Week 12 Activities

Almost every book I’ve read on starting your first hive basically says that more often that not, you generally don’t have to worry about swarming in your first year of beekeeping when starting from scratch. There are exceptions to everything, and I think Large Marge’s hive is getting close to swarm potential.

I found more than 6 queen cells in the hive with one frame having 4 in the 2nd super. I think part of the problem is the girls have decided that supers 1 and 2 are for brood and 3 and 4 are for honey. So to try and prevent a swarm, I added a super with all new frames into the 3rd position effectively making the 4th and 5th super the honey supers. I’m hopeful this wide open space in the 3rd slot will give them the room they need and discourage a swarm.

Adding an Empty 3rd Super

I also added the bee escape between the 4th and 5th super to pull some more honey off tomorrow to also open up some space in the hive. I actually moved what was the 3rd super to the top position because it was all capped honey. Here is a shot of the bee escape.

Bee Escape Board

Large Marge still is performing well and I’m seeing good brood patterns in the 1st and 2nd supers.

Frame with Brood

The also have been quickly building out new comb on the new frames that were put in last week when I removed a few frames of honey.

Building out new frame

Here is the hive put back together which now consists of 5 supers. I’ll be back tomorrow to remove probably at least 4 frames of honey and take off the bee escape.

5 Super Hive

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Week 12 Activities

  1. How did the vortex escape work for you? Since your temps don’t drop too much at night over there, I’d be curious to know if it worked well for you.

  2. The escape has been working incredibly well. Right now, we are having highs in the mid 90’s and lows in the mid 70’s. Both times I’ve used it, it has only been on a day and there are only a handful of bees left in the super. I’ve been very pleased with its effectiveness.

  3. Pingback: Fall Honey Harvest « Urban Beekeeping in Austin, Texas

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