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Author Topic: Help Needed  (Read 886 times)
bassman1977
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« on: July 30, 2005, 01:00:38 PM »

I was just in the hives today fixing a frame count error when I last added supers.  

With the hive in question, I added a medium super last week.  Currently on this particular hive, I have 1 deep on the bottom and 2 mediums on top and the hive is being used as an unlimited brood nest (no excluder).

As I was correcting the error I made, out of curiosity I took a look at a couple frames in middle medium box.  One frame had two queen cells on either side, both empty.  They weren't there last week during my regularly scheduled inspection.  Unless I'm mistaking, queen cells that low are swarm cells.  Also, I'm pretty sure that this time of the year isn't swarm season (usually).  

That hive recently had a population boom, honey is at it's lowest point all season (perhaps due to the population boom), but it is coming in.  Pollen is being collected at an amazing pace. When I was checking out those frames, I noticed that there were eggs in there.  

I'm guessing they wanted to swarm due to lack of space and that I put that super on at the right time and they decided not to swarm after all.  Ventilation isn't a problem that I'm aware of.  I have a SBB and the top cover is cracked.  I have noticed that despite of this, there has been a little bit of bearding at night.  It's been cooler the past few days so I'm thinking they just couldn't get into the hive.

Here is some of the things I was thinking might help the situation (keep in mind that the bees are just now starting to draw comb in the new super and there were a lot of bees in the fields when I did my inspection):

1.  Split the hive (The bees completely fill 2 of the 3 boxes and there's a lot more filling up the new super)

2.  Add yet another super.

3.  Do nothing since they have an empty super.

I'd appreciate some advice.  Thanks in advance.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2005, 02:26:08 PM »

>One frame had two queen cells on either side, both empty.

Empty queen cups?  If they are just a round cup I wouldn't call them a queen cell.  If they are peanut shaped with a larvae in them or sealed then I'd call them a queen cell.  The bees, especially the carni's and the ferals, seem to alway have a few cups around just in case.

>They weren't there last week during my regularly scheduled inspection. Unless I'm mistaking, queen cells that low are swarm cells.

Usually swarm cells are hanging off of the bottom of the frames.  Not on the sides.

>Also, I'm pretty sure that this time of the year isn't swarm season (usually).

Probably not.  It's pretty much over here.

>That hive recently had a population boom, honey is at it's lowest point all season (perhaps due to the population boom), but it is coming in. Pollen is being collected at an amazing pace. When I was checking out those frames, I noticed that there were eggs in there.

Eggs in where?  The queen cells?  The frames?

>I'm guessing they wanted to swarm due to lack of space and that I put that super on at the right time and they decided not to swarm after all.

Doubtful.  I've never seen adding supers change their mind if they have made up their mind to swarm.  I don't think they had any intention of swarming.

>Ventilation isn't a problem that I'm aware of. I have a SBB and the top cover is cracked. I have noticed that despite of this, there has been a little bit of bearding at night.

Sometimes they do that no matter what, but I always try to add enough ventilation and room to get them to stop.

>1. Split the hive (The bees completely fill 2 of the 3 boxes and there's a lot more filling up the new super)

If there are no eggs in the queen "cells" then I don't think you even have a problem to correct.  I woulnd't split them unless you really want to trade yoru honey harvest for another hive.

>2. Add yet another super.

Hard to go wrong with that on a strong hive in a flow.

>3. Do nothing since they have an empty super.

If they have an actual EMPTY super, then they probably don't need another.  If they have a partially empty one, I'd add another.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
bassman1977
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Location: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania


« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2005, 04:02:14 PM »

Will do.  I'll just leave them alone.  Thanks for replying.
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