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Author Topic: Bees in shallow super!  (Read 840 times)
EOHenry
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« on: April 03, 2008, 11:31:44 PM »

It is finally into the upper 40's here in Western Michigan.  My girls are finally out flying around and even saw some pollen on some of them.  I am estatic that all 5 of my hives have activity in them hopefully meaning they survived the winter. I started feeding them yesterday and they have not taken much up yet.

What concerned me, was that on one of the hives that I left a 3/4 full shallow super on, all the bees where coming out of the top cover thru the ventilation groove I put on the inner cover.  When I lifted the covers, the shallow was full of bees.  There were not any bees using the lower main entrance.  My question is,  how do I force the bees down into the deep brood boxes?  It's been too cold to do an inspection yet.  So I don't know where the queen is laying eggs, if any yet. It's suppose to get up into the middle 50's next week so I am going to do my inspections them. 

Am I worrying about nothing?

It's been a long, cold, record snowfall, winter here in West Michigan!  But things are looking warmer finally.

Henry
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2008, 12:03:58 AM »

Top entrance work, why worry.  It is also possible that the lower entrance is blocked by dead bees and wax crumbs from opening capped cells.  This is more likely if you used an entrance reducer.  Let them use the top entrance until you get a chance to go in and inspect and help them clean up.
I decided that the screens on my slatted racks were getting in the way so I took them off today.  Started with 1 hive that was my bait hive and removed the screen so it is now completely bottomless and changed out the bottom box on each hive in rotation ending up with the last 1 replacing the bait hive box.  Now all my hives are top entranced and bottomless to boot.  I will never have to worry about plugged entrances again.  One of the problems with the SBB is the debre build up over winter.
One of the problems I was having is that I would have a couple of sunny days followed by a couple days of snow.  It was catching the bees outside the hive and out of cluster.  My inspection showed bees were trying to get back into the hive however they could and were clumping on the underside of the screens, which is why I removed them.  My Italian hive was building up faster than my Russian until the snows hit for the last 2 weeks--now I have them cleaning out chilled brood because the brood nest was larger than the cluster could cover.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2008, 07:04:17 AM »

>My question is,  how do I force the bees down into the deep brood boxes?

Why force them to do anything?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#stopfightingbees

If you want them back in the deep, and there is no brood in it yet, then just put the deep on top.  If there IS brood in it, then they are already moving down.  Just put the queen in the deep with that brood, and put an excluder on.  Don't restrict the queen anywhere that there isn't open brood.
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EOHenry
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 11:17:15 PM »

I got into my hive today as it got up to 60 for the first time.  There were lots of bees in hive and many bringing back light white or yellow pollen back into hive.  I took the shallow off which I found the bees cleaning up the comb and no pollen or brood in the super. The next deep I took off had lots of bees and still was heavy with capped honey in it.  When I got down to the bottom deep, I took it off the bottom board to clean bottom out of dead bees and cappings.  To my surprise I found lots of grass and other stuffing blocking the entrance besides dead bees. When I pulled a frame out, I found all the wax gone in the center of the frames and a nest of some kind. I had put on entrance reducer and hardware screen like always. But it must have been too late in fall.  NOW I know why they were not using bottom entrance. Sad

Henry
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2008, 01:46:42 AM »

I got into my hive today as it got up to 60 for the first time.  There were lots of bees in hive and many bringing back light white or yellow pollen back into hive.  I took the shallow off which I found the bees cleaning up the comb and no pollen or brood in the super. The next deep I took off had lots of bees and still was heavy with capped honey in it.  When I got down to the bottom deep, I took it off the bottom board to clean bottom out of dead bees and cappings.  To my surprise I found lots of grass and other stuffing blocking the entrance besides dead bees. When I pulled a frame out, I found all the wax gone in the center of the frames and a nest of some kind. I had put on entrance reducer and hardware screen like always. But it must have been too late in fall.  NOW I know why they were not using bottom entrance. Sad

Henry


Charge that mouse rent or he will freeload next winter! Wink
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2008, 08:59:37 AM »

>NOW I know why they were not using bottom entrance. Sad

A mouse or a shrew.  Now you know why I don't have any bottom entrances...
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Michael Bush
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