Advice on next steps

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MrMouse

New Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2023
Messages
57
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Location
Dorset
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0
Hi folks,
I’d really value your advice on next steps for my hive.

First full inspection this morning having chucked a super on them about 10 days ago when they were bubbling over their single brood.

Current set up: single 11 frame national BB with single super (10 frames).

inspection today: 9.5/11 frames of eggs and BIAS. A couple of play cups but no swarm cells. I didn’t make a point of looking for the queen but she’s clearly around and doing well.
Super - 3/10 frames drawn and filling, bees over 4-5 frames. Lots of pollen and nectar coming in today.

Forage: semi rural - one side is a small town, the other is miles and miles of pasture and arable land. Plenty of good hedgerows full of hawthorn and willow. Fields of OSR in full bloom within a couple of miles although none right on the doorstep.

Focus for this hive this year is honey production, but would be willing to take a nuc off as part of swarm prevention if I can keep the foraging force as strong as possible.

I’m slightly apprehensive about going to double brood (I’m not quite sure why this is).
I’ve therefore been thinking that at some point, doing a demaree would be sensible as it hopefully achieves my aims (although nothing can be certain). I also haven’t seen the queen and I’m not the best queen spotter.

It feels a bit early to demaree in that they’ve only drawn half a super (although they’re very very busy today). I wouldn’t be surprised if they need another super over the next couple of weeks with the improvement in the forecast.

Therefore my questions for you are, demaree (prior to seeing queen cells of course) vs double brood vs take a nuc off? Pros and cons of each in this situation? Should I fear double brood?

Thank you very much in advance
 
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I would put a second BB on ( under the current one, as HM works downwards), and add a super. My bees love double BB. Nothing to fear.
Depending on weather might need yet another super soon after with OSR near
 
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I wouldn't Demarree unless there was a flow on and they finished drawing out the current super, I wouldn't take a nuc off, so you have a choice of either 'playing chicken' and hoping they'll hang on until conditions are better for Demaree, or go double brood, and personally, on the evidence you have shown that they are reluctant to draw comb, unless you have brood frames of drawn comb? I would just brazen it out as I have found, at this time of year, if you put a BB of foundation under the existing brood, they just ignore it and swarm anyway
 
Queen needs laying room and the bees more room , a super doesn't provide that unless one doesn't use a QX.
If doube brooding (best option for now) split the brood 50/50 in the middle of both boxes and fill out the outer with drawn or foundation. The top BB is likely to be drawn first then one can manipulate the other frames to get them drawn out. If no flow is on or any forage of note is incoming remove the super and feed the colony small quantities of feed just to draw out combs.
 
Thanks for your replies so far.

I’ve got 4 brood frames of stores that I could extract but some of it will be crystallised I expect.

A few weeks back I swapped a couple of brood frames out for foundation and they’d drawn that in 3-4 days so they’re clearly willing to draw if required.
 
They clearly need space as does the queen , laying is only going to increase so double brood is the obvious option for now, weather currently isn't ripe for splitting as one ends up with two weakened colonies.
Splitting is another month or so away yet and in that time they may make up your mind if nothing is done by drawing QC's, then you will have no choice but to AS them.
 
Double brood it is then!
Thanks all - I’ll go back to them after lunch.
just remember that just dumping a deep of foundation (either under or over) probably won't work in your case so heed Hemo's advice in post #6
 
Hi folks,
I’d really value your advice on next steps for my hive.

First full inspection this morning having chucked a super on them about 10 days ago when they were bubbling over their single brood.

Current set up: single 11 frame national BB with single super (10 frames).

inspection today: 9.5/11 frames of eggs and BIAS. A couple of play cups but no swarm cells. I didn’t make a point of looking for the queen but she’s clearly around and doing well.
Super - 3/10 frames drawn and filling, bees over 4-5 frames. Lots of pollen and nectar coming in today.

Forage: semi rural - one side is a small town, the other is miles and miles of pasture and arable land. Plenty of good hedgerows full of hawthorn and willow. Fields of OSR in full bloom within a couple of miles although none right on the doorstep.

Focus for this hive this year is honey production, but would be willing to take a nuc off as part of swarm prevention if I can keep the foraging force as strong as possible.

I’m slightly apprehensive about going to double brood (I’m not quite sure why this is).
I’ve therefore been thinking that at some point, doing a demaree would be sensible as it hopefully achieves my aims (although nothing can be certain). I also haven’t seen the queen and I’m not the best queen spotter.

It feels a bit early to demaree in that they’ve only drawn half a super (although they’re very very busy today). I wouldn’t be surprised if they need another super over the next couple of weeks with the improvement in the forecast.

Therefore my questions for you are, demaree (prior to seeing queen cells of course) vs double brood vs take a nuc off? Pros and cons of each in this situation? Should I fear double brood?

Thank you very much in advance
Definitely not, your queen could do with space and as your super sounds like it's mainly foundation, any incoming nectar is going to end up being dumped in vacant cells in the brood nest.
 

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