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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default help! overcrowding

    I am over wintering a couple of my hives in one deep and one honey super. One in particular looks seriously overcrowded. They are bringing in a ton of pollen. The deep and super are jam full. I can't even see the top of the topbars when I open it. We are currently having a 70 degree week, but who knows what will happen after that. My question is should I add another box to give them more room? They are raising alot of brood. If I do, I was going to move a couple of brood combs up to get some nurse bees to move into it. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Rockford, MI

    Default Re: help! overcrowding

    Split with stores or add another super and checkerboard the frames.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Great Falls Montana

    Default Re: help! overcrowding

    I would go in and look for swarm cells ASAP. If you find them and they are not capped you have a very few days before they swarm. If you have capped swarm cells on the bottom of the frames, they may have already swarmed. If it was me and I could find the queen I would pull her and about four frames of capped brood to the far side of your apiary. I would destroy all the swarm cells but two that are close together.

    If you have no confidence in finding the queen, I would put an empty box on a bottom board and put a few frames of capped brood with the bees brushed off in it to make sure you don't have the queen. Then I would put a queen excluder on and an empty box and start gently brushing bees off frames until you find the queen. Then take her and the bees and capped brood to the far side of the apiary and the bees will think they have swarmed.

    Give the queenless colony a super. They will not have brood to raise and will have honey to store. Stay out of the queenless hive with the two swarm cells for a month. That will give the new queen time to start laying. If she is there, you have another colony or you can recombine it as it will be past swarm season. If there is no new queen. combine the nuc with the old colony.


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