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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    22

    Default What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    My hive has a lot of bees and I know that this will give them a reason to swarm latter. Is it too early to honey super? What else could I be doing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Montgomery, Tx
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    Any swarm cells present?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    If you want more bees, split them,
    If you want honey, super them.
    THe worst thing they'll do is ignore foundation. The best would be to prepare it for the flow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    A little more info would be great - how many boxes on your hive?
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    If you have a picture of the hive that would be great. What may be "alot" of bees to someone just beginning may actually be normal buildup. If when you open the hive every inch of space has bees, and they just pour out when you open it that is alot of bees and swarming would be an issue then. I think for Ontario it is too early for swarming. I live in CT and we have not had any swarms yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    Thanks for your help guys!
    I'm using 2 deep supers. I've chosen to super cause if I have more bees the neighbours might complain.
    I took a look today and it isn't quite boiling over, but there are bees on every frame. So I added a honey super with a frame feeder to get them drawing out the frames. I didn't check for swarm cells or pull any frames.
    Wow did the hive ever smell nice!! Sweet sweet honey and its only just begun!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    Not a good idea to feed while honey supers are on. You'll get sugar syrup honey! If there's a flow on they'll draw out the combs without feeding.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    True, but the foundation hasn't been drawn yet.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by etripp81 View Post
    True, but the foundation hasn't been drawn yet.
    Once you put the honey supers on the nectar they collect is their sugar syrup. Bees do not need sugar syrup to draw foundation. They will draw comb faster with a nectar flow anyway.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    Yes definitely stop feeding if the honey supers are on or you will have whats known in the States as Chinese honey. they will draw out the foundation fine on the flow.....
    Honeydew

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    From your introduction: "Hi i've been beekeeping for a couple of years now as a hobby."

    Do you know when your minor and major honey flows occur in,. Ottawa, Canada?

    Ottawa, Canada seems to be around the same latitude as northern WI. I really don't think they [WI.] are going to have any kind of nectar flow for another two to three weeks!! Here in southern WI. we might have a minor nectar flow around the time of the fruit tree bloom [Apples, pears,.wild plum and a few others] in about a week from today. Our area is about 7-10 days behind normal spring weather schedule because of a cold spring. Although it seems Mother's Day [USA], when we usually have "apple blossom time" is early this year, I don't think they [fruit bloom] will be in full blossom for another week to 10 days in this area of the country.

    I don't know what the weather has been like in Ottawa, Canada of course.

    I would be willing to bet [95-99%] that [without a queen excluder] the queen will start laying eggs in that "honey super" in a few days. If the hive is really "boiling over with bees", at least you are providing for expansion of the brood nest to "help" prevent swarming.

    Some links to Canada beekeeping:

    Year 2010 I think:>>"The weather in Southeast Ontario in April, May, and early June, was unusually cool and wet. Not exactly the kind of climate we were hoping for, after coming out of a cold winter with a thirty percent bee mortality rate. However as spring turned to summer the cool weather turned hot, the bees surprised everyone. Without delay the strongest hives were split in hopes the new queens would mature, mate, and lay eggs before the first of July; we hoped the hives would get strong before the start of the traditional summer honey flow.
    Our hopes were answered, and we began to 'super' the hives before the end June, not only to provide for honey storage, but to cool the strong colonies and keep them content at home."

    "There's more to supering (adding a honey box) then you might imagine. First and foremost we check.........."

    >http://campbellshoney.onsugar.com/tag/honey-season

    > http://www.ontariobee.com/index.php?...=display&cat=8
    Last edited by Oldbee; 05-08-2011 at 12:53 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: What do I do if my hive is already boiling over with bees.

    I was at my brothers farm in Lochwinnoch (close to Renfrew, about an hour from Ottawa) at Easter, setting up a couple of swarm traps. The bees were already out in his bush... sucking up sap from a couple of maple stumps that were cut in the fall, and poking around. It depends on the local weather.

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