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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI ALL.... Well dang it if they arent at it again. This is my 2nd swarm season. I had my plan but that doesnt seem to be cutting it. The production hive I have had 2 d and 1 m on top coming out of winter. Two or so weeks ago i moved the medium down and reversed the deeps. I also put 2 drawn supers on. Hive was packed already with brood nest in the center of all boxes. Today my plan was to push the med in the center down to the bottom and then move the lowest deep box above the 2nd deep. Pull first super off and its full of bees but no honey. 2nd super its got 6 frames of brood and loaded cells. Deep below is packed with brood and 2 frames of pollen cells also. Med is the same and the lowest deep has like 4 frames with brood and some pollen. So many bees in it thst when you pull the boxes you cant put them down cause they are hanging off the bottom and and inch thick on top. So i went through with my plan moved the med down to the lowest, shook bees and terminated cells all the way back to the top. Saw the queen in the box thats now above the med and shook her off into the medium so she was safe. I also reversed the deeps putting what was the lowest back at the top.

They had about 2 frames of uncapped honey in the super with brood and some pollen. What should my game plan now be. I was thinking add a 3rd super but it seems like they arent having a nectar storage crysis. Weather has been **** in the 50's for weeks with every 4 or 5th day being tolerable and in the high 60's. We are about 1 week from being full on dandelions and that's pretty much the start of the season long flow in upstate NY.

I have a nell grove board but was hoping not to have to use it. Any thoughts?
 

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HI ALL.... Well dang it if they arent at it again. This is my 2nd swarm season. I had my plan but that doesnt seem to be cutting it. The production hive I have had 2 d and 1 m on top coming out of winter. Two or so weeks ago i moved the medium down and reversed the deeps. I also put 2 drawn supers on. Hive was packed already with brood nest in the center of all boxes. Today my plan was to push the med in the center down to the bottom and then move the lowest deep box above the 2nd deep. Pull first super off and its full of bees but no honey. 2nd super its got 6 frames of brood and loaded cells. Deep below is packed with brood and 2 frames of pollen cells also. Med is the same and the lowest deep has like 4 frames with brood and some pollen. So many bees in it thst when you pull the boxes you cant put them down cause they are hanging off the bottom and and inch thick on top. So i went through with my plan moved the med down to the lowest, shook bees and terminated cells all the way back to the top. Saw the queen in the box thats now above the med and shook her off into the medium so she was safe. I also reversed the deeps putting what was the lowest back at the top.

They had about 2 frames of uncapped honey in the super with brood and some pollen. What should my game plan now be. I was thinking add a 3rd super but it seems like they arent having a nectar storage crysis. Weather has been **** in the 50's for weeks with every 4 or 5th day being tolerable and in the high 60's. We are about 1 week from being full on dandelions and that's pretty much the start of the season long flow in upstate NY.

I have a nell grove board but was hoping not to have to use it. Any thoughts?
Im also in upstate NY.

So if you have not killed all the queen cells this is what i recommend you do:
1. Pull queen and the frame of brood she is on, a feed frame of honey, another of pollen and 2 empty built combs off into a nuc box or another single deep on a new base.
2. Let the remainder of the hive raise their new queen from the queen cells they have made. ( if you want and there are QCs on different frames you can also make a couple extra nucs up)
3. put pollen patty and syrup feeder on all the "splits"

If your goal is not expansion but rather just to get a big honey crop this year then you can provide the orginal hive section more space and after they have raised their new queen you can sell the other queen off and recombine the hive with newspaper to get the largest population back for honey harvest.

Sounds like from your description that this is a very populous hive. You may well have missed your opportunity to add space which may or may not have prevented or decreased their swarming tendencies.
Bottom line you have to have extra equipment sitting around empty at ALL times in this hobby.
 

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Try the OSBN technique - it's not too late here, though it won't work much longer. To be most effective, it should have been started about 3 or 4 weeks ago.

My normal order of anti-swarm tactics:
1) Reversing (earliest I can get in them) with new box alternated drawn/drawn with stores
2) Begin OSBN in April
3) Reverse again, with new box as above.
4) Keep adding OSBN partial frames as fast as they will draw them out, on alternating sides, and in each brood box
4) (Dandelions, ie now in our area) be prepared to add drawn super
5) Tip ups to look for swarm cells every five days from early May through to mid June (or white wax)
6) Undersuper with a box of extra waxed, undrawn brood nest sized frames (I am on a new comb drawing kick.)

