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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the Chicago area and it's been quite a rough winter for me. I lost two of my four hives. But one hive I have is really unbelievable. This hive made it very strong out of the winter. However it was very light so I had to provide some emergency feeding in March by putting a deep from one of my deadouts on top of it. I had alternating honey and empty frames. When I inspected the hive in April, it was full of bees. Every frame I pulled was full of brood. I have never seen more bees so early. This hive is on a scale and is up over 60 lbs so far this short season. Here is a video of the orientation flights taken yesterday afternoon. As you can see, I have supered with a deep and medium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou4gz-xRVi0&feature=em-upload_owner

 

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I've never seen orientation flights anything like that. I would have thought swarm, not orientation.
 

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When my hive was orientating they looked nothing like that. I am a first time BK so take what i say with a grain of salt but that sure looks like a swarm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Same thing againthis afternoon. Hive gained another 6 lbs today. No swarm yet. I will keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, they finally did swarm. I guess that might have been preparation for their swarming. The video was filmed on the 17th and they swarmed on the 21st. I lost 17 lbs of bees!
 

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Well, they finally did swarm. I guess that might have been preparation for their swarming. The video was filmed on the 17th and they swarmed on the 21st. I lost 17 lbs of bees!
Did you catch the swarm?
 

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This is what checkerboarding will do for you. However, you need to put on a pile of drawn supers to keep that horde of bees busy making you honey instead of heading for the hills.

I'm up to four supers (three shallows and a medium) and I suspect they are nearly full already. I also fed some dry sugar in early March due to the hive being light, and I think all that space and some supplemental feed (and in your case honey, which is better) started them brooding up early, and they got the maple pollen and nectar in time to make a monumental brood nest.

Do the same thing next year, but put on four or five drawn shallows and watch them fill it up when the spring flow starts!

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately, I did not catch the swarm. However, the hive is still pretty active, and has gained 18 pounds in the last two days. I have a medium and deep I am supering with. I am up well over 100 pounds for the year so far. Once the flow tapers off I will treat with MAQS.
 

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Mine swarmed yesterday to parts unknown -- couldn't find them.

Hive is still flying like crazy, six nearly capped cells, so I think it was a supercedure swarm, and there are plenty of bees in the hive.

Next year I'll do cut-down splits in early May, I think, to prevent the swarm.

No harm done this year, as there are two capped shallows and a nearly capped medium on the hive now, with all of summer and fall to go.

Peter
 
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