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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
this colony responded and produced akin to those colonies that walt wright checkerboarded a few years back and reported predictable swarm control and record harvests.

akin, but not exactly.

the difference was that my colony did issue a swarm. the good news was that we were already half way into main flow and this had become a tower hive that i didn't want to get any higher anyway. the swarm was very small, probably supercedure, and no difference in colony strength was observed after the swarm. might as well call it an overcrowding swarm, and a carefully fed fresh new queen is nice.

this colony progressed from an overwintered cluster of about five deep frames of bees that expanded to fill that deep and six additional mediums with bees. that's roughly equivalent to five deeps of bees.

as of today, all six mediums are heavy with honey, and we still have a flow. most fall flows here are good as well. i'll harvest over 200 lbs from this hive.

the broodnest today has been reduced to the middle sections of the middle frames in the bottom deep. they are just coming out of a broodbreak with a nice pattern of eggs on both sides of the bottom middle frame. the area surrounding the brood nest is backfilled with lots of fresh bee bread.

as for the swarm, no problem. it was donated to the nearby woods hopefully to augment the local unmanaged population. maybe i'll get lucky and it'll kick back a few drones this way.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
here's the log on that colony:

#4

CAUGHT IN SWARM TRAP SPRING 2012, ORIGIN UNKNOWN, LOTS OF DWV IN LATE WINTER 2012, SWARMED IN JUNE 2013
HARVESTED 1.3 SUPERS IN 2013


060714: DRAWING A COUPLE OF FRAMES IN FOUNDATION SUPER, REMOVED AND DONATED TO #3. HARVESTED SUPER 6. SUPERS 1-4 NOW FULL OF HALF CAPPED HONEY. SMALL BROODNEST WITH FRESH EGGS, LOTS OF BEEBREAD IN DEEP.

051914: SMALL PATCH OF NEW COMB IN FOUNDATION SUPER, MOVED IT TO SUPER3, SUPERS 4-6 VERY HEAVY AND GETTING CAPPED, SUPER2 WITH A LITTLE CAPPED BROOD AND BEING BACKFILLED

051914: SMALL SWARM ISSUED, ALL BOXES SOUND FULL OF BEES WITH CRUNCHING HEARD IN FOUNDATION SUPER, ONE VIRGIN HEARD BUT MUTED

051714: ABORTED SWARM ATTEMPT, MULTIPLE VIRGINS HEARD

051114: SUPER6 ALMOST CAPPED, STARTING TO USE FOUNDATION IN SUPER5

050214: WHITE WAX SEEN IN SUPERS 4 AND 5, ADDED NEW SUPER5 FOUNDATION, SUPER6 HEAVY

042014: FAIR NUMBER OF BEES IN SUPERS 3 AND 4, ADDED SUPER4 EMPTY COMB, SUPER5 NOW ALMOST FULL OF HONEY

041314: STORING A LITTLE NECTAR IN SUPER4, STORING NECTAR NICELY IN SUPER3, STILL A LOT OF HONEY IN SUPER3, BROOD FRAMES 4 AND 6 IN SUPER2 MOVED UP TO SUPER3, SUPER4 ALMOST FULL OF HONEY

033114: STRONG, BROOD TO MIDDLE OF SUPER2, NOT STORING IN SUPER3, GAVE SUPER4 FROM #5

032114: NOT MANY IN SUPER3, FAIR NUMBER IN SUPER2, LOTS IN SUPER1, STORING NECTAR FRAME 5 SUPER2

030714: BROOD IN MIDDLE FRAME OF SUPER1, CHECKBOARDED SUPER2 AND SUPER3 WITH TWO FRAMES OF HONEY FROM #5

022214: EGGS, LARVAE ALL STAGES, NOT AS MANY BEES AS #2, BOTH SUPERS FULL, DONATED 2 HONEY FRAMES TO #2, JUST STARTING TO PENETRATE HONEY IN SUPER 1, MADE FRAMES 3, 5, AND 7 IN SUPER 1 EMPTY BROOD COMB , ALLOW TO WORK THROUGH SUPER 1, CHECKERBOARD IN SUPER THREE IN A FEW WEEKS

102513: HIVE WT. LBS: 120+

0101813: HARVESTED 3 FRAMES, PLACED EMPTY COMB SAME AS #2

080913: HONEY NOT CAPPED IN SUPERS

071513: FOUND QUEEN WITH GOOD PATTERN EGGS/BROOD

071213: QUEENLESS, NOT CAPPING ALL OF THE HONEY, DONATED FRAME OF EGGS/BROOD FROM #1, HOLY DEFENSIVE BEHAVIOR BATMAN, REMOVED SUPER3

061413: EGGS IN DEEP, HARVESTED SUPER4, SUPER1 AND 2 MOSTLY FULL BUT NOT CAPPED, SUPER3 COUPLE OF DRAWN FRAMES BUT MOSTLY FOUNDATION
060113: SWARM ISSUE

052713: NOT USING TOP 2 SUPERS. BACKFILLING SUPER1, SUPER2 NOW PARTIALLY DRAWN FOUNDATION, SUPER3 EMPTY DRAWN COMB, SUPER4 IS FULL

052113: NOT DRAWING SUPER3 YET, GAVE SUPER4 DRAWN COMB FROM #7

051713: NOT USING SUPER3 YET.

