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My hives are in their second year, having lasted the long winter here.

Last week I threw another box on this hive that was busting. Anyway today I go in and there is wall to wall nectar, in some parts where brood had hatched there was nectar as well...there was little to no room left. This is backfilling is it not? I went all the way through except to the bottom box, and I did not see any swarm cells. There have always been queen cups and I did not see any eggs in them. I needed to do a quick inspection because of time, so I just threw another box of drawn comb on top.

I do not use a queen excluder, though I am open to it?

When I go back in, what should I do. Does the nest need more room as well?

I am all of sudden feeling out of my element again with beekeeping.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should also add, I think they put nectar over pollen. Literally used every last cell.

Also this hive has a good deal of drones, and several frames of capped drone brood.
 

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nediver,

That happened to me about 6 weeks ago. I'm in mid Missouri so it's probably about the same time frame given the latitude difference. The suggestion was to add a couple of frames of drawn comb in the middle of the brood nest. This should give the queen space to lay eggs. Since I didn't have drawn comb being pretty new they swarmed and capped 6 out of ten brood frames. I was hoping to get lots of honey from that booming hive. Instead I ended up with 4 nucs, gave a queen cell frame to a queen less hive and left a a capped cell for that hive.

I tried adding a super to the top of the double deep but it wasn't drawn so no luck. You may want to bring some of the comb into the brood nest from your upper box.

Good Luck.
 

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The suggestion was to add a couple of frames of drawn comb in the middle of the brood nest. This should give the queen space to lay eggs.
That's exactly what i would do too. You have another box of drawn comb you just added. Take a couple of those drawn frames and insert them between frames of capped brood below, and move the frames you took out up into the new box. Sounds like you are ahead of the game, so keep at it.
 

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So, if they are backfilling in preparation for swarming, should they already have made queen cells or are they made after backfilling has been done? What's the timeline between backfilling and swarm cells?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's exactly what i would do too. You have another box of drawn comb you just added. Take a couple of those drawn frames and insert them between frames of capped brood below, and move the frames you took out up into the new box. Sounds like you are ahead of the game, so keep at it.
This makes a lot of sense and provides a great relief. I will do this and cross my fingers.
 

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Just for my edification... The suggestion here is to move frames in the brood chamber itself?? I thought, either incorrectly or correctly, messing with the brood box was a cardinal no no. I thought messing with the frames ABOVE the brood box was the suggested method, or potentially the very outside frames of the brood box, if they were not drawn. I have been lurking around and commenting from time to time and dont rightly remember ever reading this advice before. ???

Also like to hear an answer to heaflaws questions. I can comment on one. My understanding is the backfilling is not done in preparation of swarming. Rather, backfilling RESULTS in swarming. The hive is active and a great flow on and nectar is stored usually where the queen lays. Nowhere for the queen to lay, so.. time to find new place to live and relieve congestion. The timeline question is what I would like to know.
 

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> I thought, either incorrectly or correctly, messing with the brood box was a cardinal no no.

It's the only way I know of to prevent swarming during the spring.

>I thought messing with the frames ABOVE the brood box was the suggested method, or potentially the very outside frames of the brood box, if they were not drawn.

In February... not in May...
 

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My understanding is the backfilling is not done in preparation of swarming. Rather, backfilling RESULTS in swarming.
There are two apposing thoughts on this, but I believe it depends on the time of year. I happen to believe that spring reproductive swarm preparation results in backfillng. It's a part of what a colony does to reproduce in the spring. Later in the year if the colony becomes crowded and packed with nectar, reducing the queens ability to lay eggs, than there could be swarms resulting from congestion. Spring swarming is different.

The reason I believe this is through personal trial and error and observation. In the past I've tried adding 2 or 3 drawn supers to my colonies early in the spring to give them plenty of room for incoming nectar. There was no frame manipulation in the brood nest, but plenty of empty cells overhead in the supers. When swarm season approached the bees backfilled the brood nest despite having plenty of room left in the supers for nectar. That's why you will hear so much discussion on opening up the brood nest to curb swarming.
 

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We believe in manipulating frames into the brood chamber. At peak, five get moved every 12-14 days.

I believe that if you find a hive ready to swarm in a single deep with deeps above the excluder, you could smash all cells, find the queen, remove all of the brood except one frame of eggs to above the excluder, substitute 9 frames of foundation, and with a good flow, they will draw foundation as fast as the queen lays. We have seen the queen lay in just the dimples, and the bees draw it out as the egg/larvae mature.

Crazy Roland
 

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Drawn comb is gold. I would pay more for a stash than a package any day. One of my Mother hives swarmed Thursday due to backfilling, I added foundation frames, no luck. At least I caught the swarm, but think I missed a secondary. Going in tommorrow.:waiting:
 
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