Today I’ll be swapping around supers at the Brooks and Woolsey beeyards. This is a swarming control technique that supposedly keeps the colony from feeling crowded. The idea is that bees constantly move up in the colony through the winter as they consumes their winter stores. By the spring, the bottom of the colony is basically empty. By swapping the top and the bottom supers, we open up another super of space above for the colony to move into.
I’ll also be putting honey supers on these hives. It takes a while for the bees to “get” that their hive has changed sizes and move up into the super. We’ve already got a light nectar flow going, which will quickly pick up in the next few weeks, so I want them up in there drawing comb ahead of the game.
My supers have top entrances too. I’m a big fan of top entrances for two reasons. They provide additional ventilation, but the air isn’t pulled up directly through the broodnest, and it gives the foragers a direct route to the honey stores – meaning they don’t have to walk all the way up the inside of the colony to get where they’re going.