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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

The State of Bee-ing of the Swarm Hive

The swarm hive has cleaned house and now occupies one half of the box they are in. They had a raunchy collection of frames to work with so today I substituted some drawn comb on deep frames from my absconded Proteus hive from last year. I put those frames in the unoccupied section of the hive. The swarm bees were starting to draw wax and have been quite busy.
Bees with pollen laden legs are landing at the swarm hive every few seconds. Seeing this, I felt optimistic, because although this doesn't necessarily mean there's a laying queen and brood who need pollen, it can mean that. At the very least it means the bees are anticipating young if their queen is still a virgin.
I also moved the swarm bees onto the Country Rubes screened bottom board and they seemed quite pleased. I feel much better about their having a screened bottom board.

On this inspection, I didn't look closely at the bees and didn't look for the queen or eggs - I just wanted to see if the bees needed different frames and to see if they were doing bee work in the hive (building wax, making the place their own, etc.).

I also took another unused deep and set up another swarm lure hive. The new swarm hive took over my old swarm lure set-up, so now I have a new one. I put the solid bottom board and the landing stand from the new swarm hive and set them up as the base of this lure hive.

I also did an inspection on Bermuda and Mellona. Both had eggs, young brood, and lots of bees. Bermuda , the oldest of my hives, is burgeoning with bees. But both hives looked really good. Bermuda has four medium boxes on it and brood in every box. Mellona is building up more slowly, but building up all the same. Mellona has bees and brood in three boxes.

I do what's known as unlimited brood nest because I don't use a queen excluder and let the queen lay wherever she wishes.

On an interesting side note - I did not see one single SHB. When I first opened the hives this spring, I saw lots of them. I don't have any traps in the hives at the moment, but there is not a small hive beetle to be seen. I think this is an argument for a strong hive - great bees in charge, no evident hive beetles until at least later in the season.

So much activity in my bee yard!
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  1. Just a question - with your unlimited brood nest strategy - do you have issues with brood in what you are assuming for honey supers? How does this work out in reality?

    Rich Antcliff

  2. Hi Rich,

    The issue of brood in the honey supers hasn't been a problem for me. I only have a couple of hives although this year I will have 5 or 6. So far, since I am harvesting via crush and strain, I am looking at each frame before crushing it or cutting it into chunk honey or comb honey. I haven't found brood in my honey supers except in one frame last year and I simply put it back on the hive and didn't harvest it.

  3. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Did your swarm lure work?

  4. I'm curious, what do you use to lure a swarm? And is this lure hive near other established hives or are they further away?


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