I am a 2nd Year Beek. Hive was doing wonderfully until last week when our temps went through the roof in Central Illinois. I was away for a week and came back to lower numbers. As I suspected, the hive had swarmed. My queen was gracious enough to have left me with several frames of brood. The bees have several frames of my flowhive super almost full. 2 are 3/4 capped. 3 are 1/2 capped. and the other 3 are 1/3 capped. All have honey.
I reduced the number of Swarm Cells, while doing so a Queen released into the hive. This was 5 days ago. Upon inspection today, there are no eggs just yet, and I couldn’t find the Queeny. They have not created any more Swarm Cells and seemed QueenRight in their behavior. Obviously, I will not know for sure until she is mated and lays some eggs/larva.
My questions are as follows:
- Should I harvest my honey this year? I am almost to the end of good nectar season. They have swarmed and I need to think about treating Varroa soon.
- Do the frames have to be fully capped up to harvest?
- What if I just take a few frames worth? How do I “return” the honey to the bees? It gets very cold here so I don’t want to winter with the flow frames.
Thanks in advance for all advice!