This year I am way behind (and all the rain has delayed the bees too, fortunately.) So far even my extra-late checks are showing no active signs of swarming, though I will be on pins and needles until I get all of them checked today.

The above is what I usually do to arrive at late May with strong hives ready to make some serious honey. This is the first year in a long time that I think I will welcome the sight of cells in order to make increase. But the chilly rainy weather has left me with renewed anxiety about EFB.

Nancy
 

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Went in mine the other day. Lots of cups no cells. Thinking next week maybe split because I don’t want them to swarm. But i need frames drawn so I am thinking of trying #6 to get more frames. And maybe when they get that built up I could split.
 

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If I want more drawn frames should I not split? If that’s the case how should I keep them from swarming? Trying to take advantage of my first spring having bees and getting frames drawn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all im trying to increase but wasnt going to use this hive for it. I wanted to try and see if i could keep a production hive complete through the swarm season with plenty of space, rotating. and drawn supers but thats not cutting it. Ill have to look at the osbn method more. Any one have a link for the detailed instructions for that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Nancy when you say undersuper are you saying ontop of the brood nest under the supers or are you saying super less but add a deep? Also i have the upper entrances open and I feel like there is pollen in to many boxes. I had been doing 2d and 1 m for over winter configurations with the medium ontop. I left a full super of honey ontop for the winter. I figured i would rotate the med into the center and then again rotate it below to be a pollen area at dandelions then bring it back up top in the fall to be capped with honey over the pollen so they are ready in the spring next year. Its not like a deep is that much more expensive and i feel like the medium's limiting my manipulations however. When deeps are packed with pollen i only have so much mobility if i have a medium to contend with. Why are people using mediums for brood is there something im missing? I feel like they just work their way in when the brood is short on stores and you just leave a super on top..
 

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Well, I hate mediums for brood. So, I have three deeps as my permanent brood nest and wintering configuration. I goofed up last fall and accidentally left a medium as the top box and I am kicking myself every time I work that stack right now. I am trying to move it back down through the box-order so it can take its place as the bottom box (pollen box). Still it's a PITA for a few months. I can't figure out why anyone would leave a medium -which will inevitably have brood in it when you first open the colony in the spring - as the top box in our climate, unless they are using all mediums in which case it wouldn't matter.

When I mean undersuper, I mean I add a deep box under the medium super once they are working well in the medium. Sometimes I add it between two mediums, just depends on the flow. The under-supered deep is where my replacement brood combs are made each year that allow me to cull deep combs aggressively. Remember I am still recovering from EFB and trying to get all the wax that was in my yard at that time out of service, even if the colony was never symptomatic. All colonies were treated with Oxytet. Plus, until I had EFB two years ago, I had been expanding so rapidly that I needed lots of new comb each year to furnish my triple deeps, so I didn't do much culling. I am not much interested in honey at this point, clean comb is my main goal and I'm happy for them to use nectar to make wax. But these big colonies haul in so much nectar that I use mediums usually one or two, in addition to the undersupered deep to store it.

I don't use QuEx to keep queens out of the supers. I let the bees use a honey cap to keep the brood in the three 10-frame deeps.

The info about the OSBN is floating around on the front page. I would try it, even at this late stage. Can't hurt, except you'll get some wonky comb. It also seems to corral the drone brood, which makes inspections easier. I use 2/3 sheet of plastic foundation (haven't yet decided on whether it needs to be extra-waxed, or not) in a wooden frame. I mark the frame so I can tell which it is., because my intention is to remove it before mid-August. The 1/3rd piece of foundation which I cut off, is combined with another, to make up 2/3 in a third frame. I squish a marble-sized blob of wax into the the bottom groove at the corners of the foundation to hold it in place while installing it. The bees take care of the rest of the anchoring. I use groove/groove frames. I score the foundation with a box-cutter, then snap it on the edge off my hive platform to make a break. I eyeball the 2/3 dimension, but I use a straight edge to do the scoring. I am using Pierco, not Acorn, foundation.


ETA: Link to which has fallen off the front page.
Nancy
 

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Enj I am to in need of comb more so than honey. Going to put a 10 frame deep on top of my brood nests and below my super like you mentioned above. Does this also help with there urge to swarm ? I know I read bees don’t necessarily see UNdrawn frames as space but do see empty comb as space. I have a couple of frames of damaged comb I could put in the new deeps to get them started. Thanks
 
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