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Author Topic: What is "Honey Bound" and what do you do about it?  (Read 3521 times)
sarafina
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« on: July 04, 2009, 08:13:32 PM »

I keep seeing this term and wonder exactly what is the definition of honey bound  - i.e. how much honey in the brood frames is considered "honey bound".  Also, what do you do about it?

Thanks!
Sarah
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 08:50:23 PM »

If the Queen doesn't have room to lay eggs, they are honey bound.

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Cheryl
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 08:56:04 PM »

When a queen gets honey bound, the remedy is to give her a few empty frames (bars in my case) on which to lay eggs. This usually requires moving or removing some capped honey to expand the brood chamber.
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doak
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2009, 09:14:17 PM »

That is the nice part of using same size boxes all the way.
If you have two deeps and you are honey bound, the second super full of honey and the queen has nowhere to lay. You simply put the third deep on and take out 3 or 4 frames of the full honey in super #2 and switch with that # of frames from the empty box you just added.
Now, if the queen comes, "most likely will" up into the empty frames you placed in the second deep,
and the bees continue to store honey in the 3rd box you put on. Or if you want to lift the 90 pound box and add the new deep in second place. Either way you still need to add another honey super in addition to the other brood box.  In other words add two boxes, but unlock the second box to give the queen some room.  If the queen doesn't move in to the third box, instead she moves back down. You now have a deep box full of honey (approx90) pounds to contend with. That is why some of us like to use all the same size,"medium" boxes.

You can put a medium frame in a deep box, but when you do you are creating a mess.
You (cannot) put a deep frame into a medium box.

Now, do like I am going to do and go with all same size, medium brood and honey supers.
I am 67 and getting no younger fast.
Will start changing over to long hives with all mediums this winter and next spring.
Have a happy honey harvest. That looks like the 4 H's. Smiley :)doak
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sc-bee
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2009, 07:47:51 AM »

and if feeding --- quit --- if honeybound.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 11:23:15 AM »

When the brood nest is being back filled with nectar so that it is shrinking during a time when it should be staying the same or growing.  I put empty frames in the brood nest.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
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sarafina
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 04:19:17 PM »

Thank-you for all your replies.  Our flow is over and we are in drought-mode right now.  I pulled my super off this weekend and havested 28 pounds of honey from it using crush and strain.  Now I have enough for us and plenty to give away so I am happy!

I didn't get a chance to go into the brood boxes this weekend, but I will next weekend and take some pics and post.  The last time I looked in there it seemed to me to have way more honey than empty places for the queen to lay, hence my questions about adding a third deep or being honey bound.  I have some frames I need to nail together so I may try Michael Bush's suggestion to open up the brood nest.  Although with the heat and lack of rain lately, won't the queen cut back on laying?  Our bees fly almost year-round down here and there is something blooming nearly all the time so honey stores for the winter aren't as critical plus I can always find a warm day to pop the top and check their stores if I need to.

Also, my honey super had a lot of bees working it.  Now that the super is gone, will the brood boxes get too crowded?  Sure were a lot of girls bearding on the outside last night.  But then it is hot right now and I dont' blame them for hanging out on the porch!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 06:21:48 PM »

A hive can also become honey bound if it swarms during a flow.  The bees will back fill the cells from which the brood hatches during the time the old queen quits laying, swarms, and the new queen is mated and starts laying again.  During that time it is not unusual to see  whole frames of uncapped stores with spots of unhatched brood.
Once the queen starts laying the bees will move the stores around to give her room, or putting in an empty frame or 2 will cause the bees to drawn new comb that the queen can lay in.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 09:02:35 AM »

a hive can also become honey bound if it swarms during a flow.  The bees will back fill the cells from which the brood hatches during the time the old queen quits laying, swarms, and the new queen is mated and starts laying again.  During that time it is not unusual to see  whole frames of uncapped stores with spots of unhatched brood.
Once the queen starts laying the bees will move the stores around to give her room, or putting in an empty frame or 2 will cause the bees to drawn new comb that the queen can lay in.

That's exactly what my split/swarm is doing. I have at least 4 empty bars in their now, so I'm just hoping the queen hatches, mates and starts laying before they build those out and fill them with honey. Any suggestions on how often to check in this situation for a future honeybound problem? It's pretty dry here and they don't seem to be foraging too much...
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
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Cheryl
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 11:21:22 AM »

With my (very) limited experience, I'd say check every couple days during a really strong flow.... check once a week during a moderate flow... and probably not worry during minimal flow or a dearth.

Anyone else?
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skflyfish
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 11:40:33 AM »

[It's pretty dry here and they don't seem to be foraging too much...

Do you have any basswood trees near you? They opened up here two days ago and the ladies have their faces smothered in them right now. I would too, they smell marvelous  grin
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luvin honey
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2009, 11:09:33 PM »

I'm not sure... When I checked this evening (after a nice couple rain showers this week), they were back to foraging like crazy. Not seeing pollen, so I guess it's nectar they're bringing in. They take off, go high in the air above the trees in the woods and far away. I really wish I knew where they went! They're not in my yard, garden, flowers or anywhere else I walk or visit.  rolleyes
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
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