May 28

Requeen your hives!

It’s May 28th.  Do your hives look like this in Ohio?

Bee Hives in May

10 of the 14 hives in this apiary look this strong right now.   The 2nd to the top super was added to the hive just 2 weeks ago and most hives alreadyHoney filled super have a significant amount of honey in it or have it filled and were building comb on the top of the bars.  They desparately needed more space and I added yet another super this trip (the top super shown in the picture).    Also keep in mind that 3 or 4, 5 frame mating nucs were made up from each of the hives in this yard just 6 weeks prior to this picture.

Not all hives look this good, but a large number of them do and I account much of it to the effort made last year to requeen nearly all of my hives and improve the stock.  I must say I’m very happy with the result.  The down side is that it’s going to be a real chore lifting off all the honey to get down to the brood nest to pull larvae for grating on some of these that are breeder queens.

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  1. Bill McLaughlin

    You mention the effort to remove the honey supers to get to the brood chamber… Now this is just an idea but…
    How about putting the honey suppers on the bottom, then a queen excluder, then the brood chamber, then the hive cover. That way you only have to lift the brood chamber to add addtional honey suppers. Would this work?

  2. Tim Arheit

    It probably wouldn’t work because the bees naturally store the honey above the brood nest and are reluctant to store below the nest. You could try it but I suspect they’ll plug the brood area with honey and either swarm or simply get week because of the small brood area.

    I’ve seen an attempt where the honey supers are supported on a stand and the brood boxes are slid underneath like drawers of a file cabinet. Interesting idea, but not practical either because the bees will have everything stuck together with propolis and burr comb in fairly short order.

  3. Paul

    That is a very impressive hive. My hives are usually very small in comparison to that hive. I’ve had them that large, but I got lazy in extracting the honey. I have about 10 hives and all of them are strong. One of them was weak, but I placed a couple of frames of brood to boost the hive.


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