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Over crowded and what to do?


The last two weeks im seeing more and more bees outside of hive at night. Size of a dinner plate 2-3 deep. I have the super on top and they have been in there packed and busy but honey is not extended yet on end of frame yet. I have another box with frames ready to go. Should I slip it in there and what kind of disturbances will this create to the bees, super and Etc ???
Thanks, Steve


I need to post more photos here but bee out at night Hmmm I enjoy the night as well sometime :slight_smile: saying that do a hive inspection. May not be any problems other than they want to hang out. this photo here is when I know the hive was not full at all, they just wanted to hang out, I guess



Could you pull off the roof n crown board n peer down into the inner sanctum to get more than a “SWAG” (wild Ass guess). Then just maybe you’d know more where n what you need to do. That shouldn’t disturb the ladies much n quench your guessing work.

Just my thots n 2 cents worth Steve. Let us know what you do bro !

Take care n take the leap,



I have to start with some questions before I can have a go at a meaningful answer. :blush: How many brood boxes do you have at the moment? How full is/are your current brood box(es)?

If you only have one brood box, and it is 80% full of brood or food stores, you definitely need a second. If you have 2 brood boxes, and both are 80% full of brood or food stores, you might consider a third brood box, like @Red_Hot_Chilipepper. I understand that PA winters can have quite a bite, and you might find that they overwinter better with a third box.

If you are going to add another brood box, I have found that the bees prefer it when it is added underneath the existing box. They use it faster, draw nicely aligned comb more often and don’t have to move their food stores around.

If you were considering adding your extra box as a traditional honey super, I would not do that if you want the bees to use the Flow frames. They often seem to choose plastic last, and if you give them another choice, your Flow frames may well stay empty.


What am I looking for if I’m good or need to add another box with frames ?


I have one brood box and a super. Brood box is is full 70 brood n 30 honey.


Definitely add a second brood box STAT, as they would say on the ER show! :smile: They will need it to overwinter. I strongly recommend adding it below the current box. Hope that helps. :blush:


I will operate this evening.


Good job! Sounds like a plan. I am sure that your bees will thank you.

By the way, I think they are probably bearding from your description in your original post, which doesn’t always mean that they are overcrowded. However as you only have one box, and it sounds pretty fully packed, nevertheless, you really do need a second brood box. :wink:


hi guys ! i juste install a new brood box a wwek ago on top off my first one, when i did my first inspection i notice that the bees built theire honeycomb upside down.what should i do , make the switch or …


My iPad didn’t take very good pis but here they are. All the frames were full . I removed the feeder and add frames. I put the feeder in second box and added box to bottom. Super weight was 25 pounds. Honey even dent to just short of end and outer frames. Any help with identification of frame pis would be helpful and any other comments would be great. I am a novice , and I’m eager to all advice and criticism. Thanks


Looks good in pictures. Adding a second brood box under the first sounds like the best suggestion above. 70% full is the threashhold, I’ve read/heard. If they get overcrowded they may swarm.
The porch sitting is normal. I watch the evenings, it’s different every day, hour to hour. Field bees have to work their way back into the hive by night. Enjoy the sights.



Not a problem ! Your pix’s did the job. It’s a learning curve for all of us on many side/in many ways. You did great ! :+1:. Congrats n keep it up ! In bright sunlight it’s difficult to see if the imagine is focused or not…

Ta ta,


This is similar to what I had at night. I added a second brood box because the frames were full and they still like to gather the same way at night but know they have the room. Good lesson that it doesn’t mean things are crowded but it did make me address brood box area.


I can hear your bees breathing a sigh of relief at the new space! :blush:

Those frames really look packed, as you say, with a very nice brood pattern. I am glad that you removed the feeder - they need the space, and you shouldn’t be feeding when you have a super on the hive. Hopefully they draw out the frames in the new box quickly for you. They will probably move any stores in the Flow super down into the new brood box, so that it is easily available for new brood.


Feeder has been empty since spring. Filled twice then. Like u said, moved out of there for room but kept it the mix if I or they need it. Thanks Dawn