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I feel as if I'm walking a tightrope with the bees on this one, so any advice/anecdotes would be appreciated.

I made a split from a strong hive back in May or so. The "mother hive" recovered some, but never really took off again (still hanging on OK, I guess).

The split [2 mediums] swarmed pretty quickly - multiple times in several days -- and it took all summer for me to see it was somehow schlepping along. I expected it to flop at any time. Lately though ..... when I looked at it in late Aug. I saw that the little hive was booming with bees. So: I added another medium (with drawn and undrawn comb), and I'm feeding it.

Did it really make sense to add to the split? I'm treating the lower 2 mediums with Apivar, so won't grab any honey from it, no matter what. SHBs are always present -- I use pads and traps -- but The Girls seem to keep beetles under control;. I mos' def' don't wanna give the little monsters room to overwhelm the bees -- if the bees can't patrol the new combs adequately.

Any thoughts on this? The bees appear to've moved into the new medium well, but not exactly in mass #s. I don't know how many bees it takes to patrol a medium frame of empty comb well enough.

Thx much for any feedback .....

Mitch
 

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What did you see in the brood chambers that made you want to add a super? Were they all completely full of brood/honey? If so, you did the right thing, but if there still was space then it may be unnecessary, as you want them to start filling the brood boxes at this time of the year.
 

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deckster is right - how much brood and honey is the main idea.

I would also try to read the pollen band and decide if they were expanding, holding, or contracting in population. It will also tell you what the pollen flow is like - plentiful, so-so, or poor. If you have lived in the area most of your life and have a good sense that you'll have a late, mild Winter with a long Autumn nectar flow, then leave the super on.

If you see signs if an early, sudden, cold Fall, the try to compress the frames back into the 2 mediums.

In either case, do your best to whack those hive beetles. They are very counter-productive. A shallow pan of vegetable oil under the screened bottom board kills both mites and hive beetles. I also have a vacuum cleaner fitting that is perfect for sucking up hive beetles, which is a lot of perverted fun to boot. Just don't let it make you keep the hive open too long so they lose all the heat. I always try to close them up in 4 minutes or less, except when the temperature is right about 90 degrees F.

When the timing for this decision to add or not add a super coincides about the time the drones are being "escorted" to the great outdoors, it can indeed be a tough one.

When the pollen gets low and the honey is packed away, the worker girls figure there is no more queen rearing activities, so the boys are a luxury they cannot afford, and they kick them out of the hive. By this time the robbing screens should already be on.
 
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