Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Newbee Concerned about swarming

Hi, Could someone please take a look at the photos attached and advise whether I should add my super?

The hive was started in Dec 2018 however wasn’t flourishing (very hot during this time, little flowers present) and so I was advised to remove the super; which I did.

A recent inspection showed progress (enough?) particularly on eastern frames, so wondering whether to put the super on? The hive is located within a small citrus orchard and so there will be plenty of flowers in spring. I have read that bees typically swarm in July/August so concerned they might depart if they don’t have enough space.
Thanks
BTW Just found can only add one image, so have chosen western side (the least full frame).
2019%2007%2010%20Frame%20outer%20west

Hi Chris, and welcome to the forum, which is World wide so as you haven’t said where your you are making it just guesswork to advise you. like right now in the Northern Hemisphere they are in Summer but in Australia we are in Winter. To make it worse conditions like climates need to be considered in considering swarm risk.
So from the pic you posted if that is an average frame I wouldn’t see it as a hive at risk of swarming. Especially if the queen is under a year old, the older the queen is that increases the risk of swarming. But that is at best a learned guess with not much information to work with.
Come back with more information and you can post more than the one pic by clicking on the 7th icon and repeating with loading the next pic.
Cheers

Hi Peter
Thanks for your response. We are located in the Manning Valley hinterland region of NSW (AUS), about an hour north-west of Taree. Unless you see otherwise, I take it that it might be better to forgo putting the super through spring to allow them to fully populate the brood box?

2019%2007%2010%20Frame%20outer%20east

2019%2007%2010%20Frame%20inner

Ok, got the picture. One of the biggest mistakes is giving the bees too much room… Bees like being in group, even looking cluttered with bees on the frames (all of them). Leave the super off till the bees in the brood box are covering about 75% of the frame from viewing the cells. Hold off till about 75% of the cells are being used for stores and brood. Don’t rush into putting on the super till the brood box is busting at the seams, so to speak, and that will be a help to the colony because they will not have as much space to keep warm. A strong colony will also control SHB and wax moth much better as well.
Do regular hive inspections, observe, relax and enjoy because the pace will pick up about September down there.
Maybe update your location, like Wherrol Flat, that’s little backwater and out of the way, maybe Gloucester area would fit. it helps us to help you. Is your hive a Langstroth or a Flow Hive? Bey you increase to at least 2 or 3 hives soon, bee keeping is so addictive and having a few hives is handy for when you have hick-ups and very little extra time, the time is in suiting up and lighting the smoker :grinning::grinning:
Cheers

Thanks Peter. Much appreciated. Although was looking forward to getting some honey, going to take your advice and hold off till the hive is more developed. Guessing that will likely be next year. You guessed right, we are located at Wherrol Flat :grinning:

1 Like

For what it is worth when I do a spit I don’t expect an excess of honey for that season, I’m thinking about Gloucester’s climate or similar, where you have a definite Summer/Winter cycle.
Up here a new hive still takes at least 6 months to build up strength, take a super and produce enough honey to harvest. So let the hive build up and then you will be able to reap the rewards of taking off the excess of honey instead of robbing them too early.
A common mistake is supering too early and expecting heaps of honey in the first year of a hive.
Cheers

Looking at those pictures you need more of a population before adding a super.

As far as swarming, it’s a natural act that I strive for because it means the hive is healthy and have achieved their goal: I also like capturing them to make increases: Swarms are wax making maniacs :slight_smile:

I split some of my populous hives in half this Spring and still harvested 100 lbs of honey.