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G'day - Fred from Perth

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’m in the inner suburbs. Plenty of nectar around.

Having said that… should I be packing the hive that swarmed back down to a brood box by removing the super?

To give them a hint that not enough of them had moved out? :rofl:

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They must have taken me removing their queen away as an eviction notice. They’ve been grumpy ever since :joy:

I need to convince my other box to move in. They are chockers full of bees. I won’t be surprised if they take off soon also… how long will 2 foundationless frames keep them occupied for?

Do people take bees? I’m happy to offload/ shake them into a box… and send them off…

Or could I put 2 supers on the busy hive until the swarmed hive builds back up…?

Guess which super belongs to the hive that swarmed…

All those methods based on increasing hive volume alone were done and dusted in 1880-1920’s. So we can jump straight to 1940-50’s. I don’t know configuration of your hive but general principles are these:
Keep idle bees busy, reduce temperature in hive, increase area available for laying eggs. Further recommendations are for warm/hot climate areas only. For colder climates adjustments are needed.

Reducing temperature.
Provide shade to the hive.
Increase ventilation by providing ample ventilation on top. It could be opening 3-5 cm wide and whole box long.
Increase ventilation at the bottom. Open screen completely for hives with screened bottom board or, in case of solid board lift box off the bottom board and put 3-4 cm high wedges between box and bottom board (we don’t care about SHB in Western Australia).

Increasing area available for brood and subsequently keeping idle bees busy.
Adding second box.
Take frames with brood, shake all bees and queen to the bottom box and move frames to the top box. Leave 2-4 frames with BIAS at the bottom, add frames with foundation on the sides to fill the bottom box. Put QX on top of it. Put top brood box on QX. Add frames with foundation to the top box to fill it. Hopefully it will be enough to keep them busy till main nectar flow. If not, add another box in the middle above QX repeating procedure with moving brood from the bottom to it leaving queen in the bottom box. If it is still not enough. By the time bottom box will be full again top box will be free of brood and could be rotated to the middle and exchanging frames with bottom box as per original procedure but without adding frames with foundation. Simple up-down frame exchange.
What you are going to get after this is very strong colony ready for main nectar flow. If flow is not going to happen, at least you already gone through swarming season. What to do with this mega hive in this case is a different question :rofl:


On the subject of reducing the temperature would a slatted racked help in this process and help reduce swarming?

“Salted rats” were made with temperature reduction in mind but for different purpose. Rack gives additional space inside the hive where bees may evacuate to. They do it to reduce numbers on combs to move away themselves as source of heat and improve airflow between combs. Migratory cover has the same purpose - provide extra space to move to while bees are transported and don’t have other choice. For a stationary hive, extra space is always available outside. We are talking about bearding. So in my opinion, for stationary hive, slatted rack is not worth money or effort. As I wrote above there are better ways to drop temperature. Light paint, shading and ventilation. Bees are able to move serious amount of air even in hives with solid bottom. F. Batalov (1959) conducted measurements on air movement in hives during active nectar collection. Bees were able to move 7.2-18 cubic meters of air per hour in 0.065 cubic meters hive. It is enough to blow out a candle put next to entrance.
With such ventilation ability bees easily turn hive into evaporative air conditioner with available water, provided ambient humidity is not high. Just give them a bit of help - provide larger opening. It is cheap and easy.

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Ha ha “Salted Rats” I remember that post. Thanks for that feed back. My bees were bearding today and it was interesting to watch them go back and forth to the bird bath and collect water.

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Yes, it was good :rofl:

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I love salted rats!! All my hives have one. To ABB’s point I now have all solid bottom boards and two openings, one on either side of a reducer. On hot days the bees conduct air in one and out the other, and you can feel it moving if you put a hand close enough!

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Me too!!! Salted rats for the win! :rofl: Thank you so much for the original laugh about this @skeggley! Priceless

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I have done a bit of reading but want some more advice. My bees are bearding everyday for the last 5 days, So I will be doing an inspection tommorrow. What should I be looking for or doing during this inspection to possible work out what’s going on?
Thanks for your advice.

Hiya eweyfam, with Fffreds bees swarming, others harvesting and mine still not interested in the supers who knows!
Although it’s been warmish bearding for the last 5 days would certainly warrant investigation.
Make sure you have an empty nuc box or two on hand when you inspect.
Shake the bees off the frames when looking for QCs paying attention to the bottom of the brood box frames.
Hopefully they’re just in building mode and alls ok.
Just looked at the weather forecast and looks like rain next week which will force the bees inside and use up some of their stores.

So different about the place hey! Mine are all over the super frames but nothing in them yet .
Would I be using the spare nuc box to transfer some frames if I saw signs of swarming?
And if so, which frame and how many do I move over.

Hiya, how’d the inspection go?
Yeah nuc box if swarm cells were found. Generally there would be many Qxs on the lower section of the frame if in swarm mode. If you haven’t already seen these PDFs there is some great info from WBKA on what to do in this thread Queen cells in new hive
I’ve found it handy to have a nuc box on hand when I’m inspecting because of what I’ve seen.

Hi Fred,
Basic question I know… I live in a world of acronyms at my work, but what does BIAS stand for? Brood something.
Shona (beginner!)

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Brood In All Stages

That one took me a minute the first time I saw it too!


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Hi Marisha, I hope your not having it sent to Western Australia. Live bees, including queens, are a prohibited import, like many bee products. There are some outstanding breeders in WA.

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