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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My hive has swarmed - no question. Several broken open QC's and about half the population of bees. The hive is two deeps with a shallow honey super.

Bottom deep - about 30% brood, mostly capped, lots of honey and pollen.

Top Deep - All mostly capped honey, with some emerging drones on two frames where I had put in empty frames earlier in the season.

I missed the swarms altogether, which is odd b/c I am ALWAYS here, but oh well.

Is there anything I should do, or just let it ride?

Does this blow my chances for a honey crop this season?

Thanks in advance... Elizabeth
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Where do they need the room? Top or Bottom Deep? Should I extract one or two of the frames and put them in the bottom so the new queen has a place to lay? I have 3 stories of honey, mostly capped... They probably were crowded, but I think I caught it too late in the season for my efforts to open everything up to be really effective...
 

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Extract all fully capped frames, whether shallow or deep. Harvest the honey before the darker flowers bloom to get the lighter spring honey and give the bees more room at the same time. If none are fully capped, add a super anyway, just above the brood nest.
 

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You say:

>Does this blow my chances for a honey crop this season?

but then you say:

>I have 3 stories of honey, mostly capped...

I'm a bit confused. Seems like you've gotten a respectable crop. As mentioned, extract the capped stuff soon. I wouldn't expect too much more from this hive with such a late swarm, but then again, I don't know your area. Of course there's always Fall.

The flow is certainly on the downward slide over in my area. I've been out of town the past few days, so I don't have a up to the minute nectar status to report, but I'd be surprised if the flow lasts more than another week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree, I have a ton of honey... I was just under the impression that I shouldn't touch anything in the two deep brood boxes because that's for the bees. But if I extract what I have I will more than plenty...

But as I understand this so far, I need to extract that honey to make room for brood-laying?

Astrobee, we are probably about a week behind you in Suffolk, maybe not that much, because we are in the mountains surrounding the lynchburg/bedford area. My house starts blooms about a week behind lynchburg even... So we may have a little more time to recuperate here - I hope. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Thank you, for all of your advice. Can't tell you what it means to me, and my girls...

Much love to all the beeks.... EBL
 

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electricbluelizzy . . .

Before hive swarms . . .
>hive is two deeps with a shallow honey super.

A 2-deep hive IN A FLOW needs more than ONE honey super (maybe 3, 4, 5 or more).

A 2-deep hive may need more room in brood chamber too. Some hives have 3 deeps plus honey supers.

Now that hive HAS swarmed . . .
>Bottom deep - about 30% brood, mostly capped, lots of honey and pollen.

I would get the honey and pollen out . . . open up the brood nest. Remove the frames (move to new deep - see below) and replace w/ foundation.

>Top Deep - All mostly capped honey . . .

This deeps is not being used as a "brood chamber" (due to lack of honey storage area).

I would leave this chamber "as is" but ADD a whole deep of foundation (baited w/ frames of honey removed from bottom deep) between this full "food chamber" and the "open" bottom chamber.

Do NOT remove (extract) ANY honey from deep chambers; leave for winter. Any honey that get stored above 3rd deep chamber can be removed anytime for any reason.

My guess, since hive has swarmed, hive will not store any honey above 3 deeps (this year).

Later, as Fall nears, hive can be reduced to less than 3 deeps if desired (and bee population permits).
 

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>>>>Do NOT remove (extract) ANY honey from deep chambers; leave for winter. Any honey that get stored above 3rd deep chamber can be removed anytime for any reason.<<<<

Dave, that may be in your area, but not in Va. She can hive a package right now and not feed it and it will put enough away for the winter.

Take the honey, Lizzy, just leave all frames that aren't fully capped. That will be more than enough for the bees.
 

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I agree with iddee, take the honey out of the top deep now. There is still plenty of time for your bees to bring in a fall honey flow to fill up the empty brood box for winter. Even if they don't you can alwasy feed them syrup this fall to replenish their winter stores. Syrup is still cheaper than honey and will be sufficient for them for the winter.
 

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I agree with iddee too. Take some honey. In VA you should easily be able to overwinter in a single deep. I overwintered several of my hives in singles and even a nuc, plus my OB hive in an unheated garage. Of course this is assuming you have mites under control and the hives are well stocked with plenty of honey and young bees.
 

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iddee and others . . .

>can hive a package right now and not feed it and it will put enough away for the winter

One of the most difficult things to define is "how much honey can I take".

For newbees, why not FIRST fill (and maintain) the needed winter reserve and THEN remove any "extra".

Yes, you can take all the honey now, IF you are willing to feed, KNOW when to feed, WHAT to feed and HOW MUCH to feed.

A lot bees are overwintered in single deeps and nucs. An expeienced 'keeper can do lots of things that newbees have a hard time with.

Why not fill an extra "reserve" now and reduce hive size later, when you then "know" how much honey you have and maybe how much room the need for winter.

Guess there are lots of ways to keep bees
 

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Dave, I think I have located our problem. Reread my post and than tell me how much honey you think will be left in two deeps and a shallow if you do not remove any frames that are not fully capped. I suggested removing all "fully capped" frames. That should leave enough honey to last two hives through winter in VA.
 

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>how much honey you think will be left in two deeps and a shallow if you do not remove any frames that are not fully capped. I suggested removing all "fully capped" frames. That should leave enough honey to last two hives through winter in VA.

I hope ALL newbees fully understand
 
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