After wintering over in California, my strong hive with 2 deep brood boxes below my Flow Box tried to swarm last week. After circling around for about 10 minutes (and much to my relief) they came back to the mother hive! Very quickly then, I made a split of that hive which seems to be successful. However, there still seems to be an over-population in that mother hive and I am wondering if I need to add an additional deep brood box to give them more room. I really hesitate to do that, because it’s so hard to left off the Flow box when checking brood when the hive it that tall. Also, I am wondering if it might just encourage the bees to abandon their efforts to fill the Flows and encourage them to just store honey in the brood box. Any thoughts/suggestions?
I wouldn’t add one below the Flow super. A double brood hive is plenty strong enough already. I have 2 suggestions:
- Switch the positions of the split and the mother hive. Returning foragers should now reinforce your split numbers, and weaken the mother hive a bit.
- Put a medium super on top of the Flow super. That will give them more space and something to work on, without making more space for the queen to lay.
You could also do a second split if the hive still looks too strong. I think @JeffH has done that on occasion.
Sounds like a pretty good problem to have @en2gen Louise! It’ll be interesting to hear if your bees manage to start filling your Flow super
Thank you Dawn, I generally take a sizeable split away from the parent hive. I take it far enough away to avoid bees returning to the parent hive. In the split, I normally take the frames with the most sealed & emerging brood. That leaves the parent hive with young larvae & eggs which puts a temporary halt to the population growth. That should delay the colonies desire to swarm.
Because the split contains mostly sealed & emerging brood, most times I find it necessary to split it after queen cells are formed.
Then after another 4-5 weeks, depending on conditions, it could be necessary to split the hive again.
Thanks. I was thinking along the same lines. I hesitate to put a honey super above the Flow since in my previous experience they prefer to fill that rather than the Flow. And I am spoiled by the Flow extraction process I guess. The are busy filling it now. I like the idea of switching around boxes between the 2 hives! Someone else had suggested that as a strategy for evening out the hives
They have already ben filling them…very busy!
I’m going to do that!