tad out of my depth

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Field Bee
Sep 22, 2017
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5 commercials no more😭
hello all, i have two hives that have been bursting for a while but no qc . i took the necessary precautions and moved hive 1 onto double brood. i split the nest over both brood boxes, 4 above 4 below with foundation around and one frame of foundation in between each end of both brood frames. well that was 3 weeks ago and i thought they were building up nicely. i checked them a week ago and all was well. today to my surprise both boxes are jam packed there is not one cell spare as all frames full of pollen honey or bias. and of course between the brood boxes on top box 2 qc with royal jelly. im in the process again of purchasing more equipment to deal with them and when i do will perform an a.s. if they dont abscond before it arrives. i knocked back the queen cells to buy me a couple of days. is there anything i can do more as the only spare equipment i have at present is an empty brood box no frames. if you dont want to inrease your hives, after the a.s. do you combine and go to 3 brood boxes!? iknew they were doing well but never dreamt theyd go to 3 brood boxes. i should also point out this hive has two supers on , both filling well but not capped yet.

now for hive number 2 this one had swarm cells 3 weeks ago and i performed an a.s. when my previous purchase of more equipment arrived. they are also going like the clappers and i want to reunite them, i suspect if i dont add a third brood box to these when i reunite they will be swarmy again. how long do i leave them seperated in their artificial swarm boxes before i reunite them? the original part of this hive has supers on also but none capped.

is this normal or am i missing something? i read that alot of youon here are on double brood and anticipated that but have not heard any of you say youre on triple brood. i understand to manage there space and a little intimidated that they are this prolific and that im not doing something i ought to.

both hives are 2018 buckfasts. i would be very grateful for some guidance as i understand i could be performing splits to control this or creating multiple nucs but i really dont want more than the three hives we have already. thanks for taking the time to read this.
You have good strong hives. These are my thoughts. Give them as many supers as they need, put another on as they half fill the first. Remember that if a queen lays 1000 eggs in a day then eventually 1000 bees will emerge in one day which gives another 1000 spaces for her to lay in. It is like an escalator. New ones go in the space left by the old ones. They get to a point where the queen cant lay more eggs than the spaces available.that is usually accepted as being two brood boxes maximum. However it does no harm to give extra room. Too much room is always better than too little. Queen cells, well I am afraid that is part of life. They want to reproduce, who doesn't, so they make queen cells to make more hives. The stronger they are, the better the flow, the more likely it is that that will happen. You can only try your best to reduce swarms or control them. Genetics weather etc etc comes into play and even when you get everything right they will swarm. Carry on as you are, give them room if you feel you need to and keep piling on the supers as necessary. The good news is that some years are worse than others. The bad news is that this year will probably test you to the limit!!! Good luck
Thankyou enrico. You always give sound advice and explain things so well. What youve said makes perfect sense. Can i ask if i recombine when do i do it. How long do you leave the queen seperated from her brood. If the brood box in an a.s. raise a new queen when do you combine them back together ? I understand one of the queens needs to be culled if i recombine im just not sure on when yo do it. Cheers.
most of us will have run out of prepared equipment at some point,
from what you have described you have exceptional prolific healthy bees and with the early spring conditions its a perfect storm ,im sure there will be a lot of early swarms about in the next few weeks,good you spotted those queen cells,

you have done all you can with the equipment you have,and carried out manipulations in an intelligent way.
have you considered using a Snelgrove board , its a good way to control swarming and a flexible system for colony increase or not and still get a honey crop,
you are going to have a crowded hive when all that brood hatches as im sure you realise
keep us informed how you get onbee-smilliebee-smillie
No problem.thanks for the praise!
Recombining two strong hives in summer is asking for trouble. They are likely to want to swarm again! Personally I would recombine in late summer when they are easing down a bit. What you do need to do is check the hive without a queen. They will be making queen cells like there is no tomorrow! Go through every five days leaving just one that you know had a larvae in on a frame that you have marked. Remove all others. Or ........
You can try combing, but I would leave it until they are hopelessly queen less, i.e. all cells capped. If you do that then make sure there are no queen cells present obviously!
Ahh ok i understand. I did alot of manipulations last year. Baily comb chsnge. Turning one hive to 3. Requeening all three hives. So havent experienced what these girls can do when not interfering. It makes total sense to keep them seperated till the queen slows down her laying and recombine then. Im also off on a 30 year belated honeymoon in may and want to leave them as set up as possible. I will let them raise a new queen and try to time it that they will be busy with that while away and till then ensure only one qc is left for them so i dont get cast swarms. Does that sound sensible? Ive got more kit coming after the long weekend so will have a little breathing room to juggle honey frames and freeze them if i need to. Its amazing how you can open them up and all your learned knowledge fly out the window. I now close them up have a cuppa and ponder before reacting. That was great advice from some on here. I will let you know how it goes . Thankyou im truly grateful.
Fingers crossed, enjoy your honeymoon.save some energy to lift full supers on your return! :)

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