On May 13 th I captured a large swarm that had gathered on o low lying tree. The swarm was around 10 to 12 pounds in size. I hived it in three medium 8 frame boxes with a mix of new foundation and foundationless frames. I placed nine frames per box to start. I did not feed the swarm at all. It adapted well and drew out the 27 frames so I added two more boxes of foundation only. They filled and drew out these frames so I added another box of foundation only.
Flash forward to today. I planned to pull some frames of capped honey so I could extract and return them to the hive so they will continue to have room to store nectar/ honey and not back fill the brood nest. I do not have any drawn frames available to give the . When I when I went in today, I have brood in all six boxes and she has laid in every frame including those with honey. Out of the 51 frames in the hive there are eggs/larva or brood in all but four frames. There are lots of drones and there were no active swarm cells that I could locate.
Here are my questions
What is the best way to have the queen stop laying in the upper boxes so I can get some frames to harvest?
I only have foundation so if I put an excluder on will they draw out the frames?
Should I wait until I get some swarm cells to do a split?
Any and all constructive suggestions would be appreciated.
Some queens just make excluders mandatory! (like So FL bees!) Use some frames of honey above the QE as a lure. Put those with the least amount of brood up...no drone brood, because the drones won't be able to exit. In a hive that sounds like it's booming as well as it is, as long as there is still a flow, crossing the QE shouldn't be much of an issue. You might need a step ladder soon, though! lol!
You can certainly do a split...just make sure the hive without the queen has EGGS...not just brood....EGGS. Looks to be the perfect candidate for a split...or two. Nice job bees!
You could try putting another box with foundation two boxes down with a bee escape on top of the empty box. When the bees are mostly cleared out you pull out the bee escape and put on a QE. The quickest way is to shake off all the bees in the two boxes and put on a QE. Cull all the drone brood.
I decided to move the four honey frames with brood to the top of another hive where the queen has room and is staying down out of the honey supers. I figure they can benefit from the brood and should finish capping the small amount of uncapped honey(15%). I replaced the frames with foundation to see if they will keep drawing frames.
in a couple of days, I will remove the queen and some brood and place her in a new hive. When the queenless hive draws and caps queen cells, I will divide that hive into two.
A couple of questions.
I will need to keep all hives in the same yard, will this work?
Any suggestions or comments concerning the above plan?
This is my second year so I am entering uncharted waters and am open to constructive criticism that will help me.
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