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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first year and I have a few questions. I installed 3 packages on 4/1. 2 in Langs, 1 in a TBH. My "new" bees swarmed from my TBH exactly 2 months after install (this past Saturday). About 50-70% of the bees left with the queen. Maybe from being too hot but I think from over crowding. The queen was a laying fool and the population was HUGE. They had drawn 18 combs and all but 2-3 of that was brood. There's still tons of capped and uncapped brood now and about 10 swarm cells throughout.

Will queens emerge from the swarm cells and fight it out before the workers start to lay? The bees still had the back 1/3 of the TBH to expand. Why would they swarm? I was able to find the swarm in one of my trees and shook it in a box, then transferred that to a new hive body. I then put a feeder with 1:1 on it even though our flow is on. Should I leave the 1:1? I feel like our flow will end soon and I don't want these bees robbing my other hives.

Unrelated, (I'm talking about Langstroth hives now ;)) if you don't use the hole in the inner cover to feed your bees, what's the point of the hole? Seems like a good place for SHB's and there's always some bees that are in between the inner and outer cover. Does it let some heat escape? Should I cover the hole?

Lastly, all of my frames are foundationless (again I'm talking Lang hives now). They drew straight comb for brood but the honey comb is wavy and really thick. Do you guys space your frames wider in your supers instead of flush against each other? Because when I separate and pull frames, the combs are wide enough to be attached to the comb next to it and always tears and honey gets everywhere. I've seen those portable frame spacers in magazines. Are those worth the $20?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"Lastly, all of my frames are foundationless. They drew straight comb for brood but the honey comb is wavy and really thick. Do you guys space your frames wider in your supers instead of flush against each other? Because when I separate and pull frames, the combs are wide enough to be attached to the comb next to it and always tears and honey gets everywhere. I've seen those portable spacers in magazines. Are those worth the $20?"
How wide are your topbars? (I ask because your issues may be related to having too much space instead of too little.) Ordinarily, topbars in a TBH are placed side by side touching each other and they serve as an inner cover to allow an insulating space of not quite dead air below the outer cover. You apparently have an inner cover so you may have options.
Sorry River, I was switching gears in my head from TBH's to Lang's. I've edited my OP so that's clear now. All of my TBH bars are 1.25" wide (with 0.25" spacers if needed) and they are all flush against each other. :D
 

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"Will queens emerge from the swarm cells and fight it out before the workers start to lay?"
The first queen to emerge will try to kill the other queens before they emerge. The workers may protect the other cells if the bees want to swarm again.

"The bees still had the back 1/3 of the TBH to expand. Why would they swarm?"
The flow, the weather, the bees, the hive, the shade, the sun, the pests, or who knows. Inscrutable little bugs.

"I then put a feeder with 1:1 on it even though our flow is on. Should I leave the 1:1? I feel like our flow will end soon and I don't want these bees robbing my other hives."
I would not feed them. Restrict the size of the openings on the other hives somewhat if you are concerned about robbing.

"Unrelated, (I'm talking about Langstroth hives now ) if you don't use the hole in the inner cover to feed your bees, what's the point of the hole? Seems like a good place for SHB's and there's always some bees that are in between the inner and outer cover. Does it let some heat escape? Should I cover the hole?"
The hole is for feeding, ventilation, or an alternative entrance. You might choose to restrict it to about 1½ square inches (to make it easier for the bees to control the ventilation under certain conditions) and screen it to prevent robbing if you have a notch in the front of your inner cover.

"Do you guys space your frames wider in your supers instead of flush against each other? Because when I separate and pull frames, the combs are wide enough to be attached to the comb next to it and always tears and honey gets everywhere. I've seen those portable spacers in magazines. Are those worth the $20?"
We wait to space the frames until the bees have drawn most of the comb to keep the bees from putting an extra lobe of comb between the frames. We have a spacer. Sometimes we use it sometimes we eyeball the space. Congratulations on your "split". I hope it goes well
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you don't add new bars into the brood nest the queen can become honey bound as she is unlikely to cross the honey barrier. It doesn't matter how many bars there are beyond the honey bars.
Would you add the new bars between the brood and honey bars OR pull the brood bars down away from the entrance in my case, and add empty bars between brood and entrance?
 

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Add the extra bars between perfectly drawn frames of brood. This will give you a much better chance of getting straight combs. You can also add 1 between the broad and honey.
 
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