Hello. I had a swarm show up around 1700 on Saturday. Did some quick internet searches and was able to get them in a wine case the next morning. I have a first gen Flow Frame 6 from the crowd funding campaign. Besides reading I have no hands on experience. Work travel had kept me from starting earlier but now I seem to be in the game. Anyway I cleared a space for the hive, built a stand, put up the brood box and dumped them in. I put the frames in and put the top cover and roof on but not sure my next steps. Since I am in the FL panhandle it has been hot and no rain for weeks. Since they are starting from scratch I put out a container of sugar syrup and left them alone. I made a reducer but didn’t put in place as I wasn’t sure if I should make their entrance smaller. Also I didn’t cover the round hole between the brood box and roof. Should I? The internet is great but there is so much conflicting suggestions I am at a loss. Most in the US say to add another brood box once the first is at capacity but others…Any help, ideas or suggested reading is greatly appreciated.
I’m in a similar climate down under. I’m sure one brood box managed properly would be sufficient. I have one question. Did you use frames with starter strips or did you fit them with foundation? If you only used starter strips, I’d suggest starting again with fresh foundation before the bees get carried away with crazy comb. The sooner you do this, the better. It would be a shame to waste all the bees initial effort, only to get pulled down.
Plug hole in the cover board is optional just means you’ll get bees building comb.
I personally would close it off as you want your bees to work on the frames to build up the colony but it’s not a problem and if really dry and hot some added ventilation.
Thanks Jeff. I wIll take care of that today.
I will take your advice but put a screen over to allow circulation. Any recommendations on a reducer?
Loads online but easy to make. Strip of plastic pinned. Wooden baton. Metal mesh
I already made several just wasn’t sure if I should put one on the entrance. I went ahead ahead and installed it.
I agree completely with Jeff’s advice and I would reduce the entrance to about 3 inches at least till the hive is really booming in numbers. I never have a fully opened entrance on my hives. That will help the colony defend itself from any robbing and free up some of the guard bees to forage bringing nectar and pollen to build up the hive.
If you can get away with a single brood box it will be a benefit for you, Jeff is only 12 miles away from me so the same climate and yours should be about the same. We both have single brood box hives.
A lot of conflicting advice is often related to the climate where the advice is coming from, and even very local conditions (micro climates) play a part in what is best. Like over my last Summer Jeff was harvesting honey and I was feeding my hives. Jeff was getting rain I didn’t get and I had bush fires thru a lot of my foraging area.
Thank you sir. I added the reducer and they seem more docile and busy in the hive. I appreciate everyone’s advice. Cheers.