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Author Topic: Newbee Confusion  (Read 779 times)

Offline yippeewahoo

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Newbee Confusion
« on: July 09, 2009, 12:23:48 AM »
I have been keeping bees in souther Idaho for this season only.  When I had 6 frames filled on the first super I added.  I have not fed the past few weeks.  As they moved into the upper super, I thought all was fine and left well enough alone, not disturbing the rest of the hive.  Tonight, I pulled frames in the upper super here is what I noticed

-I have about 5 frames in the upper with cells built.
-The queen was in the upper frames in the center laying eggs
-I have larvae in the upper super
-and then on top of the frames above the cells that have eggs, I have honey cells.

I decided to look into the lower super
-I have still only 6 frames filled
-the tops of the frames have honey
-I had 3 queen cells, that were empty, I squashed them
-they had built multi layer brood cells
-I had tons of bees on empty frames not building any cells, all bees were looking like they were feeding on the upper honey
-many of the bees were on the foundation and the lid when I opened it.

I am really confused, have I stopped feeding when I should?  do I have competing queens? Why is there not just honey stores in the upper super? why will they not fill in the outside frames? and mostly did I really screw up this season?
Thank you for any help
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Newbee Confusion
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 01:53:18 AM »
Most beekeepers in the PNW use 2 deeps as the brood chamber, honey supers are beyond that point.  Even then some prolific queens can use as much as 3 deeps as brood chambers.  More bees means more foragers which means more honey is harvested as long as good pastures are present. 
As to your problem with only 6 frames built out, I assume you're talking 10 frame equipment, consider these factors.
Bees will build comb under their feet, if there isn't enough bees to move to a new frame they won't begin building comb on it until there is.
Bees prefer to build up or down verses sideways, this is one reason bees do so well in 8 frame equipment.
The outside frames (1 & 10 in a 10 frame hive) are almost always storage frames (honey and pollen only).

If you have 6 frames drawn in 1 super (probably 3-8) then pull the super just to the outside of the drawn frames and place it between the outside drawn frame and the other drawn frames:  If your hive looks like this, E E D D D D D D E E, where the E= empty frames and D=drawn comb the make it look this way, E D E D D D D E D E.  The bees will then move off the storage frames, since their presence isn't needed their like brood requires, and draw comb on the frames placed between the drawn frames.  Once those frames are drawn to the same with the remaining empty frames.
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Offline Wynoochee_newbee_guy

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Re: Newbee Confusion
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2009, 12:47:57 AM »
Another thing is don't add any brood chambers or honey suppers till 8 of the 10 frames are drawen out or 6 out 8 if your using eight frame equitment. Because your bees will chimney up thats just building up not out. You want to advoid that from happinging. then in a week or two after adding the second hive body.  take the # 1 and 10 frame turn them around to have the bees draw out the rest of the frames in the bottom brood chamber. and do this for each supper you add if the nectar flow is strong it can be a week or less. so good luck.
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