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Author Topic: Queen in the Super  (Read 5823 times)
Kris^
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« on: July 28, 2004, 10:35:51 PM »

Last Sunday I reported that I found a new queen in the honey super, and she'd laid some eggs there.  Because I didn't know if the queen was still there, I left the excluder off, and placed a second super on top the first.  It was suggested that before I chase the queen down into the brood boxes, I should make sure there is empty comb for her to lay in.

This evening after work I went back into the hive to see how it progressed.  The new queen has been busy; she laid a slew of eggs in four frames of comb in the super, all in a nice pattern, and there was some uncapped brood developing and a few cells of capped brood present.  There were several frames exclusively full of nectar in the super, and some of them were beginning to be capped off.  I did not find the queen in the super, although I pulled each frame and looked pretty intently for her.  I checked in the upper brood box, not necessarily to find the queen, but to see if there was room for her to do her job.  There was, and she had.  The workers apparently moved the nectar up into the super and the queen had laid eggs in the empty cells.  I saw a section where the workers had drawn a small patch of drone comb, and the queen had laid eggs in them.  Plus I found a few of those "false" swarm cells along the bottom of one frame.  

I presumed the queen was down below the super and placed the excluder on before replacing the supers.  I'm guessing I can check back in a few days from now and see if there have been new eggs laid.  If not, I'll know the queen is not in the supers.

One thing I have been wondering about:  when I replaced the supers, I placed the newer super that the bees have not yet begun drawing comb in on top the excluder and below the box the bees have been working on (and the queen laid her eggs in).  Will the excluder still act as a barrier to the bees working the supers because of the empty super right above it, or will the top box with nectar and brood in it still work as an incentive for them to start drawing out the empty box?

By the way, I noticed that the frames in my super are in much better shape than the frames in the brood boxes.  The manipulations I did in them during the spring really caused the bees to overdraw comb in places, leading to some pretty messy frames.  

-- Kris
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2004, 11:38:21 PM »

Quote from: Kris^
There were several frames exclusively full of nectar in the super, and some of them were beginning to be capped off.  

I presumed the queen was down below the super and placed the excluder on before replacing the supers.  I'm guessing I can check back in a few days from now and see if there have been new eggs laid.  If not, I'll know the queen is not in the supers.

  Will the excluder still act as a barrier to the bees working the supers because of the empty super right above it, or will the top box with nectar and brood in it still work as an incentive for them to start drawing out the empty box?

By the way, I noticed that the frames in my super are in much better shape than the frames in the brood boxes.  

-- Kris


What you write, sounds normal. In my style I do not keep exluder. There is many styles to use it, but exluder does not bring honey to hive.

This summer all my 18 hives have used nicely their brood area and honey had been nicely to be taken off.

You write that you have a little mesh in brood boxes. ... When bees carry pollen to brood boxes it causes disorder in egg laying. If you use 3 brood box bees put pollen to the lowest.

I have found that it is not good put in human order brood frames because bees have their style and after ordering bees try to take back their own style. It causes vain work.

Of course, if queen lays eggs in upper boxes I put brood frames to the second or third, but not lowest.  New queen starst egg laying in some place,  often in the nabour of existing brood, or in the warmest place in the hive.  I allow her to do what ever she wants if she keep out of swarming.

If queen is dissatisfied she inform with her chemical ways that " what about swarming", or "free space is not enough".
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2004, 08:58:15 AM »

If I'm reading this right, you have split the brood chambers with a super of undrawn foundation.  I would probably reverse the supers, keep the brood closer to the brood boxes.  If they are making honey, they'll fill the cells the brood has emerged from with nectar in pretty short order.  I would look in both your brood boxes too.  If she is filling up the second one, she may move back up before going down, so I would evaluate reversing the brood boxes as well.  If you reverse, and move her to the bottom box, they will reorganize the hive again, and probably move more stores up right away.  I would continue to leave the excluder out, but thats up to you.  I just don't like excluders
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Kris^
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2004, 10:14:52 AM »

Quote from: golfpsycho
If I'm reading this right, you have split the brood chambers with a super of undrawn foundation.  I would probably reverse the supers, keep the brood closer to the brood boxes.  


