Swarm Prevention – I should have added a super

“Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worse fears to come true.” – Bohdi, Point Break (1991)

My five frame nuc (VE) needed room to grow but I hesitated because I was afraid if I put another super on too soon, that it would cause the beetles to take over the hive.

However, by not putting on a super in time, the hive swarmed. The remaining hive was too weak and the beetles overtook it anyway.

Damned if I did and damned when I didn’t – and now I have lost all of my five frame nucs. However, that is not the whole story. Instead of adding empty frames I had planned to add the honey supers I had stored in the freezer (from a previous beetle infestation). I suspect that this would have invited beetles.

The answer is to add empty frames. The empty frames provide room for the bees to grow without giving the beetles stores to infest. I could have added a frame or two of honey but not a full super of honey.


The splits I made at Dr. D’s need another super on them as well. I had planned to add them this past weekend but I was sick with a stomach virus and haven’t had the chance. So I will do it this Sunday instead. God willing it won’t be too late.

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