I presently have a single four-box Warre hive. Actually, the top box is a Langstroth ‘Jumbo’ brood box. The bees were delivered to me in the Langstroth Jumbo in October 2012. After over-wintering I placed the Jumbo box (with a conversion board under it) on top of a three-box Warre hive. The bees thrived last year. I had a prime swarm in the spring followed by several casts. The neighbours were very understanding!
Since setting up my hybrid Warre hive last spring, I haven’t opened it.
Recently, on fine days, I have observed some bees leaving the hive. Some are carrying out dead bees and others are bringing in pollen.
Assuming that the colony has over-wintered successfully, I imagine that the queen will soon be laying eggs and the emerging bees will start to bring in nectar and pollen. At that stage I guess it will be ok to lift off the original Langstroth Jumbo and harvest any honey which the bees have not consumed. At the same time I will put a new, empty Warre box at the bottom of the stack.
Does this seem ok, and what time of day is best to carry out this operation?
Thanks in advance for any advice given.
Graham Brookbanks (Chandlers Ford)
ps with regard to my previous query about setting up a second hive, I appreciate John’s excellent advice about siting the second hive at a significant distance from the first one. Unfortunately I have only a small suburban garden and that luxury isn’t available to me. The new hive will have to take its chance next to the existing one. Fortunately I live next to a nature reserve so I don’t think competition for limited resources should be an issue.