Virgin Queen and Dealing With a Honey Bound hive

I am repopulating my area with bees! This spring my time has been a bit stretched due to our new baby being born. I’ve lost two swarms from hive number 2.  Below is a picture of the virgin queen.        I checked them today they seemed pretty good other than they are starting get get a bit honey/nectar bound. In fact most of the upper brood chamber is now honey stores.

In my opinion having a colony swarm is not a terrible thing. It means that they are healthy and highly productive. It also leaves the remaining workers with nothing to do until the new queen is mated. They spend all of their time drawing comb and storing and curing honey. I will need to harvest the honey out of that brood chamber sooner than I planned, but that’s not all bad.

Basically dealing with a nectar/honey bound colony is simple. You can remove the honey frames and replace them with drawn comb or extract and replace the original frames. If you plan to extract and replace the original frames you really need to put the combs back in the hive the same day. Remember, bees do not see foundation as room, so replacing the frames with foundation for them to draw is not really an option at this point. If you did that it could induce an untimely swarm. What the queen needs is immediate room to lay eggs i.e. drawn comb.

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4 comments on “Virgin Queen and Dealing With a Honey Bound hive
  1. solarbeez says:

    I’d say you’re awfully fortunate to be honey bound this early in the year. My taste buds are salivating over the thought a helping myself to a little of your honeycomb. 🙂

    • Brian says:

      We have had a fairly strong locust flow this spring. I’m fortunate to have me bee’s near a grove of them. I gather from following you that we are in very different parts of the country. What types of nectar do you have in your area?

      • solarbeez says:

        I’m on the Oregon Coast. We are coming into the main nectar flow now which is blackberries. (Late May into late June).

      • Brian says:

        The white clover has just started to come on now that the locust is fizzling out. On our farm we have about 100acres of clover and orchard grass for the cows but my bees love it too. I’m in south eastern IN.

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