Time To Add Supers/Another Box

It looks like I’ll be doing a few inspections this week through the weekend. Wednesday being the warmest day as of current forecast, 67F. I’ll be checking on the strongest hives first to ensure they have enough room as I’m seeing a great deal of activity even during the past cold days. They are bringing in a ton of pollen and I’m sure they are building up quickly. Will need to give them more room to build up that population and also to store honey as we do have a flow going.

 

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3 Responses to Time To Add Supers/Another Box

  1. Todd says:

    Hey Jack-
    I just peeked into a hive in my backyard. I divided this hive last year from another colony, and they only got to 6-7 frames before the cooler weather came in. Although I have seen a ton of activity and lot’s of pollen these last few weeks, they still have the same amount of bees and filled frames as they did when I last checked on them on October 15, 2011. Also, the brood pattern is nice, but not heavy. I don’t think my ladies are going to be hatching with any great numbers within the next few weeks. I did see one side of a frame about 60% filled with new nectar, but I am holding off on adding a new medium because they just don’t need it.
    Are you finding this as well, or did you end up adding additional space?

    Todd

  2. Good to hear from you Todd.

    It depends on the colony population. I see some increasing fast, the larger hives, while the smaller ones are working their way up. I have single medium hives that are full or about 90%, those I added another box while moving two frames of honey into the new box as a guide as I use foundationless frames. If I didn’t give them more space they will surely swarm in a few weeks.

    Then I have hives that were booming in the Summer but then didn’t need anymore room than the two mediums as they were only using one while the other is fully drawn or at least 50%. With space I didn’t add another.

    So if that one hive is say max 70% full, you do have some time. But if you see them increasing in population and drawing out those remaining frames, add. Also probably good to check for any swarm cells in a week or two if the population is high.

  3. Todd says:

    Thanks Jack. My backyard hive has plenty of room to draw out new comb, and I’ll be waiting a while before I venture in there again. It was so nice to see the queen on the second frame I pulled, although only having one deep and 6 frames of bees does make spotting her easier.

    I am headed out to see a few other colonies in Los Altos tomorrow. I’m not sure if I’ll go in them, but I want to see how the activity is. Last time I was there, one of the hives had large amounts of dead bees out front. I’m not sure if that occurred over time and the change of the seasons, or if it was something else. It was such a strong colony as well. Hopefully it will be alright. The other at that location was fine the last time I went out.

    Either way, I’ll find out soon enough!

    Cheers!

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