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