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Had a hive that overwintered. Took a peek inside and let me quickly explain before i solicit the question.

There are five medium boxes. The bottom four were designated for bees. Two were drawn out nicely in autumn with a third box at that time that had respectable numbers of bees. I condensed the third with two boxes of a starved out hive in early winter, which left four boxes, give or take. The fifth box in this equation was intended to provide a buffer zone for fondant feeding. It had wire screen/construction mesh about an inch from the box bottom with lots of dry oak leaves on top of the mesh and the inner cover was on top of this. It worked, i guess.
Now today i see that the girls have built comb from the mesh screen. They are going to town working, returning with baskets and the entrance is just a busy little area to say the least.

Given that it's spring and the numbers are looking strong already, how soon should i look to splitting ?
 

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If you want to split, looks like the bees are telling you now would be a good time. :)

Just, you did not mention drones. If you will be making your own queen she will need drones available for her.
 

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If you want to split, looks like the bees are telling you now would be a good time. :)

Just, you did not mention drones. If you will be making your own queen she will need drones available for her.
Looked a bit closer in the closing hour of this mild day-- the bottom two boxes are mostly empty of bees wih pollen and old capped stuff. The third box is newer pollen with girls building it in currently. The fourth box has several frames of brood at least. There were seceral whitish knobs on a frame that have me wondering if they may be making a queen.

Had worked my way back up from the bottom, so by this time they had had enough and were bumping me and jumping on my hand as i eased a frame or two out for inspection.

I'm not opposed to letting them fill that void created by the mesh with comb. Maybe that was not such a hot idea after all. :scratch:

Always hoping that the queen is safe after i poke around in there. Still may get ready for a split. Spring is about to descend hopefully. Thanks for the input, oldtimer.
 

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Had a hive that overwintered. Took a peek inside and let me quickly explain before i solicit the question.

There are five medium boxes. The bottom four were designated for bees. Two were drawn out nicely in autumn with a third box at that time that had respectable numbers of bees. I condensed the third with two boxes of a starved out hive in early winter, which left four boxes, give or take. The fifth box in this equation was intended to provide a buffer zone for fondant feeding. It had wire screen/construction mesh about an inch from the box bottom with lots of dry oak leaves on top of the mesh and the inner cover was on top of this. It worked, i guess.
Now today i see that the girls have built comb from the mesh screen. They are going to town working, returning with baskets and the entrance is just a busy little area to say the least.

Given that it's spring and the numbers are looking strong already, how soon should i look to splitting ?
I am on the opposite side of Balmer from you. I am surprised that your girls are drawing comb. Do you have drones yet? If not I would think that it may be early to split unless you can get a fertile queen.

I did an inspection today. While I do not have drones, I do have about 1/4 of a frame with capped drone brood as well as two frames with capped worker brood. I am planning on starting to raise some queens sometime the first week in April. I plan to split my strong hive around the third week in April.

Meantime, today I put two empty drawn frames in the bottom box (where the queen is), and pulled two frames from the bottom box, one with capped worker brood, and one with stores, and put them into an upper box. I believe that will keep them from swarming.

Phil
 

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Looked a bit closer in the closing hour of this mild day-- the bottom two boxes are mostly empty of bees wih pollen and old capped stuff....
OK well in that case I'm with Philip. Better to let them fill right up before splitting. You can encourage a faster population build by moving those empty frames to where it's easier for the bees & queen to make use of them, once it's all pumping along you make your split or splits.
 
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