OK- just helped inspect my mums hive and it came through winter beautifully. We left the flow box on onver winter and it still has a full frame of capped honey that it had in autumn. All the other flow frames have very nice wet nectar in them- I have a feelign they will fill fast.
The brood box looks great: all the frames are very clean and covered in grand patches of capped brood and entire fields of fresh laid eggs. Virtually no drone cells except for one foundationless unwired frame that has a huge face of pure drone cells covering one half of the frame. The wired foundation frames are solid worker brood. bee numbers are very high- and clearly there are a lot of bees soon to be born. Not a queen cup to be seen.
Now- given the health and all that capped brood- one might be worried about swarming in a few weeks. I would rather not split the hive if I don’t have to.
Is it likely that adding an ideal foundationless super above the flow box now will give the bees enough work and space to stop them swarming in a month or two? It seems like a split will set them back a bit- and it would be nicer to let the numbers boom and let them catch the spring flow with a large workforce. We have taken splits from the hive the last two years and it has never swarmed yet after 3 full seasons. However from memory the first season when it wasn’t split was the most productive.