Overwintered Hive, Do I Super or Split?

The million dollar question! If we don’t need the bees for a split we tend to choose supering for honey production when they have the workforce to take advantage of nectar flows. If we find that the colony has run out of room and already decided to start the swarming process (swarm cells in use is a biggie) we will do a split because changing their mind doesn’t seem to work well. To split a hive that wants to swarm we generally move the old queen over to a new location and let the bees raise a new one. If they aren’t successful then we can combine them back up! If we missed the boat and there are lots of queen cells then playing with mating nucs might be a fun way to play some of those out if you have a few colonies and want to keep a queen on the side just in case.

Kirk also addresses reversing boxes in the spring. This is done in early spring on hives that have moved to the top box and have left the bottom box empty. The goal is to put bees on the bottom so that they can work their way up. If they aren’t compressed in the top and empty on the bottom they don’t need reversed.

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