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Brought my first-year hive through the winter successfully after dealing with laying worker and small number of bees. When I inspected three weeks ago there was a good laying pattern throughout the bottom box, and they were starting to draw comb in the top box. Today I inspected and I have bees everywhere. They have totally filled the top brood box with honey, nectar, pollen, capped brood, etc. The top box is now much heavier than the bottom. I was grateful that I made the decision (thanks, Michael Bush) to use all 8-frame mediums. I probably should have swapped the position of the brood boxes at some point, but didn't do that today as I spent quite a bit of time cleaning up burr comb, including larva, from between the boxes. I saw a couple of possible queen cells, but they were not at the bottom of the frame. I added a super in hopes that they will produce my first honey to harvest. Should I add a third brood box? I don't really want to do this, as the current setup is comfortable for feeding and inspecting. I ordered a package which I will pick up tomorrow for my second hive, but I have a feeling I could have done a split instead. One option would be to add another hive, but I want to keep this a back yard hobby operation. Holly trees are in full bloom and we have had some hot weather here in NC. Presume they may swarm and I should just watch to see if they produce a new queen. Any other recommendations? Thanks -- Debbie
 

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Go back and re-read Michael Bush's material on 8-frame mediums. If memory serves me correctly (and it may not! :lpf:) the recommendation is three 8-frame medium boxes. That gives you a much larger brood nest for a stronger colony, and better honey production. So yes, get another brood box on there. Then again, they may be turning the box you added, into a brood chamber.

As they fill up each box, you need to add another, to stay ahead of them. That helps prevent swarming.
Good luck!
Steven
 
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