New bees, feeding, and roof alignment

I stick a whole lot of pinpricks on the upper side of the ziplock and let the bees crawl into the roof space (or sit it on the hive mat. Works a treat!
Otherwise, if they need a decent/prolonged feed, it’s the jar set-up as shown above.

As a novice, let me ask for advice. My honey super is just completely filled with bees when I look at the side windows and they seem even more compacted in the center of the super. Does this indicate they might swarm again? The foragers are still active switching from blackberry flowers now to oregano, cone flower, etc. from what I can see. I have not opened the main hive but when I last did there were a lot of newly hatched bees so I thought the queen still had room for new larva, but now I am not sure. Should I check for queen cells or whether there are empty cells for her to work on? At this time of the summer it seems too late to start a new hive.

It may seem too late to start a new hive, however that wont stop bees from swarming if they have a mind to.

I probably wouldn’t do a brood inspection to look for queen cells in the middle of summer. What I do is use the cavity in my lid as a guide. If I find the cavity in the roof has a lot of bees hanging there, unproductive, I’ll do a split, whether they are preparing to swarm, or not. If I find the roof full of bees building comb & productive, I’ll still weaken the colony a bit, but not as urgently as I would when I see a lot of bees doing nothing.

My theory being that the bees doing nothing are saving their energy & will be part of an imminent

Therefore I’m always a fan of having a roof cavity available for the bees to hangout in. I lift the roof at least once a fortnight throughout the season, except during the early part of winter.

Jeff, thanks for the helpful advice. If I move out a couple of frames I will have to check to make sure the queen isn’t on them.

1 Like

Hi Sambees,
Do you ever have leaks from your jars onto the frames below?