setting up a late swarm for the fall/winter
I caught a swarm in the middle/early part of July. They have been doing well so far and are about to complete their 1st deep. I will be adding the second deep in a day or 2. The second deep will have all 10 drawn frames that I have from last year. I will be placing 2-3 frames with pollen already in them to help them out along with some frames with open cells for the Queen to immediately start laying in.
Another of my hives is doing so great that I have a few deeps on it for supers which they are starting to cap.
I am planning on taking a few frames from the strong hive and putting them into the swarm hive to help them along as much as I can to get them on track for the end of the season. (I usually pull my supers at the end of August and let them start to store the brood nest). My goal is to just get them built up well enough that over wintering is a good possibility.
1. How many frames of honey would you suggest that I place into the swarm hive, 2, 4, other???
2. or should I let them draw out their own comb, or give them frames of empty drawn to store themselves?
Re: setting up a late swarm for the fall/winter
If you have them, I'd put four frames of honey at least, two frames either side. It will give them a good start. They may not have time to draw comb this late and it takes time and honey to do.This late in the year, if you have them, I'd give them drawn comb over foundation or foundation/starter strips for the rest of the frames also.