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Author Topic: No interest in a super  (Read 751 times)
jopo
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Location: Southeast, Virginia


« on: August 17, 2009, 06:29:51 PM »

I'm a novice beekeeper going through my third year with two hives. 

The hives are strong, and I've collected honey from both.  However, I added a third large super with frames and foundation to my oldest (two year old) hive in late June hoping to get the bees to draw the frames out and start storing more honey.  I checked again this afternoon, and they have essentially done nothing with the frames.

There is a queen excluder between the super and the lower hive body supers.  Those are full with honey, pollen and eggs.  There are bees crawling around in the top super, but other than closing gaps and mucking up with propolis the girls don't seem inclined to do anymore work there.

Should I swap frames from below with the super on top?  Remove the excluder?  Pull the super and call it a season?

I'm concerned about the empty space and pests becoming a problem and pretty much at a loss as to why they are disinterested...

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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 06:57:10 PM »

update your location in your profile, It will help people answer your questions if they no what area you're dealing with. 

Not knowing your area I couldn't even guess about when you fall flow is finished which if is close would mean it's probably time to pull it and call it a season.  If you've still got some time left remove the excluder or at least turn it sideways so it's open around the ends.  Pulling a couple frames of uncapped nectar/honey up into it would also jumpstart them using the area.

Check with local beeks to see when the flow is finished in your area.
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jopo
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2009, 08:13:10 AM »

Thanks, Fermented!  The Fall nectar flow usually occurs in mid Sep-Oct here.

Should the uncapped comb frames be taken from the outside of the brood box frames and moved to the middle of the honey super?

Any chance the bees could simply be rejecting the foundation?
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2009, 11:45:49 AM »

That should work fine.  I'm not sure if there are any hard and fast rules on which frames to move up.  The center probably works best if you are using foundationless because they can use it as a ladder, but with foundation it wouldn't matter as much as they can use any frame they want as a ladder.  When I did it last year I just moved the number 2 frame from the bottom box up to number 1 of the top box and they worked it fine.  I doubt they're rejecting the foundation specifically(is it different from what's below?).  Choices tend to take time for the girls to work out since they function by group consensus.  I would guess it's more likely that they haven't seen the need to expand up into that additional box yet or at least a large enough number of workers haven't organized to the point of making the "decision" to move up and work it.
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Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
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Joelel
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2009, 02:39:00 PM »

Thanks, Fermented!  The Fall nectar flow usually occurs in mid Sep-Oct here.

Should the uncapped comb frames be taken from the outside of the brood box frames and moved to the middle of the honey super?

Any chance the bees could simply be rejecting the foundation?

They are doing a new thing here,cut your 10 frame brood boxes back to 8.Once your frames are drawn out,take the two end frames out and space out the other 8. Move the 2 up. This gives them more room to move freely from the lower to the top. Crowding is the problem they don't move up. Bees naturally start at the top and build down. You could add your box on the bottom if it's the second brood box but then it leaves it more open for pests to enter,I would never do that.When you add a supper and have your two 10 frame brood boxes down to 8,at this point add the excluder and a middle entrance and then the supper.
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38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
jopo
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2009, 08:39:55 PM »

Crowding is certainly a factor; the brood boxes are completely drawn out and full of bees.  That's why I was surprised they were so disinclined to move up.  I'll move a couple frames up, turn the queen excluder sideways, and cross my fingers!  Weird that they don't want to naturally create more space though by moving into the top super...
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