Look at Your Hives

headshot mayby Buddy May

Beekeepers: Please be sure you look at your hives, even the new packages, and determine if your queen has moved to the upper brood box. If she has, as evidenced by open and capped brood present, then reverse your hives so that the queen is in the bottom brood box. This is one of the major reasons bees will swarm! The queen has no place to lay her eggs, 1000 per day, and a decision is made to swarm due to being over crowded. Reversing the hives gives the queen ample space to move up and lay her eggs.

Also, if you encounter a frame with swarm cells, consider moving that frame over to a hive that is not doing well. Look for the queen and remove her before moving the frame with the swarm cell(s). Do not worry if there are more than one or two swarm cells on the frame.

Continue feeding your bees should you be trying to get foundation drawn out or honey (sugar water) in the top brood hive, or if you are trying to get foundation drawn out in your honey super. Remove the sugar water after the foundation is drawn out or if the bees begin to store sugar water in the honey super.

Buddy May
buddy_may@bellsouth.net
864-430-0318
Certified Master Beekeeper