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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    556

    Default When to stop swapping frames for season?

    I have 2 hives: one with 4 mediums but one is empty, so 3 mediums.

    One with 6 mediums.

    I did a full inspection today and saw both queens.

    The 3 medium hive has a lot of empty space - some honey, capped brood, larvae on several frames, but nothing to write home about. This was a weak overwintered hive that I requeened with Russian in late June. It hasn't revved up as much as I hoped it would. 2 weeks ago I swapped a frame full of capped brood and a couple honey frames into there.

    The 6 medium hive is crazy productive. Many frames of capped/uncapped honey, full capped brood, larvae, you name it, it has it.

    Winter bee laying will come soon.

    Pollen is coming in.

    So. I will need to swap more honey and I think more brood into the weaker hive, in order to make it thru winter. Since I just swapped some brood and some honey 2 weeks ago, I'm wondering when to time another swap. I don't want to weaken the strong hive, altho it seems they have enough for 2 hives in there.

    Should I hurry and do all the swapping now before August is over, to give them time to work while it's warm, or give it another few weeks and see how everyone is doing?

    Also, I'd feed the weak hive syrup to try to jump start it, but I'm paranoid of robbing, esp. this time of year. Right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: When to stop swapping frames for season?

    When you say 3 mediums you are saying 3 hive bodies with 10 frames? To feed swap honey frames. I do not think adding another frame of medium will weaken the larger hive. If you are concerned put an empty drawn frame in the large ,wait a few days and transfer eggs , not much of an investment for donor.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    556

    Default Re: When to stop swapping frames for season?

    Thanks. Yes, 3 medium supers with 10 frames each.

    Eggs is an interesting thought. A good compromise.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,611

    Default Re: When to stop swapping frames for season?

    transfer eggs , not much of an investment for donor.

    The queens seem to want to keep a certain amount of eggs and larvae around. When you remove some, they seem to try harder to regain the balance.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    556

    Default Re: When to stop swapping frames for season?

    Wouldn't you know it, that hive got knocked over by a darn bear tonight. Dog scared it off before it got any further, I set it back up (they weren't too happy - I had my suit on) and tomorrow I'll see if I even have a queen in there, hopefully she didn't fall out. Fortunately, no equipment damage.

    Thought I'd get away with not having an electric fence. Guess not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,051

    Default Re: When to stop swapping frames for season?

    No bear experience here, but you may be better to leave them alone. Deer knocked over one of mine, week later it absconded. You can tell alot from how they act today. quick look in a few days will show QCs if she was killed.

    Roland's point is valid for the receiving hive as well. To some extent that queen will cut back on laying to even things out. Keep that in mind and look at repeating egg transfer to increase. (or just move capped brood)
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

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