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I use all 8 frame medium boxes. This has a tendency to cause my hives to become a little taller than 10 frame boxes. however, my one hive that survived the winter is now 8 boxes tall.( That is after I made a split and so far hasn't swarmed. Our honey flow hasn't even started yet. I can't see in the top box unless I stand on a 5 gallon pail. This colony will surely go to 10 boxes. How can I maximize honey and still manage the hive? I don't think a step ladder would be safe ?
 

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I use all 8 frame medium boxes. This has a tendency to cause my hives to become a little taller than 10 frame boxes. however, my one hive that survived the winter is now 8 boxes tall.( That is after I made a split and so far hasn't swarmed. Our honey flow hasn't even started yet. I can't see in the top box unless I stand on a 5 gallon pail. This colony will surely go to 10 boxes. How can I maximize honey and still manage the hive? I don't think a step ladder would be safe ?
I would probably do 3-4 splits at the least, not just one.
That will fix your problem very quickly.
For the flow combine back (pretty much 1-2 splits out of the 3-4 will need to be combined back anyway due to failed mating and such).
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Bee triple e , have you gone thru it frame by frame to see if they "plan" to swarm?
If yes then do you have other hives, splits, NUCs? if yes you can even them out a bit.

Could swap a strong for a weak and move 2 top supers to the Weak.

IMO you go thru the 64 frames and you will find a Q cell or 2 and can make a split.

Be a shame to have them swarm pre flow and not get a crop. As well these genetics are the ones you want, over winter build up fast.

I just had one with 4 supers already, I moved it away to a new place, put 2 newly hatched queens there in its place side by side, added 1 super of bees and partly filled to each NUC, added the other 2 supers to 2 other hives .
Basically split it all up to prevent a big swarm. now instead of 1 huge and 4 little hives We have 5 medium ones.

GG
 

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I use all 8 frame medium boxes. This has a tendency to cause my hives to become a little taller than 10 frame boxes. however, my one hive that survived the winter is now 8 boxes tall.( That is after I made a split and so far hasn't swarmed. Our honey flow hasn't even started yet. I can't see in the top box unless I stand on a 5 gallon pail. This colony will surely go to 10 boxes. How can I maximize honey and still manage the hive? I don't think a step ladder would be safe ?
8 boxes of brood? If so, split again. I run 8 frame boxes and have 2 with a deep/medium brood configuration but the 3rd is just starting out and I intend it to be all mediums. 3 mediums=2 deeps so you have almost 5.5 deeps worth of brood if no honey supers. That's a lot to manage.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I am willing to bet the bottom boxes are empty. But as the others have said, now is the time for you to make your splits and see what is happening in the hive, all the way down to the bottom board.
 

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I've never understood these massive hives, surely more than a few can't be filled with brood right? The queen just doesn't lay that many eggs to cover 8 boxes. Are there any boxes that are empty or is it all just extra stores?
 

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I've never understood these massive hives, surely more than a few can't be filled with brood right? The queen just doesn't lay that many eggs to cover 8 boxes. Are there any boxes that are empty or is it all just extra stores?
I have seen a brood nest spread 5 medium boxes, and then had 3 supers on top. With a strong hive and a good flow you can get to really big hives if you only extract once a year. My biggest hive has the brood chamber spreading all of 2 mediums, part of 2 other mediums, and 1-2 deep frames right now.

I agree with everyone else to go thru the entire hive and figure out if you have a bunch of empty space, or if the bees have filled most of the boxes. If you have a bunch of empty boxes pull them out or move them to the top as supers.
 

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I've never understood these massive hives, surely more than a few can't be filled with brood right? The queen just doesn't lay that many eggs to cover 8 boxes. Are there any boxes that are empty or is it all just extra stores?
I have seen 20 frames of brood, have 2 frames of pollen and honey, 6 brood per box, 4 boxes of brood is not out of the question, 8F mediums, 3 boxes for brood would be some what normal IMO, I have several times got 40 frames of honey (medium) from a hive in a single season.

GG
 

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beeee, if you are using top entrances as an only or main entrance, they will follow the top entrance with their brood nest. They did for me when I had 8 frame and top entrances. With the top entrance, after a surplus flow subsides, they will also brood up through the front half of the honey frames to get to the top entrance again. You will have many frames half brood and half honey, and few can be extracted. I went bottom entrance and 10 frame, and very happy with that. I had a 10 frame hive 9 boxes till I took off a lot of honey this week. Main flow is still going, usually till mid July at least. JW suggests bottom boxes are empty, which is most likely if top entrances are main or only entrance.

Or, if there are a lot of honey frames, I take off honey anytime I need to before it's capped. I put the boxes in the back porch with a dehumidifier and a small fan blowing through the stack of boxes somehow. you will have under 18 percent moisture in 2 days. If you have a small room you could do that in, it's very helpful.

Also, if you put wet supers back on, they seem to fill them faster.
 
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