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Discussion Starter #1
Hive one:
This is our first, a salvaged hive I posted about when we got it. It swarmed on us just under three weeks ago and we went through it yesterday to see what was going on inside. Found what seemed like a fair amount of bees, no eggs, no uncapped brood, a little capped brood - both worker and drone, six queen cells that appear to have hatched out and many, many drones. The queen cells were all up on the center of frames in the upper deep (there are two deeps with a super above them) and all had been capped and are now open with rough edges around the remains of the caps. A number of the worker cells were hatching.

I want to be sure I'm clear on the timing of a new queen getting to work so we know when we need to start being concerned if it gets to that point. Since there is hatching worker brood, and no new brood or eggs, and we know this hive swarmed 19 days ago I'd guess it's safe to say we last had a laying queen about three weeks ago, maybe a little less since there is still capped brood to hatch. Given these, I'm thinking that if all has gone well we should have a laying queen within 7-10 days. Correct? I'm not particularly worried as I know the bees usually take care of themselves very well, but when we check next weekend if we don't at least see eggs it might be time to get a little nervous, right?


Hive two:
Captured small-to-medium swarm installed to 5-frame nuc. Transferred to ten-frame deep at about four weeks when nuc was filled. Added second deep when first was nearly drawn, probably four weeks ago. Opened it yesterday to see if it was ready for a super, then decided to pull frames from top deep for a general check. Found that all frames are entirely drawn, and all are either completely full of, or being filled with honey, most of it capped. This led us to open the lower deep to see what was going on there. Honey on two outer frames, then a mix with plenty of stored pollen and a decent, but not great looking pattern of brood in all stages. Could not find eggs, but light was bad by this time and my eyes are not reliable enough to conclude there are none. I realize that the bees are smarter than I am, and maybe this is OK but I'm wondering if we need to do anything with this situation. Why did they store honey right away rather than expand the brood area? Is it possible we caused this with bad timing? Do we need to give them more room to lay soon? We've got both mediums and deeps and the frames to fill them if needed. What advice do you have for a plan of action on this one, if necessary?

Thanks very much for any help.
 

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Hive one... It could be another 2 weeks. If no eggs or larva then, steal a frame with eggs from the other hive.

Hive two... They need more room NOW. Pull the top deep off and set to the side. Put a new deep on the hive with frames. Now put the original top deep back on and let them finish filling and capping. You will be unable to lift when full. So, eventually you will need to remove the frames one at a time.

In general, with enough bees, warm temps, and a honey flow they will fill the top brood box quickly and be forced to swarm.
 

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Hi,
I agree, be patient with the first.

For the second the club has a few extractors you can rent for $10 or 15. I think 2 of them are at Lois's house give her a call.
We have a lot more nectar coming in the mimosa is in bloom, the privet is just getting ready to start in the next few weeks. After making room in that top brood super, add a honey super. Or get the honey super on now, without an excluder. This is the time of year Sylvia, & I get the most honey.

Dan
 

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One more thing,

If the first hive doesn't have a laying queen in couple weeks, I can set you up with a nuc. I have a couple extra ones.
 

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Agree, Agree.

Sounds like second hive is honey bound and can really use a couple frames of drawn comb or foundation in middle of brood nest. Scary thing is when they run out of room like this they really like to swarm. If you can extract the capped honey and stick the empty drawn comb (two or three) in middle of brood nest, the queen will immediately fill if with brood unless they are in swarm prep mode.

Good luck and enjoy the honey!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the help, all. Really appreciate it.

We'll have a look into the first hive in a week or so and hopefully see that things are progressing well. On the second, we put a medium super on last evening just to add some space since the second deep is full, and will add a third deep above the brood tonight after I make a shim to lift a medium box high enough to install the deep frames. Thought we had a deep, but forgot I had lent it out, so we'll improvise.

Dan, thanks for the local knowledge and generous offer. Let's hope we don't get into a situation where we need the nuc, but good to know we've got a backup standing by if necessary. I was thinking along the same lines and hoping we get a swarm call or two so we can bank a queen. Got called twice yesterday but neither worked out - one took off and the other was way too high, which is a shame because it was pretty large. Our 4H group has a few members with extractors too, so we're well-covered for that. Really wasn't thinking we'd need one in our first year starting with a troubled hive, but I guess having about 60-70 pounds of honey on our hands unexpectedly is not the worst problem to deal with - just as long as we get the bees through this. It will make my daughter's year to be able to share the bounty!
 
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