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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

We are pretty new so I appreciate the help!
One of our hive appears to have swarmed. No eggs at all, a handful of capped brood and a few new bees, but no one younger than that. We saw several open queen cells yesterday and workers appeared to be dragging out some larva that we assumed to be would-be-queens.

We have 2 medium 8 frame boxes and had intended to add a third before we realized what was happening. They have almost all of their current frames drawn. The entire second box and about half of the first is capped honey, nectar and pollen, leaving roughly 4 frames worth of cells empty for new queenie. Based on lots of reading, I'm expecting in 3-4 weeks to have a laying queen again. (We think she may have emerged quite recently)

I'm finally at my question:
Do I give them another box to start drawing out comb, or will they not be able to defend all that with their numbers down? Also, if I do add one, Do I put it between the first and second so that the 100% honey box is at the top and not between what we would hope to be frames of brood? I hope this makes sense to someone. Please help, thank you!
 

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Do I give them another box to start drawing out comb, or will they not be able to defend all that with their numbers down? Also, if I do add one, Do I put it between the first and second so that the 100% honey box is at the top and not between what we would hope to be frames of brood? I hope this makes sense to someone. Please help, thank you!
OldMotherHubbard:

Based on your 'Welcome' post I assume that the hive that swarmed is a new start this Spring? Assuming this, I then also assume you are feeding this colony?

Based on your locale I expect that the only real issue you might have right now related to adding volume would be the threat of wax moths and small hive beetles.

If it were me (and assuming you are feeding), I would likely keep the entrance fairly small such that it can be well defended and I would add the new box directly above the active brood nest, moving the capped stores to the very top of the stack.

Then, rather than digging through all the frames I would simply do a periodic 'tip-up' of the top box every week to 10 days to see how things are progressing. Assuming they are drawing everything out successfully and you don't see evidence of a significant pest intrusion you can simply watch their progress, possibly adding another box when the newly-added box is +/- 80% drawn out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you!

yes they're new. We picked up the package in March. We were feeding but aren't currently.

I did spot a few SHBs in this particular hive, which furthers the issue as to whether to add space or not to add space.

I have the entrance reducer completely removed now as it's been hot and humid here lately. Would you still keep the entrance small right now if you weren't feeding (but were adding another box to defend)? There are so many options to be conflicted about!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I think a hive inspection is in order. I expect you want the entrance wide open with the 90° plus heat we are having. Did you get my PM?
 
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