050813: BEES WORKING SUPER2, GAVE SUPER3 BARELY DRAWN COMB

050313: NOT MANY BEES IN SUPER2

041713: JUST A FEW BEES IN SUPER2

041313: ALTERNATED BROOD FRAMES IN SUPER1 WITH DRAWN COMB

040513: SEVERAL FRAMES OF BEES IN SUPER1, DEEP HALF FULL OF BEES, GOOD PATTERN EGGS AND CLEAR BAND IN SUPER FRAMES. GAVE SUPER2 FROM #10

032913: LESS THAN 1 FRAME OF BEES IN SUPER

032413: COUPLE OF FRAMES OF BEES IN ONLY SUPER

031613: REPLACED PARTIALLY DRAWN FRAMES IN SUPER WITH DRAWN

031513: 5 FRAMES OF BEES, SOME FOUNDATION IN SUPER

030313: REMOVING MORE DEAD BEES THAN THE OTHER HIVES, SOME WITH DMV

022413: ALTERNATED HONEY IN TOP SUPER, WORKING THROUGH STORES IN DEEP, 4-5 FRAMES OF BEES. QUEEN, EGGS, GOOD PATTERN. REMOVED FOUNDATION SUPER FROM BOTTOM.

021713: QUICK LOOK, FAIR AMOUNT OF HONEY IN SUPER, DECENT CLUSTER SIZE, CONCERNED ABOUT # DEAD BEES HAULED OUT.

011913: SEVERAL FRAMES PARTIAL HONEY, GAVE ONE FRAME HONEY FROM 1 OR 3?

123112: 60 LBS. MEDIUM ROAR 4 SIDES.

110912: 73 LBS.

102012: ATTEMPTED TO REQUEEN AFTER USURPATION ATTEMPT, CAGED QUEEN FOUND DEAD.

101912: BROODLESS, NO QUEEN FOUND. 7 FRAMES OF BEES, SUPER 1/3 FULL, BACKFILLING DEEP.

101312: USURPATION? ATTEMPT

100612: MOVED AUTUM OLIVE SWARM TO POSITION #4 (OLD NUMBER 4, THE ORIGINAL QUEENLESS HIVE, FELL VICTIM TO ROBBING, AFTER UNSUCCESFUL REQUEENING FOLLOWING SWARM, AND GIVEN FRAME OF EGGS INSTEAD OF NEW QUEEN, ULTIMATELY SOLD TO CINDY)

081812: STILL DRAWING COMB IN TOP SUPER.

080312: REDUCED TOP SUPER TO NINE FRAMES.

062212: DRAWING OUT SEVERAL FRAME ADJACENT TO (NOW UNCAPPED) HONEY FRAME

061412: LIGHT BY HEFT, NOT DRAWNING SUPER, GAVE MEDIUM FRAME CAPPED HONEY FROM GARAGE.

050812: DEEP FULL OF BEES, GAVE SUPER FOUNDATION.

050112: 5-6 FOUNDATIONLESS FRAMES DRAWN, GAVE NEW BOX.

042912: 6.5 FRAMES OF BEES

042612 AUTUM OLIVES UNKNOWN ORIGIN.: CAUGHT SWARM IN TRAP NEAR AUTUM OLIVES UNKNOWN ORIGIN.
 

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Out of curiosity, how much longer do you estimate the flow to continue? Here in Birmingham, I'm still getting comb drawn, but slower. This crazy spring makes it hard to read the signs.

Thanks,

MsBeHaven
 

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Interesting read squarepeg, thanks for sharing. Looks like you thought they were queenless a few times but they managed to pull it out and maintain their line.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks colleen and yes. had i looked into this one just a few days ago (before the eggs seen today were laid) they would have looked queenless. one of those other times was after swarming also, and i learned it may take longer than i think for them to start brooding again after a swarm.

and then there was the time was when i found the usurpation queen on the ground next to the hive and killed her, but i though her workers may have got in and killed my queen. luckily they didn't, but it was so late in the season that i tried the introduced queen just in case.

it's too difficult in the heat of the season (and when they are taking a brood break) to go through that many boxes frame by frame to find the queen and it's probably not worth it. this colony has been behaving too good to not have had a queen.

i usually stop my inspection of the broodnest when i see eggs.
 

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Squarepeg, are you in sourwood country? I wish my little hill here on Greentop had enough altitude to grow some sourwood.

Here in Birmingham, I'm still getting comb drawn, but slower. This crazy spring makes it hard to read the signs.
Im just outside Birmingham, about a quarter mile this side of the Walker Co line. I had three weeks (end of April, first of May) of all my hives drawing ten frames of capped honey every four or five days - then, it was as though someone turned off the tap. A lot of people have told me this month is usually their best month. I dont see it happening here unless they work the mimosa.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Squarepeg, are you in sourwood country? I wish my little hill here on Greentop had enough altitude to grow some sourwood.
there's a little sourwood scattered around these parts. a friend of mine keeps a couple of hives in the valley below me and just a stone's throw from the tennessee river at a location with quite a bit of sourwood. he watches for their blooms and places a super of empty comb on just as they start. they usually will fill a super on those. my tastebuds may be weird, but i don't see what all the hoopla is about sourwood honey.
 

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Privit is ending here. Clover is still going strong with the rains. I'm hoping for a decent run with mimosas and myrtles for June.

MsBeHaven
 
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