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Overcrowded hive - did I do right thing?

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Mandeville 

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Inspected yesterday and found that the empty super (which was to provide space for the apiguard) had been over half filled with wild comb, and half of that contained uncapped honey. The bees were very tetchy so I chickened out of going through the BB, but I had thought a week ago that it looked pretty crowded - a lot of brood and not much spare space for stores.

So I thought about it overnight and went back today with a plan ....

I put a super with drawn comb (including some with uncapped honey that I'd stored in the freezer after extraction) under the BB (standard size).

On top of BB there was the QX, then a 2" eke (knocked out for me this morning by Mr. M :) ) with the varroa treatment.

Then a crown board with open holes.

Then an empty super containing all the wild comb laid flattish on the CB, and then another CB with closed feeder holes.

My thinking is that they'll take down the honey from the wild comb and store it down below, plus now have room for what they are still bringing in. And if the Q wants to she could move down a bit.

I don't really want to be on brood and a half - I was planning to go to deep brood next spring, but hopefully I can still do that??

I don't expect this is the best possible solution - but have I made any serious errors here?

I'd appreciate any comments/ suggestions

Thanks, Mandy
not worthy
 

Erichalfbee 

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I'd have removed the super with the wild comb and finished the apiguard treatment using the eke you got made. Then I would have put it back over the crownboard with a very reduced hole. No excluder.
No super under.
I have put part filled supers under a brood box before and all the bees do is move the stores up and if they are short of space this makes it even more compromised.
I'm sure somebody more experienced than me will have a different take on things.
 

VEG 

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You should concentrate on getting the apiguard done first without any supers on. The supers can then be put back on for the bees to sort out after treatment has finished.
 

Mandeville 

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Thanks for these comments.


Why is it best to finish the apiguard treatment first? Is it because the super increases the volume of the hive?
 

VEG 

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Yes plus your not supposed to treat with honey supers on.
 

richardbees 

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Eric

"I have put part filled supers under a brood box before..."...

and before you know it they'll turn your colony into 'brood and a half'
 

Erichalfbee 

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Horror!!!

No, the only time I've tried that is in Sept/Oct to get rid of part filled/capped frames.
 

Mandeville 

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My hope was that come the spring the super would be empty(ish) and I could just take it away. And then put them on to deep brood. Am I on to a loser here ?:(
 
T

Tom Bick 

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The super with the wild comb in it, did you clear the bees out of it and if not are you confident the queen was not in the super?
 

Erichalfbee 

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My hope was that come the spring the super would be empty(ish) and I could just take it away. And then put them on to deep brood. Am I on to a loser here ?:(
yes it probably would be empty, just get it off sharpish at first inspection before queen lays there,then do a Bailey frame change.
Tom is right .....did you clear the bees and check for brood/queen?
 

Mandeville 

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yes it probably would be empty, just get it off sharpish at first inspection before queen lays there,then do a Bailey frame change.
That was what I hoped.

Tom is right .....did you clear the bees and check for brood/queen?
Oh dear - I didn't specifically look for the queen or brood in the wild comb :eek: it was formed above a QX so it didn't occur to me.

But I think it was clear because I put each piece in individually, and I looked at it all because some of it was empty, so I didn't put those bits back in.

I was going to have a look in a couple of days to see if they've cleaned it out and then remove it and the super that it's in. I can check then if the Q is in amongst it - does that sound OK?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes have a look then get it off to finish your thymol Tx.
Sorry forgot about excluder. You should be OK. I'm not looking inside my brood boxes any more this season. That's it....feed and strap down till Christmas.
Phew.....a rest. I can ponder what to do about my monster colony on a 14 x 12 plus super.
 

Mandeville 

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Yes have a look then get it off to finish your thymol Tx.
Sorry forgot about excluder. You should be OK.
The Q in this hive is quite big and wobbly so I hope she won't have squeezed through the QX but I will check for her anyway - that's another step up the learning curve!

Thanks for the advice :)

I'm not looking inside my brood boxes any more this season. That's it....feed and strap down till Christmas.
Yes that's what I was thinking, but it'll feel a bit odd not to be constantly checking the weather forecast to see when it's going to be OK to open up.
 
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