Did you reverse brood boxes? That might explain why your hive is bursting. You probably need to split or start a couple of NUCs with any queen cells that you find. The weather around Raleigh has been pretty funky & cold, but last I looked all the hives had capped brood.
>as long as I keep the mosquito spraying trucks away!
As long as they spray at night I haven't had problems, but if they spray in the daytime, it can make a massive bee kill. I had that problem all the time when I lived in Mitchell, NE. They would fog for mosquitoes with Malathion in broad daylight at 4:00 in the afternoon. Didn't kill any mosquitoes, because the mosquitoes weren't out yet, but it sure wiped out a lot of my bees.
I also didn't appreciate breathing all those "harmless" fumes. At least that's what they said then. http://www.chem-tox.com/malathion/research/
db, I did not reverse. When I did my first spring inspection, the bottom box was full of brood with a perfect arc of pollen & honey--just like you see in the picture books--and the top box was loaded with honey, too--that's because as a newbie, I was so afraid they'd starve over winter, I fed them all winter long. Anyway, I added yet another box (new foundation--I have no more drawn comb) so that they could rearrange some of that stuff and make room for more brood, but like I said, this past weekend they were looking a little restless; flying around just outside the box and such--It think they're thinking about swarming.
Michael, we have a phone number to call every spring to tell them not to spray by our property. I also have "No Spraying" signs up at the borders. They also make sure to spray before 10 am and after 4 pm, so it cuts down on problems, but our sprayers are so conscientious that if you don't tell them not to spray, they drive those things right up onto your property and will spray all the way to the back line if they have access!
>>They would fog for mosquitoes with Malathion in broad daylight at 4:00 in the afternoon. Didn't kill any mosquitoes, because the mosquitoes weren't out yet, but it sure wiped out a lot of my bees.
Those know nothing dumb asses!!
Like has been stated, it shouldn't hurt to put out a box near enough to the branch. If you have a spare, you may put it away from the apiary a ways. They may just use the branch as a staging area before flying off, and a box across the yard may be just what they are looking for. At any rate, it may catch a swarm from elsewhere.
I would also be interested in considering a split. It sounds like you pamper yours enough that they would make it if you did and the weather holds for you. Plus, it would be another thing you would add to your resume of beekeeping skills. I haven't had to the fortune to split a hive yet, but I look forward to it. Besides you may have a quality queen there that you want to propetuate a line of for yourself.
Wayacoyote, that's exactly my thought about the split. This queen is just totally amazing and if I could perpetuate her species, I would be one happy beekeeper. I'll be checking in on that hive today to see if there're any queen cells.