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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    476

    Default 2nd year established hive?

    I have a strong hive that wintered well. I have yet to do an inspection, it has been cold and rainy. I just started to feed the hive a few days ago. The hive is 2 deeps with 10 frames in each. At this point I am concerned/wondering what will the bees be doing until things start to blossom around here and they are able to collect nectar? I am afraid the answer might be swarm. Should I add empty frames of foundation for them to stay busy drawing out more comb until I add honey supers? If I don't really need more frames of deep comb, is it okay to place medium frames in the deep bodies for them to draw out and for me to use in the new hives that I will be starting this week(I will be trying out using mediums for hive bodies this year).

    Also, when is the telltale sign to switch the reducer to the larger opening or completely remove it from an "overwintered" hive? Thanks, juzzer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,070

    Default Re: 2nd year established hive?

    Until there are flowers and good flying weather, you don't need to worry about a swarm or the bees wanting to or being able to draw much foundation. Leave that entrance tight until it is much warmer at night. Placing medium frames ina deep box will often result in a terrible mess. When you see the apple blossoms getting ready to bloom, it will be time to put that medium on top and if the bees are as strong as you say, the queen will probably move up and lay in it after the bees start to draw it out. If the two boxes are absolutely stuffed with bees, put the box of foundation between the two hivebodies. DOn't do that until it has warmed up and only with a booming hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: 2nd year established hive?

    To put the drawn out medium depth comb into your deeps you need to simply cut the comb out of the medium frames and rubber band it into the deep frames. Don't do this when the comb is cold and brittle. Bring it inside and let it come up to room temp.

    As Vance G said, don't just put the medium frames in the deep boxes. The bees will draw comb down from the bottom of every medium frame's bottom bar and affix the comb to the top bar of the frames in the box beneath it. Bees will not waste that space below the medium frame. They'll draw it all out! Then on a subsequent inspection you'll have to cut it all out

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