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OK i bought an established hive and equipment from a local beekeeper. I brought it to my house on Easter Sunday. I opened the hive today and noticed that the upper brood chamber has 7 or 8 frames of bees. My first question is..Can it possibly be time to add a super? It seems very early in the season for that. Also when I pulled the first frame it the comb was so fat at the bottom that I killed a few bees pulling it out and it scratched the capped honey on the way out. Is there a fix for the fat comb or is that to be expected.

Funny thing also happened. ..This was the very forst time i inspected a hive so I had on my inspector's jacket gloves smoker the whole deal...Then It felt like bee got into my jacket and was buzzin between my shirt and the jacket. I FREAKED out. After smashing my hip trying to kill the "bee" I noticed that I had a missed call on my vibrating cell phone and no bee in sight. It's funny now but wasn't then!!

Help Please with the Questions

Thanks
 

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If the bottom super has a lot of empty brood comb reverse the hive bodies, the queen moves upward as she fills comb with eggs. Then keep a watchful eye on how full this super gets. Keep ahead of them with supers or they will decide to swarm. Sound like you got a productive hive. If you have surplus supers that are drawn out you can add them several at a time, honeybees have a hoarding instinct and if you have a good nectar flow on they will work very hard to fill them up. If you are adding new foundation only add another super when they get seven out of ten drawn out or they will make a mess of things.
How much protective clothing? You should wear what you feel you can work your bees without getting distracted about getting stung. You will find out that moving slow and deliberate will keep your bees calmer, and after you get stung a few times your fear will subside. Because you will know what to expect. If you get a bee under your veil the right response is to retreat with dignity, flapping around just gets more attention. Remember they can only sting you once. :D

[ April 17, 2006, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: Brent Bean ]
 

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"I FREAKED out. After smashing my hip trying to kill the "bee" I noticed that I had a missed call on my vibrating cell phone and no bee in sight. It's funny now but wasn't then!!"

OMG! That is funny. I'm sure things like that will happen to me soon.
~
 

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Hello Cz...I agree w/Brent sound like prolly the lower hive body may not have much in it besides some stored pollen. I reverse my deeps so the empty box is on the top.When you open the hive choose a frame close to the outside and remover it, then you can slide the other frames over without harming as many bees . I see you are near Rochester . Going to make some Lilac Honey ? We all have those moments when we first start beekeeping. I had a bee get into my veil buzzing around my ear, went to swat her and knocked my glasses off and nearly my veil as well . Then realized that perhaps the neighbors were watching and got rather red faced .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all,

RAlex,

The first frame I puled was the very outside frame. I guess next time I should pick the other side?
 

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We're about 2-3 weeks ahead of schule this year, so the first thing you need to do is determine if the bees only fill one hivebody, or two. I'll bet they are in two. The next thing to do is checkerboard the hive, altenating empty frames with full frames, in both boxes. That will buy you about two weeks. Then you either need to put the supers to them, or split and make a new hive. This hive will swarm soon if you don't open up the broodnest and give your queen some room to lay.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I switched the top and bottom hive bodies. Brent was right the bottom hive body had stored pollin and some honey, I've opened the hive twice in two days so i think im gonna leave it alone for one week. After the week is up ill recheck the hive and see if a super is waranted. Am i right that if 7 or more frames are filled with bees then it is time to super??

Thanks all
 

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"Am i right that if 7 or more frames are filled with bees then it is time to super??"

I go more by what is in flower. If there is little to no nector coming in, why put on a super. The first flows to watch for are apple and dandilion.
 

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cz
I like to keep empties above at all times once the flow starts. so if you have a super or two you can put them on anytime. Walt Wright says to always keep at least 2 empties on. It fools the bees into thinking they need more honey to get through the winter.
 

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Hi Cz. That cell phone vibrating story is really funny. Something i would do. Glad to hear you are already up and running.
I will be set up around May 10th or so; my package deliveries are delayed. Nucs also coming in early May. Nice to see lots of fellow western NY beekeepers on here. I'll have plenty of questions for you all soon. I'll probably miss the lilacs too RAlex.
I am really anxious to get going.
 

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Peggjam, I am going to take the advice about checkerboarding if it is not too late. I just added supers to my hives today because I noticed that the bees are backfiling the brood chambers with honey (I reversed a week ago on a couple of hives and two weeks ago on others).

If the bees are backfilling the brood chamber is it too late to checkerboard? There weren't any swarm or supercedure cells in my hives as of this weekend.

Also, I should point out that there is room in the supers, but the flow looks to be strong . . .
 

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I say it's never too late to checkerboard, sooner is better than later, but now is good too. If they are backfilling the broodnest, checkerboarding will hold them off, but they may have already made the dicesion to swarm, and making a split might be the only way to stop them in the long run. You can always make a split and then recombine in a few weeks if you don't want/need the extra hives.
 

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2 new packages

My husband and I are new to this; installed 2 packages April 9 in new hive bodies (brood chambers). Queens were released within 72 hours, April 12. Has been very cool for our area this spring, had near freezing overnight lows last week and low 40s this week. Opened hives last night after 11 more days (April 23) and both hives had nearly identical work accomplished. 4 full frames of drawn out comb and started on 1 side of 5th frame. Have been feeding all along but it has picked up considerably in last few days, about a quart/day per hive....clover, dandelion, holly blooming....looks like tulip poplar (main nector flow source) will be running late this year (avg April 25). We chose NOT to add 2nd deep hive body at this time but have questions about how long to wait before checking again and adding 2nd deep...do not want to crowd and promote a swarm....

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cz
I like to keep empties above at all times once the flow starts. so if you have a super or two you can put them on anytime. Walt Wright says to always keep at least 2 empties on. It fools the bees into thinking they need more honey to get through the winter.
I too like to make sure they have one empty one, incase I don't get back to them right away, as well. If I see two or three frames left for them to fill out I will add. Also I will take the empty frames and move them into the middle.

BTW I laughed so hard... Cell phone...lol Didn't your mama ever tell you to leave your cell at home...
 
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