This article follows the progress of one of my Budding Kits connected to a healthy hive. Click here to see the Build Page for the Kits
I made an adaptor tube to connect the existing boxes to the new boxes.
I waited til late afternoon when all the bees had returned to the hive, cleaned the front surface and screwed on the adaptor plate…
This is the connection between the two boxes..
I moved the original box sideways so the new box and entrance lands in the same place as the previous entrance, so the bees arrive at the same place as previous. The bees were a little confused by the change of entrance but are getting the hang of it…
You have some choices how you can progress…
- Leave connected and let the bees do their own thing. It can take quite a while for the bees to create a second colony. Many months to years. They may even block off the new areas until their old hive box is completely full. Once the old hive is full they may create a new queen for the new box and soon after there’s new brood you will need to disconnect the hives.
- Transfer a few layers of Brood to the new empty box. You will need a strong colony from where you’re removing the brood. The bees will start building structure around it and maintain the new brood. Hopefully a new queen will emerge and the new colony will continue. Sometimes it may be required to put more brood in over time for a second try.
Update 08/10/2017: Budding Kit connected in June 2017. Minimal activity over the colder months. Now October and the bees are really getting busy in the new box. This box is using the side entrance. The photo below shows a honey pot being created, lower center of photo. 08/10/2017
Update 14/02/2018 – I forgot all about this box so I hadn’t checked it for a couple of months. Today I checked and the clear Perspex was all blocked out. I lifted the Perspex to see a full box and brood!
I added the next layer. This middle layer also has clear Perspex so you can monitor its progress for a while.
The below is the same box as the two photos above. The bees made really good progress over the warmer months but since i disconnected the box, and possibly Winter had a negative effect, but i may have disconnected the box too soon as the colony slowly declined. I opened the box a couple of months ago and added some more brood. Today i looked through the viewing window and it looked a little empty so i opened the box.
They’d used up a lot of the colonies stores and i couldn’t see any brood, but the little section of propolis scaffolding caught my eye so i moved a little of it away for a better look, revealing a tiny amount of brood, so i think it’s promising. The bees will cover the brood with propolis to help better regulate temperature and moisture.
I’ll let them go for a while and hopefully in the warmer months they’ll progress. I can add some more brood later if needed.
Update August 2020
One and a half years later? I sort of forgot about this one and left it alone. This hive was really healthy and large enough to split in August 2020