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Picked up 2 5-frame nucs about two months ago. This is my first time trying to bee a beekeeper. I took the 5-frame nucs and transferred them into two 10-frame deeps and added 5 empty frames to each. About a month ago, I checked on them and found that they had drawn out those five frames and were starting to fill them with honey, so I added a queen excluder and a medium super. Yesterday, I checked on them again and found that they have completely filled out those five frames with honey. No brood, no pollen, only honey ... all five frames, both hives, and the supers I added have been almost entirely ignored.

Now I'm a bit worried about them swarming because the queen is out of room. I didn't see any signs of queen cells, but my understanding is that they will start to swarm if they begin to feel cramped ... or if the queen has no place to lay more eggs.

My hope was to get 8(ish) frames of brood in those deeps and split the two hives into 4 hives, but it's still only 5 frames of mostly brood. All the new frames are 100% honey.

I'm really not sure how to proceed here. So far, the only thing I have done is replaced the plastic queen excluders with some metal ones in the hopes that the ladies will be less adverse to crossing it (oh, and I put some pollen patties on top of the inner cover to draw them up past the excluder, though now I'm thinking that they'll just put the pollen in the super where it won't be any use.)

Here are some of my thoughts on where to go from here.

  • Go ahead and add a second deep (I really don't want to do this. I have limited resources and deeps are expensive.)
  • Go ahead and harvest some of those frames and replace them with empty frames.
  • Remove the queen excluders.
  • Add and upper entrance so the ladies don't have to deal with the excluder to get to the super.
  • Go ahead a split the hives, putting two brood frame with the old queen and three with new. (I'll purchase the queens)

Truth is that I'm really not sure what to do or even if I should do anything. I'd love to hear from some folks with some experience.

Thanks,
Eric
 

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@Eric Dunn I do not use queen excluders.
If I want the bees to pull honey into an empty super, to begin with, I use some medium frames in my deeps for this purpose, so that when I add a box, I pull a medium with honey and put it in the top box and put an empty frame in its place in the box below. This encourages the bees to go upstars, and if I get a little brood in the top box it isn't an issue, I check my frames before I extract. But I get more bees and more honey without excluders.

And you better get them upstairs quickly, before they swarm, even if you have to use a deep for a top box (with medium frames) for a few days until they start pulling comb in the top box. Be sure you pull one honey frame and put in the center of the top box. In a couple of weeks, you can drop the big frame back down and put a medium box on with your now full or being filled, medium frames.
 

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@Eric Dunn I do not use queen excluders.
If I want the bees to pull honey into an empty super, to begin with, I use some medium frames in my deeps for this purpose, so that when I add a box, I pull a medium with honey and put it in the top box and put an empty frame in its place in the box below. This encourages the bees to go upstars, and if I get a little brood in the top box it isn't an issue, I check my frames before I extract. But I get more bees and more honey without excluders.

And you better get them upstairs quickly, before they swarm, even if you have to use a deep for a top box (with medium frames) for a few days until they start pulling comb in the top box. Be sure you pull one honey frame and put in the center of the top box. In a couple of weeks, you can drop the big frame back down and put a medium box on with your now full or being filled, medium frames.
Gypsi,

Thanks for the response.

If I had it to do over, I'd go with all mediums or all deeps just to make moving frames around easier. I'm thinking that I will start building my hive boxes and frames myself and I will build all deeps or all mediums (or at least I won't mix them, each hive will be all of one or all of the other.)

In the mean time, I will follow your advise and remove the excluders ... and I think I'll go ahead and double deep these two hives. I did built some spacer boxes (1.5 inches deep) with entrances (and even landing pads for the ladies) so that they can have an upper entrance. I plan to add them this coming weekend. I'll remove the excluders and add the 2nd deeps and the same time. Then I'll harvest the deep honey frames that are fully capped and move the remainder to the center of the upper deeps as you suggested.

Again, thanks for the response.
Eric
 

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Gypsi,

Thanks for the response.

If I had it to do over, I'd go with all mediums or all deeps just to make moving frames around easier. I'm thinking that I will start building my hive boxes and frames myself and I will build all deeps or all mediums (or at least I won't mix them, each hive will be all of one or all of the other.)

In the mean time, I will follow your advise and remove the excluders ... and I think I'll go ahead and double deep these two hives. I did built some spacer boxes (1.5 inches deep) with entrances (and even landing pads for the ladies) so that they can have an upper entrance. I plan to add them this coming weekend. I'll remove the excluders and add the 2nd deeps and the same time. Then I'll harvest the deep honey frames that are fully capped and move the remainder to the center of the upper deeps as you suggested.

Again, thanks for the response.
Eric
Upper entrances can invite robbery. OK during a flow but close those when flow slows and robbing season begins, around here July or August
 

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Hi Everyone. Started beekeeping this spring. Had a big thunderstorm roll through last night and while checking the hives today, I found some strange activity outside the hive. No big fighting going on, just a lot of bees clinging to the box. Any ideas?
Beehive Apiary Pollinator Insect Natural material
 

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Hi Everyone. Started beekeeping this spring. Had a big thunderstorm roll through last night and while checking the hives today, I found some strange activity outside the hive. No big fighting going on, just a lot of bees clinging to the box. Any ideas? View attachment 10581
Welcome
It's humid inside? when it is hot and humid mine are all on the outside trying to cool off and I use screened bottom boards. It gets really hot here though. Use a level and be sure any water that got in can get out the front.
 
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