Concerns with 2nd year hives

Ok, went into my hives again this week. We have had sunny warm weather for 2 weeks now here. I stopped feeding my 3 hives 2 weeks ago. One was a nuc moved into mediums. This hive is now 3 medium boxes. I just added one with foundation (no comb available). This hive is fine at the moment. My next hive was overflowing! Last week not so much but this week I pulled my empty feeder box off and handfuls of bees fell from the cover. I dug deep and found at least 3 completed queen cells (one damaged though when I lifted the box :/) I had a spare nuc so I located this queen and moved her into a deep nuc and 2 med nuc box setup. The deep had comb though some of it is damaged. I placed the queen with 2 frames of food and 3 frames brood in the center medium. I shook some bees into the nuc as well but not many. Should I add more bees? The frames I moved were covered in bees, so she has 5 frames of bees with her currently.

The hive with swarm cells I put back together and added another box of foundation. I did my best not to damaged the remaining swarm cells. There were some very young eggs as well so if these don’t work I guess they would make another? How long should I wait before I go back into this hive? I suppose checking progress in the new super would be ok to make sure I stay ahead of them.

Now my largest hive. I added a super last weekend, as I stated in another post. They are still working the outer frames a bit but slowly. I went into all boxes and found no swarm cells or supercedure cells. There was brood in all stages in all boxes. I did notice that a couple of frames that were brood last week are now filled with nectar but this is the super underneath the one I added. I added the Flow hive to this one too. Should I be worried about this one deciding to swarm? It looks like we have some weather coming in for next few days, though here the weather changes daily.

I used my last piece of equipment. Looks like I am going to be building more and buying more frames. This is a challenging way to start after first winter survival. If you can call it a winter. The queens have been laying since january it appears and no sign of stopping. They are even capping nectar from this years maples. Apples haven’t even bloomed yet!!

Any and all advice welcomed!!


First of all let me congratulate you on a successful winter over… If I might ask where are you ? A region n climate help knowing to give best answers. It sounds you are going by the book n a great way to go. Hopeful you are keeping some type of hive logs to record your details n what has n will work or failed.

I returning to beekeeping after 55 year absence ! My 3 Nuc’s will arrive sometime mid April if all goes well. I spent this winter building n assembling hives as well as gathering supplies n equipment. I have been taking beekeeping classes to catch up on bugs, pests n other issues n technics.

Your split sounds good to me as it can be. We learn as we go. I am sure others with more recent skill will soon jump in with their thots n comments. Adding a super (if I remember right) to the third hive that has yet to show swarming signs was a great idea/move. Keep up your inspect to be on top of it if not.

Yah, buy n building extra equipment is wise too. It’s a bummer when you need frames or hive box n don’t have. I have bought a few extra used one too. I inspect, clean, torch burn n often freeze these used parts to not introduce problems for a healthy colony.

Again, congrats n good luck. Keep on keeping on Brad. And I’m sure others will pop in soon too. If you have a local bee club or association you might bounce your ideas n what you did off them too. Take care.


Thanks! I am in Georgia, USA. It “look” like the weather is going to be getting to somewhat normal temps. It has been in 60s and 70s during day but the same at night. So the bees are active 24-7. Forast is for temps into the 40s overnight for the next few weeks. May slow them down at night, but daytime temps again in 70s and 80s! I am still short on frames at the moment. I have a deep with brood comb available for emergency use, though I was hoping to have this for when the split hive gets too big for the nuc. It will be an entertaining here in the south!

Brad C,

Kind of misserable up here in the Pacific NW east of Seattle. Day time temps rocking between 45 to 55 dgs. It’s been a record WET :umbrella: winter up here n bees thinking about buying umbrellas :smile:.

I build n assemble hives but I don’t bother manufacturing frame parts. I do assemble them. This is my newly build frame assemble jig. Never seem to have too many … I have bought a few to get started.

Guess you’d better get buying or busy :grinning: … Gerald :honeybee:

Agreed, I am building another four boxes to start. Doesnt seem like much but right now I think they are in a lull as red maple is slowing and I don’t see another source in abundance yet. But it is coming. I just need to find more frames. I might get a couple of weeks time with frames I placed but that is asking the bees to stop doing what they do best and thats making comb. LOL

Brad C,
True ! Like telling wind not to blow or the rain not to pour ! I was lucky … All winter as I made hive boxes I would drive out to my supplier n buy a half or full box of frame parts. So I seem to have plenty made for the moment ( seeing my bees don’t get here til mid April) n plenty of extras. I’m fortunate to experienced needs for frames years ago as a teen beekeeper so bought more than enough before the suppliers are overwhelmed by order… Good luck bro. And have a great week … :honeybee: Gerald