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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    26

    Default Booming Hive - Do I need to split?

    I have a hive that started as a swarm 5 weeks ago. I put them into a brand new hive with no existing comb. It has exploded in population and built lots of comb. I used Les Crowder's plan to build my hive only I made it even a little bit longer (48"). So the sides and bottom are 10". This colony has been very active and have built out comb on all but a few bars in my hive. In fact I only have about 6 bars left that either do not have comb or festooning bees on them. The problem is that during my inspections I haven't seen any bars of exclusively honey yet. Every bar has brood and a strip of honey at the top. Now that they have almost filled the entire hive I'm worried that they are not going to have enough room to store honey and they are going to swarm. During my last inspection 2 days ago, I did find about 6 swarm cups on the edges and bottom of some of the combs but none that had larva or caps. I rotated three empty bars in between existing comb to try to give them more room. I've also noticed that since the weather has been warmer there have been about 4 or 5 cups of bees bearding at the entrance in the evenings.

    My problem is that I really don't want them to swarm because they are in my back yard in a residential neighborhood. Also, I'd prefer not to do a split because I don't want any more colonies to take care of. Do you think that I need to worry about them? I will do a split if you think that they are going to swarm anyway.

    Also, did I built my hive too small? I figured that if I used Les Crowder's plans I wouldn't have a problem.

    Thanks, in advance, for your advice. These forum members have already taught me so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Booming Hive - Do I need to split?

    I don't know the answer, but I too built the crowder design at 48" inside length. Doesnt seem like that big of a hive now that I have bees in three of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ashtabula, OH
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Booming Hive - Do I need to split?

    If you have plenty of drones. or drone cells, take a frame with 3 day old eggs. Make a split, I would give them two weeks then add another frame with new eggs.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Booming Hive - Do I need to split?

    maybe you could find someone who is interested in a TB nuc and make one to alleviate some of the population pressure in your hive. you might also consider a plastic queen excluder that you cut into the shape of your hive and insert about 6 bars from the end. Once that brood has hatched, hopefully the bees will use those 6 to put the honey in. (This does assume the bees can get in and out of that area through another entrance as they may not want to go thru the queen excluder to store the nectar. (my hive has 3 openings, so it's not a big deal but if yours is on an end, it may not work).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Booming Hive - Do I need to split?

    Quote Originally Posted by stdavis View Post
    I have a hive that started as a swarm 5 weeks ago. I put them into a brand new hive with no existing comb. It has exploded in population and built lots of comb. I used Les Crowder's plan to build my hive only I made it even a little bit longer (48"). So the sides and bottom are 10". This colony has been very active and have built out comb on all but a few bars in my hive. In fact I only have about 6 bars left that either do not have comb or festooning bees on them. The problem is that during my inspections I haven't seen any bars of exclusively honey yet. Every bar has brood and a strip of honey at the top. Now that they have almost filled the entire hive I'm worried that they are not going to have enough room to store honey and they are going to swarm. During my last inspection 2 days ago, I did find about 6 swarm cups on the edges and bottom of some of the combs but none that had larva or caps. I rotated three empty bars in between existing comb to try to give them more room. I've also noticed that since the weather has been warmer there have been about 4 or 5 cups of bees bearding at the entrance in the evenings.

    My problem is that I really don't want them to swarm because they are in my back yard in a residential neighborhood. Also, I'd prefer not to do a split because I don't want any more colonies to take care of. Do you think that I need to worry about them? I will do a split if you think that they are going to swarm anyway.

    Also, did I built my hive too small? I figured that if I used Les Crowder's plans I wouldn't have a problem.

    Thanks, in advance, for your advice. These forum members have already taught me so much.
    I think they will swarm and they may not fill the last bars first either.I personally don't think it's the hive ;it's the speed of your bees. I got a second package this year and they are calm,slow and easy going. My first package was "gangbusters" from day one, like yours.

    My package last year April 9 filled my hive the same way (no full honey bars) and they swarmed by June 14!!! I was a first year and didn't have a second hive ready. One way or another you have to give them room. I opened up the brood nest with blank bars from the back until there were none. I tried an add-on which they went into but didn't Move into. I removed drone comb and fed it to my chickens. My first queen took over half her colony and left anyway. The upside is I got local genetics from the daughter queen and they filled the hive Again and lived through the winter. I got 7 lbs of honey this Spring from them that they'd stored before they reduced for the winter.
    In late Fall they DO reduce themselves and store honey, but mine didn't this time of year! Mine are Carniolans (mutts now).

    If I'd known of ruthiesbees technique I might have done that though! You can drill side holes in that honey area ,even if you have a front entrance.I think my bees would have found and used something like that because they are super active and check out anything that looks like a gap anyway.
    I had the experience of letting my bees make their own queen and it was a bigger education than controlling them, that I ended up liking; but I'm in a rural wooded area where it's non likely a swarm would land in a person's yard. I thought I'd have only one hive when I began but this year I'm starting my third ! Best Wishes! HB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Booming Hive - Do I need to split?

    Quote Originally Posted by stdavis View Post
    ...In fact I only have about 6 bars left that either do not have comb or festooning bees on them...

    In this free space you can part or separate the queen from her brood with the help of an queen excluder.

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