them to the junior hive.


I understand @JeffH.
I’ll be sure to document this process.

PS, I recently started moving my splits to another location far enough away so the bees don’t return to the parent hive, otherwise we can lock them in for 3 days & use the branch in front of the entrance trick. I recently did that with success.

Space is not the only issue with swarming. It’s the way bees reproduce. Everybody is right. You have to split them

Same thing happened with me within two weeks of installing my NUC the queen had just taking off and they had already formed swarm cells. A local beekeeper Mentor came over and we did a split right then but the parent hive is still being a challenge because I had a swarm on Sunday that we captured and put in another box but by the end of the day they had moved back to the parent colony and we’re massed under the bottom board. I opened it up yesterday per my mentors instruction and they are honey Bound in the broodbox so yesterday I removed two frames of honey and move them to the new split colony and put 2 empty frames into the parent colony. Today I’m going to add another deep super on the parent hive and borrow some larvae from the split hive that’s doing really well now and put it in the second deep brood box to try to entice the workers to come up I believe I should also move a couple of more frames of honey from the initial brood box up into the new deep… what do you think.

Bees are still massed underneath the bottom board now for 72 hours. Is this indicating that the queen that took the Swarm is no longer there?


If you are taking a frame of stores out of the brood box to make room for laying the best place for the replacement frame is in the middle if the brood nest. It will be drawn super fast and laid up

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