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If i don't want to make a split what are my choices,if im on the verge of a swarm, i have heard you could put a honey super on, can some one explain this procedure for me ,i have 7 hives and figure any more would be too much work for one person
thanks to all the experienced beekeepers who answer all our newbie ?s
thanks and happy spring to every one
egbert
 

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Well, a honey super gives them room... if they're getting 'swarmy' due to crowding. You simply put a honey super on. Might want to leave out the queen excluder, or they might not want jump the gap this early in the year... but that depends on your bees. If you put the excluder on, and the bees don't seem to move up over the next day, then take it off and put it back on after a few days.

Make sure the queen isn't in the supers when you put it back on... any brood that have been laid in there, the bees will keep covered until they hatch, and then the comb will be filled with honey.

As for not wanting to make any splits... have you considered making some nucs and selling them? Up here in Sudbury, we have a huge demand, but lack of supply... lots of people wanting bees but sitting on waiting lists.
 

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what are my choices,if im on the verge of a swarm
One choice is to let them swarm. :)

When you say "on the verge of a swarm" - if they already have swarm cells, adding a super most likely won't stop them. You could try breaking up the broodnest, adding some empty frames, but if they're really "on the verge", that's a low probability fix.

I'd make a split. If you don't want an additional hive, sell it. Or you could do a split and then re-combine them after a couple weeks.
 

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I'd make a split. If you don't want an additional hive, sell it. Or you could do a split and then re-combine them after a couple weeks.
I was going to suggest this, but he already did.

A third option is the so-called Demarree method. To do this, you need at least one queen excluder, better two.

Shake all the bees off of nine or ten of the best frames of brood. Put the queen excluder over the first story making the queen confined to one box.

Add supers, and put the 2nd exluder over the supers. Put the brood on top. This will pull the nurse bees out of the brood area, and probably prevent swarming.

They may raise a second queen upstairs, so you may end up with a split after all, but after the swarm season has passed, you pull the queen excluders and either let the best queen win, or remove the older one.

If there is no second queen, you are home free: a big strong hive full of bees.
 

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When you say "on the verge of a swarm" - if they already have swarm cells, adding a super most likely won't stop them. You could try breaking up the broodnest, adding some empty frames, but if they're really "on the verge", that's a low probability fix.
I agree, Very low probability.

I'd make a split. Or you could do a split and then re-combine them after a couple weeks.
I agree. I would wait until the honey flow starts and then recombine into 1 large colony. This will probably make more honey than the two individually before the combine. Then your back to the original colony.
 

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i have 7 hives and figure any more would be too much work for one person
thanks to all the experienced beekeepers who answer all our newbie ?s
thanks and happy spring to every one
egbert


Dee Lusby is a 63 year-old woman and runs 500 by herself, with the occasional hand.
 
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