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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dover, MA
    Posts
    5

    Default Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    Hi All,
    I live in Mass and just took the honey supers off for the Fall. I have two hives, one of which contains a very large colony. Gauging by the number of bees hanging around the front, I don't think there's enough room for them in the remaining two-box hive setup. I'm concerned that the colony will weaken or swarm. Should I just put back one of the honey supers with frames for the winterand stack the top-feeder on top of that for the Fall 2:1 syrup feeding? Incidentally, I have terremycin, menthol and apiguard meds in the box right now as part of fall treatment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Appin ontario Canada
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    I had the same thing happen to me a week ago. It takes a few days for the bees to make room in the reduced space, but since it got cold the last few days, they are all inside now. Do not add honey supers if you are treating meds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,250

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    ronoc, along with alfredd's wise comment I would add that if you see that more space will definitely be needed you can add a super that is empty of frames onto the bottom of your hive to provide the extra room for the foragers untill their numbers thin out a bit, but after the fall treatment is done the extra stores on top would be a wise wintering over choice in your neck of the woods, then you could remove the lower empty super as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,183

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    ronoc,
    what are they like this morning? Still hanging out? They will all fit inside and probably only really occupy one box. You'll be impressed.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Belmont,Mass. USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    I, too had a similar situation in Mass. opening up the hive, I found 15 or so swarm cells, all capped. I'm unsure what to do now, as it's so late in the season. Any ideas?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,183

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    Really, that many swarm cells? Seems unusual to me. Must be supercedure cells, right? They are on ther face of the comb? Not on the bottom edge of the comb, right?

    You could smush all but two. But, mostly, I would suggest leaving the thing alone and let it do what it will do.

    Better luck next year.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dover, MA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    There is still a big clump sitting outside ( across the whole front entrance, 10" high.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    In order to take advantage of such large population "surpluses", this year I made splits of the "overpopulated hives" during the first week of August (dearth here). Took off the honey supers then. Has worked out well so far, the surplus population went into splits and the daily dance of the young bees indicates to me that the winter bees are replacing the surplus population. Wintering them will indicate if this is doable in my area every year. OMTCW

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dover, MA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Taking honey supers off for Fall - hive too crowded?

    Hi All, The temp dropped to around 45 degrees last night and, just as sqkcrk and others suggested, they found a way of cramming their way into the hive. Impressive. Thanks to all of you for the advice.

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