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Top & bottom entrance with virgin queen

Hi there,

I wonder if you can help me. Within the last few days I have done a split and I am now waiting for the new queen to emerge from her cell in the original hive.

I have a top and bottom entrance on my flow hive and am worried that if I leave the top entrance open that she may re enter through it when she comes back from her mating flight meaning that she is now stuck in the flow super.

Do you think this is a likely possibility? I am thinking of closing the top entrance until I know she has emerged and has mated then I can safely reopen the top one again.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Close the top entrance and then you won’t have the issue.

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FlowHive design accounts for ventilation so you don’t really need it.

I agree with Tim, closing off the top entrance will eliminate the risk of her getting into the super when she returns.
When I do a split I leave it alone for 4 weeks and in that time the queen should have emerged, mated and be laying long enough for you to see larvae. It can be hard not to look for her earlier but doing that is only going to stress the colony.
Cheers

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Thank you all for your advice I really appreciate it. I left 3 queen cells when I did the split do you think I should reduce it down to 1 cell or leave a couple extra as insurance?

I was told to leave a couple extra and check on them in a couple of days and reduce it down to 1. However I do prefer the idea of leaving them be. Not that I’m being lazy it’s more that I prefer the idea of leaving them and letting them do their thing.

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Let nature take its course. Survival of the fittest. Well done.

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I much prefer to leave any queen cells in the hive so that the best queen is the one that survives, Natural selection. The only time I will cut out any queen cells is if I have another colony is queenless and there is more than enough remaining.
Cheers

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Brilliant, thanks for everyone’s comments I really appreciate your advice.

Okay so top entrance is closed and bottom open, the bees were flying about today and re acclimating to the change of entrance.

I did actually burp the lid to let out some bees from the top as I could see a lot of drones up there plus they were really moving around fast and frantically in the flow super. As soon as I opened the lid a load of bees flew out. It was quite a sight!

It was a hot day today around 26 Celsius and it is a warm night tonight. I can see that the bees are still moving frantically is in the flow super and there are a small group of bees on the bottom landing board.

My guess is that they are hot and bothered plus still adjusting to the change of entrance. I’m a little concerned due to the split having a few days ago and worries about a swarm. My flow super has started to be worked on in terms of waxing the cells but there is no honey in it yet. I was going to put another super on in a week or two to give them extra space however I was wondering if it’s worth doing it sooner rather than later. Like maybe this week.

I didn’t want to add the super too early as I want them to fill the flow super. But I want to make sure they have plenty of space too.

After that I will leave it be for 4 weeks as mentioned above to make sure they can do their thing with the new queen.

I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Hi Guys,

I wonder if I could trouble you for some more help?!
So post split the population of bees looks very strong still.
So I currently have 2 brood boxes and the flow super.

I would like to change to 1 brood box, then a normal super, then the flow super. I can then add more boxes on top of that where required.

However, my query is whether to add another box on right now as from what I can see I’m the flow super there are quite a lot of bees. The flow super has had some work on it but there is no honey in it yet. So I am reluctant to add another super yet as there is no honey in the flow super yet. But I also don’t want to deprive them of space if they need it and if they want to fill normal frame with honey rather than the flow frames then fair enough.

I am still in the “leave for 4 weeks stage” after making a split last week so have not look through the brood boxes to see what the population is like but I do believe it is strong.

All I know is that there is very good regular traffic through the entrance and good population in the flow super (looking through the windows). They’re not packed on every flow frame, maybe 3 or 4 of the 6 looks quite tight.

I suppose my question is should I add another super now to give more space, is it too early as they have not stored any honey in them yet? Or should I leave them to fill the flow super before I do so?

Thanks

I can only give you general bee keeping advice as you location on your profile only says your in the UK, maybe update that as climate plays a major part in bee keeping. There is a big difference between the climate in the Scotland Highlands to the southern counties of England.
A common mistake is adding too much space that the bees don’t need. If you have done a split then a single brood box is what is needed and only add a second brood box, if that is way you want to go, but I would seek some local advice from bee keepers in your area. Normally the brood box is full of brood with an arc of honey over the top corners on each frame except to outside frames. They should only contain nectar and some pollen.
Only general advice so please update your profile and seek some local advice from your local bee group.
Cheers

Don’t add a second super when it isn’t full of honey, too much wasted space that the bees have to keep warm so less of the colony can be out foraging. When the Flow Super is full of capped honey you could add an extra super for the bees to build up stores for Winter, which is a better option than feeding the bees over Winter.

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