In a recent post, David Laferney wrote:

Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
First of all understand that the whole concept of "brood chamber/honey super" is a bee keeper idea. Unless you use a queen excluder - which generally you should not - until you have at least some drawn comb in honey supers. There are some general trends, but the queen lays where she will, and the workers put honey where they can.

If they have room they will often (sometimes) store most of the honey above the brood nest (in the honey supers) in the spring, but if they don't have room upstairs they will put nectar/honey right in the brood nest - and once that gets started it is much much more likely that they will issue a swarm during the same year.

This is an extreme oversimplification, but...

If you have supers full of drawn comb you start putting those on when your spring nectar flows first start - dandelion bloom more or less - and that is one of the main things you can do to make a honey crop and prevent swarming without splitting your hives.

Supers full of undrawn foundation DO NOT WORK for swarm prevention. Period. When you hear the term "give them room" it means room to store honey in already drawn comb - not foundation.

As far as I know all swarm mitigation strategies involve the use of drawn comb - or some form of splitting the hive. Except "opening the brood nest" which might work if you have enough skill to know exactly how and when to do it.

And none of them are 100% effective when I do them.

So possibly second year bee keepers with strong overwintered hives, and no supers full of empty drawn comb should seriously consider splitting aggressively early in the season - before any swarming activity whatsoever gets started. After splitting You can let your then multiple hives build comb that year - even if you recombine them in the fall. Or you can do what almost everyone actually does and try all the little tweaks (like opening the brood nest) to try to prevent swarming without having comb - and usually lose half your bees into the trees.

You might get some honey in your second year either way, but you will get more done if you are realistic and do what you have to do to keep your bees in your boxes.
I didn't want to take that thread way off track (the thread was about a swarm trap) so I thought I'd get it going here.

How do you get a super full of empty comb (unless you lost a hive)?
I don't expect to have honey this year with my new hive but perhaps I could feed like crazy and add another super with a queen excluder and get some frames that way.
What if my hive IS able to come up with some honey this year? Do I save the medium frames with drawn comb and use them next Spring?

Dave's post is a good one - has spurred lots of questions!