So, finally my mesquite honey flow has begun, almost a month late, and not nearly as strong as it usually is. It is more like a moderate flow, not at all like our usual mesquite flow.
Between my frequent harvesting of brood and nurse bees from most of my full-size hives and this slower, more moderate mesquite flow, the full-size hives have been filling the top super (of two supers I reserve for the brood nest) with honey and restricting the queen to only the bottom super. I anticipated this could cause swarming behavior, so I have been moving combs the bees fill with honey up and into the honey supers and replacing them with empty combs, frames of foundation, or foundationless frames. It seems that foundationless frames work best, the queens fill the cells with eggs as the combs are built, effectively preventing them from initially filling them with honey. Often the queens will also lay a new round of eggs as soon as the cells are vacated by the emerging worker brood.
It seems that my recently adopted honey configuration works best with a very strong honey flow, and when I don't rob them of sealed brood and young bees too frequently.
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