I'm curious as to the best practices to maximize brood production, and colony population, when the honey flow kicks off this year. My main nectar source is Tulip Poplar, with clover and other misc. plants mixed in. Tulip Poplar's generally start blooming May-June.
I currently have six single 10 frame deeps that are looking well and came out of winter strong. I am keeping pollen patties on them and will start 1:1 syrup feeding soon. My plan was to get the bees to 9 or 10/10 frames covered, then add another deep (what I use for honey supers) and let the queen move up in there to lay. Then, around the third or fourth week of April, shake all the bees down to the bottom super and add a queen excluder to the bottom deep, thus making the top deep a honey super. Any brood would emerge out and become workforce, and the cells would be ready for honey. I have numerous frames that are still full of honey stores that I was going to extract (sooner than later) and store for fall feed, but make the empty comb available to them again while I fed syrup and they build up.
Should I keep syrup and patty feeding? If so, should I stop when the queen excluder goes on, or sooner? Maples and other trees are starting to bloom and pollen is coming in, but my part of VA has been getting waves of rainy days mixed in.
I also have several frames that were heavily damaged from wax moths; should I give these to a few nucs to mend (while keeping the 1:1 syrup on continuously) and not checkerboard in with my honey making hives during the pre-honey flow period?