I thought I would give an update on my original post about population explosion of my Flow Hive. Hoping I've done it in the right place so you can all look back at the original post and the discussion that developed. Part of it was me bemoaning the fact I also have a second hybrid Flow Hive that no bees have been interested in using for the past 2 years.
Well, on Tuesday, my Flow Hive looked like a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds". Of course, this sort of thing always happens when I am gone; however, my husband caught it on video and camera. I was pretty sure this hive was going to swarm; but they ended up settling down. Advice from locals, was that the queen was likely "not quite ready" but I should expect them to swarm soon.
The next day, I decided to try to create an "artificial swarm" as a last ditch attempt to keep them. It was obvious to me that I needed to provide more room and reduce the population (the configuration is 2 deeps with the Flow. The Flow frames are about 60% capped). Queenie just had no room to lay and there was little open cell room in the Flows that wasn't already full of nectar of sealed honey. So here's what I did:
Removed 4 frames of brood and bees from this Flow Hive and put them into the nearby hybrid hive where no activity was taking place (hybrid = 3 unused Flow frames/4 unused standard deep frames). Replaced those removed with 4 new deep frames and added a medium super with all new frames (would have added another deep; but out of equipment). Took 2 almost full Flow Frames out of the Flow Hive and replaced those with 2 unused Flow frames from the hybrid. All the bees that were on those brood frames and the Flow Frames went into the second hive just as they were (no attempt to segregate the two colonies).
As of today, all looks good. The Flow Hive seems to have stabilized; and the bees in the hybrid frame seem to be actively working the empty super there that no one wanted to touch previously. The bees in the Flow HIve have no issues with the Flow Frames "borrowed" from the hybrid hive that no one would touch previously. They are working them like crazy.
So, only time will tell whether this hive will swarm; but at least I can sleep tonight!