That's was I was concerned about, splitting the brood in the honey super from the rest of the brood.  I can rectify that easily enough.  As for reversing the brood chambers, what would I do with the frames of honey that are present in the upper box?

-- Kris
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Finman
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2004, 12:37:08 PM »

Quote from: Kris^
Quote from: golfpsycho
If I'm reading this right, you have split the brood chambers with a super of undrawn foundation.  I would probably reverse the supers, keep the brood closer to the brood boxes.  


That's was I was concerned about, splitting the brood in the honey super from the rest of the brood.  
-- Kris


It depends, how big your colony is. How many boxes you have total in your hive?

This is middle summer in your country and bees will carry honey over month to the hive. It is better to keep larvas in one place, because queen had just started to lay eggs. Brood rearing need warming and it is not wise to widen brood area artificially.

Do you have one or two size frames , I mean equal size in whole hive? If they are same size, you just move brood frames down stairs.

What you tell is very typical, and no prolem at all. You have time to rearrange farmes so that you get your honey yield from hive.
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Kris^
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2004, 01:47:37 PM »

Quote from: Finman
[It depends, how big your colony is. How many boxes you have total in your hive?

This is middle summer in your country and bees will carry honey over month to the hive. It is better to keep larvas in one place, because queen had just started to lay eggs. Brood rearing need warming and it is not wise to widen brood area artificially.

Do you have one or two size frames , I mean equal size in whole hive? If they are same size, you just move brood frames down stairs.

What you tell is very typical, and no prolem at all. You have time to rearrange farmes so that you get your honey yield from hive.


Thanks for the suggestions, everybody.

My hive has two boxes for brood, both deep supers, and two medium supers on top.  One of the medium supers has 9 frames of fully drawn comb, many filled with nectar and some capped honey, with four frames containing eggs and a little capped brood and uncapped larvae of varying sizes.  Very little pollen in that box.  The second medium super, which I placed on the hive this past Sunday, has foundation but none of it is drawn yet.  I plan to reverse the placement of the medium supers this evening, to reunite the brood in the honey super closer to that in the brood box.

Still, I wonder whether I should extract the 3 full frames of honey that have appeared in the upper deep box, or should I just let them remain, to let the bees decide whether to move it up or keep it for winter.  I'd like to harvest, but I don't know if that would harm the colony in the long run.  Three frames of empty comb would certainly give the queen plenty of room to lay!

-- Kris
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Finman
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2004, 03:04:29 PM »

Quote
Still, I wonder whether I should extract the 3 full frames of honey that have appeared in the upper deep box, or should I just let them remain,
-- Kris


3 full frames honey means about 6-7 kg. When you start working you get only your machines dirty. Honey will be vanished on the surface of system.

Do not worry about winter now. Now is summer. Put sugar for winter and take honey for your self.

Take brood frames and put them in the middle of third super. Put foundations on both sides.

Put low honey frames in the middle of fourth super and foundations on sides.

Put the ventialition so that there is some ventilation bees on the endrance at day.

Let bees bee in free. Queen lays more eggs and it go downwards and honey from lower boxes are lifted upwars.

Follow that every week how they do it and learn from it, but let them work. I suppose that you have good summer there and it is now time to carry honey in.

After 2 weeks you shoud have about 6-7 supers full of brood. After that new bee babys will born and they widden the brood area. New bees feed new larvas and that is basic of colony growing.  Really if you will fasten the process, by a 15 W terrarium heater. So you will se what happens. After a month you have two deep super full of brood.

But what is your temperature ther at night? Nigt temperature is minimum factor. The warmer tempts borrooding towars bottom. It is more useful than exluder.

