Hi all. I have a question regarding one of my hives. It seems to be going well, very active and it’s only about a year old. I had one brood box and the flow super on, and just put the second brood box on at the start of spring to prevent a swarm from happening. But something weird happened about a week ago. I noticed a fair few bees hanging around on the front and around the opening of the hive. I assumed bearding as we are now in summer. (Even though the bees in the hive next door weren’t doing it.) one evening I went to look closer and noticed there was a very small swarm under a nearby tree. The next morning they had moved to underneath their previous hive… then later that same morning they moved to a small shrub, again nearby, where they stayed for a few days. The swarm was very small. Much smaller to what I have seen before and they weren’t active at all. They have since gone, but a lot of bees are still sitting on the front of my hive!
(Almost like they want to swarm again) Any suggestions what this could mean or what I should do? It’s just weird to me. Thanks everyone!!
P.S…Also… I’ve had one hive for two years and the other for one… still no honey at all in my flow supers. Is that normal? Yes both hives are well and very busy and active. I would have expected to get some honey by now
When was your last inspection? Are you checking for swarm cells? Swarm season you probably should inspect every 10 to 14 days. If you are relatively new to bee keeping the best way to find out what’s going on is to get in there and check it out.
Thanks for your response Karby. So admittedly I haven’t checked them much… but I did do an inspection today. Every seemed fine to me! There were plenty bees in there, honey being made, and larvae. I checked both brood boxes (top and bottom) and could not see any sign of swarm cells. The bees seemed to be very calm too, so to me, all seems just fine.
They are still hanging around the front on the hive. Not only the front face but congregating along the opening.
Side point… a friend a couple weeks ago bought her hive to our property, but it was a good 100 away from mine. She took them back today, but could it be a situation of my bees guarding their hive??
ALSO… my hive has two brood boxes and the flow super on top. I have placed the queen excluder on top of the second brood box… so between the middle brood box and the super. Is this correct.?? Or should the queen ONLY be allowed the the bottom brood box? Thanks again
Is there a reason you need two brood boxes? I am working on just a deep and medium/ideal. That will be their brood area so they can fill up with honey to overwinter. Anything above that I can harvest.
Are you part of a club? What do the locals do with their brood boxes? Keep in mind that you have livestock that will need management so if you are just in it for the honey maybe have someone else manage your livestock for you. I only mention this because you mention not getting any honey in your first two years.