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  • Hi,

    I only started keeping bees last year.

    I have just opened up my over-wintered hive to inspect for the first time. I found that the brood box was essentially full of bees already, combs full of honey, the queen was observed and seems to be laying with abandon with plenty of larvae in all stages of development and drone cells already being constructed. Not what I expected at all from an over wintered hive.

    I am worried that at this rate it wont be long before the concentration of bees stimulates swarming, so I need to give them room.

    So, my question is whether it is ok to super the hive with a QE so early in the season or should I give them a super as an extra 1/2 brood/

    All advice appreciated,

    • I opened mine 10 days ago and had the same scenario, very busy and very good tempered bees and lots of sealed brood. I'm only in my second year so unable to advise but I made the decision to put in the QE on my hive that is a brood and a half, as the brood was confined to the brood box. Tons of bees in the prunus trees and autumn sown oilseed rape is starting to flower around here so fingers crossed for a good year.I will watch and see whether I have done the right thing!Quote from: simonchandler at Mar 20, 2014, 10:41 PM
      • Thanks Paul. I have decided to super w/QE them, as you say the cherry and oil seed rape are flowering and the bees are coming back laden up with pollen so perhaps I can tap into a very early flow.

        Time will tell I suppose.

        • That's three of us young men what have done the same thing then, what we need is an old hand to tell us if we are right or otherwise
          • That's three of us young men what have done the same thing then, what we need is an old hand to tell us if we are right or otherwise
            • Make that four!

              I put supers on my hives 2 weeks ago.

              One hive has some new uncapped stores in the super.

              The other hives have hardly any bees in there.

              The hive with new stores in the super has only one side of one frame in the brood box which is not full of stores or brood. There is so little space for any more stores, they have to put it upstairs.

              The hive weighs in at 43kg with one super on.
              • Hi all,

                What a relief to see this. I've just had the lid off my hive for a peek inside (didnt think I'd ever get the duct tape off, but that's another story - and another lesson learned). It's my first overwintering so I'm delighted that they've survived this far.

                All seems VERY busy, so I plan to do a full inspection at the weekend. Seem to be about 9 full frames of bees... Lots of bees flying in and out and the varroa board is covered in pollen, so things seem to be going ok so far. At least they seem to be managing with the limited space the mouse guard offers them which is just as well as I doubt the duct tape will ever come off that!

                Hopefully I'll find lots of brood at the weekend, if I can remember what to look for!
                As they're in the middle of about 4 rape seed fields currently in full bloom I was pondering about whether to add a super. After reading your posts I will do so.
                • Hi Barbara, I would take the mouse guard off and leave the entrance open
                  • Bees swarmed this morning despite me performing an artificial swarm on Saturday, they were re-hived within the hour and I've re-united the remaining components of the artificial swarm. This is hard work!