We have come through our winter and in full blown spring here, actually winter was so mild that the hives have been active the whole of winter. Even though spring starts 1 Sept, the bees have been very active since early August and have been returning with Pollen. All the hives are packed with comb and the it’s going great. At this stage, I’m reluctant to harvest any honey, does anyone know if this makes any difference to the overall happiness of the bees? I have a beekeeper friend and he says the bees become restless and agressive If you don’t harvest.
It's not so much a matter of whether you harvest or not, it's more an issue of them running out of space. Not giving them more space is an invitation to swarm. Since you started with a swarm odds are it's an older queen and more inclined to swarm than a colony with a new queen. Bees are happiest when they can expand, either in the nest or by swarming increase, honey bound is not a recipe for happy bees.
I would add a super to the nest by Delon's method, putting the new super either under the bottom box, or by putting it between the 2 boxes. Between the 2 boxes would be most effective imo, and would allow you to come back and make a split giving you yet another colony. Should work fine in your warm climate. If they have already made occupied queen cells then you should go ahead and do an immediate split, giving each half an additional box, probably best to put the new box underneath at this point.
Thanks, I have done some quick research on swarming and it seems like a good option to just let them swarm. So long as the existing hives can continue to be then I’m happy.
I am not too fussed if half of the bees move off to a more suitable location. My primary objective was to give the bees a suitable place to stay and the idea of my hives now splitting and creating other new hives sounds great. I already have 4 hives in my yard so not too keen to expand the number of hives. I think 4 hives in the garden of a 1 acre property is just fine.