Arch of empty super frame cells above brood nest

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not always. Supers put on early enough not when they're nearly full helps a lot as well as the occasional rotation of frames to ensure the queen finds the unused space. Leaving a frame (even of drawn foundation) at the very edge of the brood sometimes ensure it gets ignored.
I had a queen once who used to lay wall to wall brood in all eleven frames, never once found them preparing to swarm.
Talking of putting supers on well in advance my colonys that are on 14x12s haven't swarmed and had two supers added when the spring flows arrived it worked really well .

I can't imagine trying to keep a colony on a single brood box all season without having to Demarree or splitting or taking nucs.

Do you still have the genes of that queen jbm?
 

Swarm 

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If you keep your queens for three or four years, you will find quite a few of them behave differently each season.
I've a three year old Amm that's never attempted to swarm, happy enough in a single brood but put her on Demarree this year for her genetics.
Another two four year old queens (sisters) one attempted on year one but nothing since and the other showed no signs until this season, when her usual eight frame brood nest expanded dramatically. Certainly not showing signs of slowing down.
Good combs of nicely drawn cells makes a difference, I've seen some double brood hives where if the rubbish frames with holes in, half eaten, parts of the foundation not drawn etc, were thrown away, the usable combs for laying would fit in a single.
 
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If you keep your queens for three or four years, you will find quite a few of them behave differently each season.
I've a three year old Amm that's never attempted to swarm, happy enough in a single brood but put her on Demarree this year for her genetics.
Another two four year old queens (sisters) one attempted on year one but nothing since and the other showed no signs until this season, when her usual eight frame brood nest expanded dramatically. Certainly not showing signs of slowing down.
Good combs of nicely drawn cells makes a difference, I've seen some double brood hives where if the rubbish frames with holes in, half eaten, parts of the foundation not drawn etc, were thrown away, the usable combs for laying would fit in a single.
Do you think Steve, as each year is different for forage this also has an impact on the way queen's lay. ( I'm answering my own question by the looks)

I've a few colonys this season that swarmed last year but haven't this season.. Funny how they vary from one year to the next.


None of my queen's are older than two years old.
Im yet to have a colony keep an older queen that long mainly through supersedure or me liking to requeen as often as I can.

Im having a major requeening next year.
I'm also kicking myself for selling some very prolific queen's this season.. But I do like to share the bee love!
 

Murox 

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I have a red queen that has offspring with wonderful temperaments, they work hard and produce a small surplus but have never shown they slightest inclination to swarm even though they build up well. Put her in a nucleus on 14 June, just holding my breath that the emerged virgin in the hive gets mated .
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I can't imagine trying to keep a colony on a single brood box all season without having to Demarree or splitting or taking nucs.

Do you still have the genes of that queen jbm?
Yes, my number 5 queen line, happens to be the first queen I ever bought in.
 

xray7 

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I doubt the issue is solely one of lack of space for laying. I think it is natural for the bees to assume the first super is an extension of the brood area and as they like to extend the brood nest upward rather than sideways they leave an arc empty , followed by an arc of pollen.

One suggestion that might have merit is to use drone comb in supers .. Saw this mentioned on ,,The Apiarist,, blog.

Next time try shuffling some of the frames around in the super.I move the outside ones to the middle to get the bees to work the frames more evenly.
 

drex 

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I doubt the issue is solely one of lack of space for laying. I think it is natural for the bees to assume the first super is an extension of the brood area and as they like to extend the brood nest upward rather than sideways they leave an arc empty , followed by an arc of pollen
I never see an arch in the first super in my double broods.
 

drex 

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I doubt the issue is solely one of lack of space for laying.
Yes JBM, my point entirely. They have plenty of space for queen to lay. The fact that I NEVER see an arch in the super, suggests to me that space is the major factor in this
 
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Quick update:

The super that I put under the queen excluder didn’t appear to have brood, but they were feisty today so didn’t spend ages looking. It was full of bees as is the brood box, so I think giving them the space was probably worth it. There were no play cups or partially built queen cells today. Spotted the queen, and marked her. The unused frame, which I was going to exchange for new foundation is now full of pollen, so they have filled two frames with pollen.

The arch of empty cells in the super above the queen excluder are starting to be filled with uncapped honey. This super was about half full of bees.

Do you think they have enough space now?

Thanks
 
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If they're filling up the super nearest the brood, how much space for honey is there in the others?
It’s probably about half full of honey.

Should I be adding another super on top of that one? Don’t want to overload them. They have done incredibly well, given that they arrived as a small swarm at the beginning of June.
 

StephenT 

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Got a nice picture of a similar situation to yours. They're on single brood with 2 supers. Over the last couple of weeks I have moved a couple of empty frames from the outside of the brood box in to give more laying space.
 

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It’s probably about half full of honey.

Should I be adding another super on top of that one? Don’t want to overload them. They have done incredibly well, given that they arrived as a small swarm at the beginning of June.
I'd shuffle the super frames, capped outside uncapped centre. As they are now using that deep comb, I'd also put the excluder under both supers, she should have ample room in the brood box now IMO.
Do you have a super of drawn comb? If yes, you could remove a super of capped frames and replace with comb. Shuffle all your full ones into one super, then arrange the others in the other super, then you can judge whether you think they need another.
 
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Had a look today. The brood box is still wall to wall brood and packed with bees on all frames. The queen has now started laying in the super under the excluder too. It’s now half full of bees. Think she will need a double brood box next year.

Shuffled the frames in the super above the excluder to even out the honey storage. This one is half full of bees too.
 
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Had a look today. The brood box is still wall to wall brood and packed with bees on all frames. The queen has now started laying in the super under the excluder too. It’s now half full of bees. Think she will need a double brood box next year.

Shuffled the frames in the super above the excluder to even out the honey storage. This one is half full of bees too.
She got there in the end!
 
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