Swarm Stopper! (I Hope).
Look at the gorgeous natural comb that the Lincoln Log Bees created. It’s so pretty.
And such a pain in the ass to inspect.
Mr. Homegrown Evolution came over on saturday to get some open brood from me for his Hollywood Hills trap out. Since he was already in his bee gear, he was nice enough to help me with my problem hive: The messy and overly swarmy Lincoln Log Bees. In addition to the ridiculous comb in the top super, the lower super has tons of swarms cells on the bottom of the brood frames. Those bees are getting ready to swarm again. Jerks
At any rate, I thought I’d try to kill two birds with one stone by checkerboarding which involves alternating frames of empty drawn comb and capped honey directly above the brood nest. This method of swarm control tricks the bees into believing that it’s not the right time to swarm. I’m hoping the straight comb also acts as an example to the bees so they consider the features and benefits of building a straight, easy to inspect comb, instead of this wavey gravy business.
I used the escape board that I borrowed from Sue to empty out the top super of bees which contained both honey and a little brood.
With Mr. Homegrown Evolution’s help I completely ripped out the crazy comb in the top super, which was gross because there was brood mixed in with the uncapped honey. I threw the brood, which was already dead having gone unattended for 48 hours, in the compost bin and saved the uncapped comb to refeed the “donor” hives.
Then I removed the escape board.
I robbed the Malibu hive and the Hot Tub hive of some frames of capped honeycomb.
Because my bee yard doesn’t have enough stealable empty drawn comb, I checkerboarded the top super of the Lincoln Log hive by alternating between empty frames and frames of honeycomb.
Usually checkerboarding doesn’t disturb the brood nest because it’s all about adding honey upstairs, so allegedly it’s less stressful on the bees than putting a queen excluder between the bottom board and the first super to keep the bees from swarming.
We’ll see what happens…