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Bee Space management and honey I think I'm missing the boat somehow

swarming-splits
#1

Hey Y’all! Greetings from Nashville Tennessee!

I’m struggling with swarms and splits in my hives during the honey flow. I think I’m doing something wrong because I’ve done splits, captured my hive swarms and the hives keep making queens and it’s a bee factory in my hives this year.

The good news is my management strategy of bee health is going well at this time.

The bee space knowledge is at a deficit with 8 frame brood boxes, a flow super on 3 hives and it’s still crowded.

I think I need to do something and here is what I’ve come up with. So offer up suggestions because I’m needing directions. I’ve made 6 splits so far. 6 swarms so far.

Should I add another super or deep brood box with foundation-less frames to give the girls space and enlarge the hive?

When they are about to swarm they gorge on the honey from the super then take off.

The current situation among hives A B C.

  1. Hive A, queen cells, non located queen, no new brood tons of capped honey pollen in the brood boxes almost looks honey bound. Incredible amount of bees - needs bee space? Flow super almost full with capping under construction at 40% completion.

  2. Hive B, newly mated queen and new brood production is healthy and capped, with about 6 frames of capped honey in the brood boxes. Flow super is worked though no nectar in it yet.

  3. Hive C, same as hive B. but more capped honey in the brood boxes. It’s just the beginning for the new queen.

I’m struggling with the keyboard that needs charging… Be

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#2

Hey Martha, guess you are in a great spring for your bees, so what I would do is to take of eggs or very young larvae from hive B and switch that into the middle of the brood area of Hive A, and take an outer frame from A and put it into B, if that frame is empty of honey I would put it straight in between brood frames but if it is a honey frame put it on the outside of the brood area.
That way if A is queenless they will make a new queen, if it is queen right the frame will boost that colony.
The bees will store into the flow frames when there is no more room to store honey reluctantly for the first time but once the first extraction is done they will use it without any issue. Cheers.

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#3

Thanks Peter as I was wondering if I needed to put a 3rd brood box on above the queen excluder used as a large honey super with foundationless frames to give the bees a project to work on. :smiley:

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#4

I have been hanging out for some answers here but none arriving.
My take would be to put a super on top of the Flow…not underneath. But I am pretty sure if you just hang in there as is,(each with 2 brood and a Flow super) all will be good. The bees will(as I understand) shift honey up to the super,be it a flow or otherwise, if the brood becomes honey bound.

I did think the lady AKA @Dawn_SD who cracks knuckles with a ruler for the incorrect use of words, would take you to task with respect to “put a 3rd brood box on above the queen excluder” after the correct terminology post which pointed out that a box is a box and that box can be either a brood box when used to brood or a superstructure (super) when added above the QE. :upside_down_face::upside_down_face:
Well something along those lines I sure our Dawn will explain it much better.:wink:

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#5

My deeps are brood boxes and I thought to develop some foundation less frames though used as a honey super. Sorry if I wasn’t clear because I was having challenges with my keyboard yesterday.

#6

Wilfred is smiling.
I was trying to be clever and failed

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#7

Hi Martha, I am not able to follow exactly the state off all your hives- but can comment on Hive A. You say it is very full and has queen cells? Has it has just recently swarmed? It may be too late now- but last spring when two of my hives swarmed I immediately wen’t into them and broke down all of the queen cells except fr the best looking one. You do that to dissuade the hive from sending out ‘afterswarms’ as new virgin queens are born. In my case it worked a treat: both hives did not swarm again and the a month later both had good mated queens.

I am not sure how long you can leave it after a swarm has occured before you take that step- but it may be good to think about it next time a hive swarms.

A more general point about hives that are doing very, very well- too well: you need to give them space to grow into- and/or ‘weaken them out’- which means making splits and replacing brood frames with fresh foundation. Adding extra super boxes will give the bees more room- and plenty of work to keep them busy. You might want to add additional supers at least for the spring- as it sounds like you are having a very productive early part fo the season. We often use an ‘ideal’ or medium box early in spring along with our flow super.

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#8

Great suggestions. Sorry for the lack of clarity as I had a keyboard needing charging and it was a challenge to post.

#9

Like Jeff, I much prefer to use wax foundation frames and doing that will save hassles like wonky shapes to the comb. and that will still give them work to keep them happy. A colony that hasn’t got work to do can become an angry hive. Cheers Martha.

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#10

I still believe all is well if you just wait it out.
B and C are where they should be. A will shortly be able to be harvested relieving pressure on that hive. B and C have flow supers to fill so no pressure on those hives to swarm.
Crank up a few revs in the Corvette and take it for a nice long spin. Relax all is good.

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#11

My flow super us full awaiting capping! I’m so dang excited I can’t stop looking through the observation window! I’m preparing one of my deeps to put on top of the flow. I have no other sizes but deeps.

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#12

Right now I’m waiting until I see some capped brood as all my hives came out of winter healthy and swarmed 2 times each. All captured and homed as there was a back up of buying queens in my area. So I’m relying on nature to do it’s work and maintain healthy hives. Awaiting the last hive to show signs of a successful queen mating. Next year I have a new plan of action because we went from weather to cold to inspect to high temperatures and the bees swarmed before one could get into hives and split etc. Bee space management might not be hard with additional honey supers as I grow with knowledge trying not to freak my neighbors out with swarms. Thanks!

#13

That is SO dang exciting Martha!! Please post is some pics of your harvest if you can :smiley:

Holy moly, only deeps?? Get yourself some mediums and shallows, lady! So much faster to fill and way easier to lift - and a delightful source of comb honey!

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#14

I know Eva! It’s very exciting! I would have to order them and that’s a week or more until arrival. Additionally, it’s more equipment. my thinking is to get some deep wax frames out of it if possible. That seems to be the shortage in my apiary when I need something. Plus since it’s been raining here for a week I’m having another set back. My Flow super is almost full but very little is capped and I think the humidity is slowing the capping process.

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#15

Yr bees will do what they do in their time you cant hurry them just enjoy and wait :slight_smile: .
I see some weird shaped cells on the right of photos I presume they are an optical error.

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#16

Hi Glen, I think they look odd because they aren’t all the way waxed up yet. The plastic sections of the Flow frames are staggered and not flush across the surface.

#17

Inspection day if the weather holds. The goal is to have a mated queen in my hive A hive and see eggs and capped brood. If not rob a frame of eggs from another hive to help hive A. Prepping a super for hive A as it’s full though not capped. I’m placing the new super on top of the flow super. This will be my first experience in doing this so I hope I’m on track. I’ll check on the forum to see who weighs in on where the super should be. Thanks everyone for all the support and kindness! :smiley: whoop!

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#18

On top of the Flow super, if you are going to do it at all. :blush:

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#19

I am! However I was waylaid because my Dog stole dinner, a frozen chicken I took out to thaw and after recovering from that mess it started to rain and has not let up since. However, I have a box prepped and ready for a post inspection addition to the hive. Whoop!

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#20

ROFLOL! :joy: :rofl:

That is so much like “The dog stole my homework”. I love it. I may quote it some time. Thank you for the best laugh of the day, @Martha.

OK, I know it isn’t really funny when your pet steals your human food, so I am sorry for the inconvenience. But thank you for sharing it in a light-hearted way. :heart_eyes:

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