Let the two honey super come full of honey. So you might have also 4 deep honey frames in lower boxes. A lot of honey is vanished to grease all furfaces of your apparatus, strainer and pots.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2004, 12:07:26 AM »

Once it's capped, I think it unlikely they will move it.  While they are curing it, they spread it all over.  Your running into the problem of different sized equipment now.  I guess alot would depend on the condition of the brood boxes when you looked in.  4 frames of honey arent that much, and you'll notice, the outside frames of the brood boxes are usually stores anyway.  I think you need to evaluate how much room she actually has to lay in, and make your decisions from there.  My efforts would be to get her with room into the bottom box, making sure the second box either had room or would soon have room (emerging brood) to expand into.  I would keep the medium with brood lower, and leave the excluder out.  Then I would stay out of em for a while.  Give em a chance to get their house in order and make some honey for you.
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Finman
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2004, 01:58:27 AM »

Quote from: golfpsycho
My efforts would be to get her with room into the bottom box, making sure the second box either had room or would soon have room (emerging brood) to expand into.


 I would keep the medium with brood lower, and leave the excluder out.  Then I would stay out of em for a while.  Give em a chance to get their house in order and make some honey for you.


When I answered last, I thinked that golfpsycho's suggestion as first alternative.  It is very good.

The problem arises that honey comes in all the time and it need space, - and that is the basic meaning.  Solution will come really when new bees emerge.
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Kris^
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2004, 09:51:44 AM »

All your comments have help give me some idea of what I should be looking for, learning, and doing to help the bees along.

It seems that when the queen began laying in the honey super, the workers began moving nectar out of cells in the lower brood boxes, so there was plentyof empty comb down there.  There was more empty comb in the bottom box than the upper one; however, because of how many times I have invaded their brood area in the past week (three) I decided not to reverse the boxes at this time.  I did rearrange he honey supers to bring the brood in there back into contact with the brood boxes, but re-inserted the excluder to force the queen to move down rather than up to lay.  For now though, I'm going to LEAVE THEM ALONE.  Perhaps in 1 1/2 -- 2 weeks I'll look in and reverse if needed.  Until then, I'll watch for unusual behaviors from the outside.  

The problem I have with going into the brood boxes is that many of the combs are overdrawn, causing me to pry and shift frames in order to get others out.  The bees put up with it for a while, but get increasingly POed   as I proceed.  On my next hives (next spring  Smiley  ), I'll know what to expect as far as the colonies' progress toward drawing comb and won't go shuffling frames around and messing it all up.

-- Kris
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2004, 07:40:12 PM »

when you work your bees, do you pull a frame from the outside, or near the outside, and leave it out?  Its a good idea to do so.  That way you don't roll and smoosh them taking out each successive frame during your inspection.  You could take 2 or more out if need be.  They stay alot calmer when not being mashed!
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Kris^
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2004, 09:43:04 PM »

Yes, I start at one side and work my way across.  I generally keep an empty super nearby to keep the pulled frames in, usually one or two.  After removing the first and sometimes the second frames, I pry the remaining frames apart and pry them up one end at a time.  Sometimes I hear bees crunch as I try to leverage the frames out, and I know that's what's getting them angry.  A frame puller may be a good investment for me!  This colony seems to propolize heavily, and the frames and boxes get glued together in as little as two days, so I have to sometimes really wrestle them out.  I am getting better at pulling them, usually, but apparently not as good as the bees would like yet.

If nothing else, I've learned a lot so far this year about what bees do in the hive, stuff I can use later as this year winds down and into future years.  

-- Kris
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2004, 09:56:51 PM »

Its hard to stay out of them when your new, but they need time to do their thing.  During swarm season, and with only a few colonies, I like to get into them about every 8 to 10 days.  Once the swarm season is over, less often.  Try prying them over to the free space first, then lifting them out.  Sounds like your mashing them against the hive wall by lifting one end then the other.  We all keep learning and that is the key.  For example, my colonies all have duragilt foundation and I consider it junk.  This winter, I'll be spending some time by the fire wiring frames and embedding foundation.
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