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Thread: Too many bees!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Dane County, WI.

    Default Too many bees!

    After a very cold early spring, I was able to inspect the hives [3] completely and clean up the bottom boards. Other various parts of the country have had unusually cold springs also. Example: Silver Maple flowered on March 23rd. last spring; this spring, at least ten days later and then for only 2 days of 50-60F. degree temps.

    I overwinter my hives in three deeps that are wrapped also. This is what I have done for three seasons, mostly because I fear the bees will starve. I overwintered one hive in 2 deeps that went through the winter OK.

    I had other "responsibilities" that needed to be attended to so I didn't get out to the bees during a warm spell in March or early April like I should have when the population of the hives were lower. It doesn't take too many weeks of brood emergence from mid Feburary through March to have a sizable number of bees.

    Upon inspection, the hives were obviously well populated with bees, top to bottom. Disassembling three deep boxes, setting them aside, and scrapping/cleaning the bottom board with the foraging bees not knowing where to go of course was quite hectic for me and the bees!!

    The pollen and brood appeared to be at random throughout the frames.

    I plan to cull out bad/older frames and introduce small cell foundation in the center. I guess this is the only thing I can do to regain some control over what the hives are doing.

    I know, this is perhaps one of the disadvantages of overwintering in three deeps! Oh well,.. live, beekeep and learn. Last year I just removed and cleaned up the bottom box and added it later.

    Any advice or,...reprimands/suggestions?
    Last edited by Oldbee; 04-23-2008 at 02:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Troupsburg, NY


    Too many bees is a good thing.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Wheatfield, IN


    If you are already sorting thru frame by frame.... I'd place most of the brood in the bottom box with a frame of honey/pollen in the #1 and #10 position then place a box of empty combs above (with honey pollen in the same position if desired. If you have more brood than will fit in the bottom box I usually will place the extras in the middle with empty combs on either side. This time of year it can be risky placing empty comb in the middle of the brood nest in the event that a cold snap hits. I'd try to keep the brood together and place empty comb above.

    Sounds like you might need a queen to make a split which is a good problem to have. You don't want them swarming.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm


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