Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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Holy moly buildup

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Holy moly buildup

I almost always go into the hives weekly during bee season – especially this time of year. Colonies build up fast, food runs short, and bees get cranky. We're at least a week away from the start of our spring nectar flow.

I use a Miller-type syrup feeder that sits on top of my top bar hive. I usually don't leave it on for a long time, because ants tend to get in it. But it's relatively rainproof, so I thought nothing of leaving it on during storms this week.

Let's just say there was all kinds of craziness when I opened the Alpha hive (which had the feeder on it) this afternoon. Ants galore – living and dead. The syrup's been gone for five days, but there were still a gazillion bees in the feeder. My best guess is that the bees had built up so much they backed up into the feeder.

I hadn't thought ahead when I took the feeder off. Lots of cranky bees. A comical and humbling experience worthy of a children's cartoon. Surprisingly, I did not get stung. I did a quick inspection, on the lookout for swarm cells, but did not find any.

Meanwhile, my Omega hive sat pretty. Also bulging. Unlike Alpha, it had a couple of queen cups started, but none in swarm position. Both hives know it's not quite time, because pollen is plentiful, but nectar is light.

I wanted to wait for swarm cells, but it's time to split!

submitted by /u/KweenieQ
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