Fall crowding in bee hives.

It is fall, we’re harvesting honey, pulling honey supers, and taking our bees back down to 2 deep 10 frame boxes. We want them dense and full going into winter. In the spring overcrowding is a problem, if the bees don’t have room they may decide to swarm. In the fall, overcrowding isn’t as bad. End of August, first part of September when we pull honey and treat for mites the bee populations are just starting to decline. Which means that over the next few weeks the bee population is going to decline rapidly from its summer high. The queen is laying less, the workers are backfilling with honey, and the bees are moving down into the bottom box. Pulling supers does crowd them in 2 boxes but remember much of this workforce is at the end of its life. Robbing can be a big problem in the fall, having a colony that has extra bees guarding or hanging out in front of the hive can be a big deterrent to other bees looking for an easy target.

2 thoughts on “Fall crowding in bee hives.”

  1. Michele Thompson

    Do you keep an entrance reducer on the hive along with the mouse guard for the winter?
    Also you leave the screen bottom board in, do you do anything else? Thanks

    1. We don’t use a wooden entrance reducer ever but we do use a metal mouse guard in the winter. We do put the slide in tray in to reduce ventilation on the screen bottom board, we’ll pull the mouse guard off in the spring when the hive becomes active again and we may need to feed. We pull the bottom board tray out when it is hot again.

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