Lucky Number 7

Large Marge is an unstoppable egg laying machine. The girls have already filled out the 6th super I added two weeks ago which meant I had to add a 7th today. I’m getting worried that if they continue at this rate, I may need a ladder for my inspections. My second package of bees can’t get here soon enough so I can borrow some frames from Large Marge to help jump start the new hive and hopefully slow them down a bit.

I guess I need to start reading up on how to split a hive, but I’m also worried they are growing so fast that a swarm is inevitable. Anyone have any advice on next steps?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Lucky Number 7

  1. Wow, these are great problems to have! If some of the honey supers are full and capped, you can take one or two off and store for extraction later to keep the stack at a reasonable height. But if you really fear swarming, you should split. The only hang up with splitting now is that if you want to order a mated queen this time of year they are harder to find as so many are being used in packages. Alternatively, if you have decent drone populations now in Austin, you can have the split raise its own queen.

    You will need another hive or nuc, but this is how I would do it:

    – Find three frames of brood, a frame of pollen and a frame of honey, all covered with nurse bees;
    – One of those frames should include LARGE MARGE;
    – Move those frames to a new hive or nuc;
    – Add additional frames with foundation to fill the hive;
    – Shake in some more nurse bees if you feel you want to strengthen or even the population;
    – Re queen the original hive or let them raise their own.

    This replicates a swarm. The foragers will continue to return to the old hive. The new hive will begin building-out their new quarters and Marge has some comb in which to lay. The nurse bees, which have never foraged before, will begin to forage and will orientate for the first time coming out of their new hive.

  2. Dan

    Start pulling out ANY honey frames to keep the pile of supers to a manageable level. The flow is here and they will stay very busy. You might think about letting the nurse bees draw their own comb. It keeps them busy and if you have any extra frames of brood let me know. Our 8 frame hive from brushy mountain needs the queen replaced (laying problem) and we could use something to keep up the population. It wasn’t discovered until after BeeWeaver sold out of packages.

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