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Do I have to add a brood box or can I just let them swarm?

I have a 10-frame deep brood box, plastic Apimaye hive so it’s heavy. It’s not time to add a box yet as my 5-frame nuc is just starting to build out the empty frames. My problem is if/when I add another brood box I know it will be too heavy for me to move in order to inspect the bottom box. Should I/can I let them swarm and simply put my super on the one brood box?
I considered getting a bottom board, lid and super and splitting the hive using the other deep brood box, but eventually I’ll get to the same point.
I’m leaning toward splitting the hive and if they swarm I can call a local keeper to come get some free bees.

If you place an empty box next to the hive you only need to remove one frame at a time to check then put it in the empty box.
Doing nothing in my opinion is bad hive management allowing them to swarm as a preferred option. I much prefer do it easy by doing a split at a time that suits me.
Selling a split is a good option once it has produced a laying queen.


Hi Michele, as Peter explained you can definitely avoid lifting a whole box, and splitting your colony rather than letting it swarm is potentially lucrative and not very difficult to get the hang of. Where I live I have to be proactive, but some beeks in less populated areas can be more lax and the occasional swarm is not a problem, but you’ll find that they don’t always settle in easily reachable spots - or are off before you notice. Plus, with them goes half your honey.

Thanks I definitely prefer to hang on to them, I don’t want to be a sloppy beekeeper. Just need to order a cover, bottom board and super for the other brood box. Once I have them I’ll split the current hive.

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Very cool, you will feel much more accomplished after you make what I’m sure will be a successful split :raised_hands:. About spare equipment - it’s amazing how suddenly you’ll need things sometimes. There’s a lot of Macguyvering that goes on around here, when supplies are short. At the moment I have a split housed in a brood box that slightly overhangs a piece of insulation board under it to make an entrance, topped with a piece of styrofoam and a spare Flow lid, all sitting directly on top of another hive’s traditional (flat roof) lid :crazy_face:. No room on either of the wood benches I use as hive stands. I also have a bottom board I made in a pinch by nailing an entrance reducer to one edge of a piece of plywood - assumed I’d replace this with a proper bottom board but am still using it!

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Thanks that gave me a good laugh you are very creative!! I am way too anal…I think (hope) I’ll lighten up as time goes on.

I’m sure I’ll be begging for help when my equipment shows up and I’m ready to split the hiveEmoji

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We are a very creative bunch of people. It seems I always under estimate by gear needed short term even though I’m constantly making new hives up. Your inventiveness has made me smile. :smiley:
Swarming here can happen any month of the year and something to have constantly on the look out for. I have to remind myself that my Winters day can be a mid Summers day in places like Canada.

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