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Author Topic: Removing burr comb and adding a super questions  (Read 1741 times)
ShaneJ
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« on: November 20, 2011, 03:47:02 AM »

Hi guys,

Question #1:
I did a quick inspection of my hive this afternoon and found that the migratory lid was 100% full of capped honey. Should I remove all this comb and put it on a tray outside the hive for the bees to recover the honey?

Question #2:
This hive is well over due for a new super to be added and I want to get one on ASAP but I have been told by the local apiary that its to hot to add new frames as the foundation will be to soft to support the weight of the bees. I don't see a break in the heat anytime soon so what should I do?

Thanks
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Shane
yantabulla
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2011, 04:26:22 AM »

G'day Shane J,

If they have filled the lid up they need a super.

Pull 2 to 3 frames of capped brood up into the new super & replace them with foundation to free up the brood chamber. This will draw bees up & give the queen more room to lay, reducing the risk of swarming.

The bees control the temperature in the hive.  Only extreme temps result in melting wax.

Chop the burr comb in the lid out with your hive tool & eat it yourself.  Leaving honey out encourages robbing & spreads disease.  It is also against the law to let bees rob honey in the open.

Good luck

Yanta

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ShaneJ
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2011, 06:56:20 PM »

Thanks mate

Will it matter if the frames of capped brood I put in the new super aren't 100% capped?

Thanks
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Shane
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 12:43:51 AM »

No, the nurse bees will still come up through the excluder (if you use one) and look after the brood, it will just take a bit longer to clear the frame if the brood aren't capped yet.
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yantabulla
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 12:59:18 AM »

That's right.  Pulling up capped brood means that it will hatch out sooner - more nurse bees & more room for the queen to lay in the bottom.

I pulled capped brood up on Saturday & the new foundation is almost fully drawn today.
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2011, 01:01:04 AM »

No, the nurse bees will still come up through the excluder (if you use one) and look after the brood, it will just take a bit longer to clear the frame if the brood aren't capped yet.

Thanks mate, I am keeping bees cause I like bees, the honey they produce is a sweet bonus sf delaying honey production is a side effect of doing the best for the bees, I don't mind at all.
I most probably wont use an excluder. I have read mostly bad things about them.
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Shane
ShaneJ
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 01:01:59 AM »

That's right.  Pulling up capped brood means that it will hatch out sooner - more nurse bees & more room for the queen to lay in the bottom.

I pulled capped brood up on Saturday & the new foundation is almost fully drawn today.

Thanks mate.
Almost fully drawn on in a few days. Wow, busy little bees.
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Shane
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 03:11:57 AM »

I most probably wont use an excluder. I have read mostly bad things about them.

Like what? I decided not to use an excluder on one of my hives as an experiment; top box was just full of drone brood and some regular brood, with the honey stored uselessly around the edges...useless for me anyway  Wink put a decent excluder in and the top box is 100% honey, not even any burr comb which there was heaps of without an excluder.

Oh and I had a migratory lid full of honey too, had to run a wire between the lid and box like a cheesewire to get the lid off. Ended up with about 4 kg of honey out of it!
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 04:11:17 AM »

A lot of people on these forums have said the excluder slows downs the bees moving into the top box. This makes sense to me, I mean I can just imagine the bees thinking "stuff this, lets build another queen and leave this place".
I also believe the excluder would help SHB hide from the bees and anything I can do to reduce the chance of SHB survival is worth it.
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Shane
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2011, 02:37:35 PM »

yeah I had the same problem witout an excluder, I had a lot of drone comb in the frames and the queen would always cross anything to lay in there. SO I added an excluder and bingo more honey than I know what to do with.
Also just a warning about putting brrod comb above an excluder make sure you have a way for the drones to get out other wise they will die and clogg up the excluder and this is not a good sight to see.
I have taken to leaving one of the mesh pieces off the holes in my migratory lid.
Also I have taken to leaving the burr comb in the lid because by my reckoning, it is now full and the bees will have to put honey in other spots eg the frames. So i leave it. I mean clean up the frames underneath it each time to keep the frames tidy but other wise ignore it.
Nick
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iddee
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 05:26:38 PM »

An excluder is not a good idea under 10 frames of foundation. If you are adding drawn comb or brood/honey frames to the upper box, the excluder is fine. If you add the excluder a few days after adding the foundation, after the bees are working in it, it is fine then. The problem arises when the top of the hive, as the bees know it, is under the excluder. They have no reason to go through it because they don't realize the upper story has been added to the house.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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ShaneJ
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2011, 07:16:10 PM »

That makes sense to me. I may try the excluder but I am still concerned they causes problems.
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Shane
yantabulla
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2011, 04:07:10 AM »

Shane,

If you have a few hives you can experiment with queen excluders.

That's the advantage that hobbyists have.  We can play around with bees without worrying about the bank manager.

I would doubt that many commercial Beeks in OZ would not use queen excluders.

I use QE's & they don't give me problems.  There is plenty of info around about how to draw bees through them.

You may want to set up a few hives with or without QE's & see how they go

Good luck

Yanta
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2011, 05:49:45 AM »

"They (queen excluders) are very useful in queen rearing, and in uniting colonies; but for the purpose they are generally used, viz., for confining the queen to the lower hive through the honey season, I have no hesitation in condemning them.  As I have gone into this question fully on a previous occasion, I will quote my remarks:—

“The most important point to observe during the honey season in working to secure a maximum crop of honey is to keep down swarming, and the main factors to this end, as I have previously stated, are ample ventilation of the hives, and adequate working-room for the bees.  When either or both these conditions are absent, swarming is bound to take place.  The free ventilation of a hive containing a strong colony is not so easily secured in the height of the honey season, even un-der the best conditions, that we can afford to take liberties with it; and when the ventilating—space between the lower and upper boxes is more than half cut off by a queen-excluder, the interior becomes almost unbearable on hot days.  The re-sults under such circumstances are that a very large force of bees that should be out working are employed fanning-, both inside and out, and often a considerable part of the colony will be hanging outside the hive in enforced idleness until it is ready to swarm. 
 
"Another evil caused by queen-excluders, and tending to the same end—swarming—is that during a brisk honey-flow the bees will not readily travel through them to deposit their loads of surplus honey in the supers, but do store large quantities in the breeding-combs, and thus block the breeding-space.  This is bad enough at any time, but the evil is accentuated when it occurs in the latter part of the season.  A good queen gets the credit of laying from two to three thousand eggs per day: supposing she is blocked for a few days, and loses the opportunity of laying, say, from fifteen hundred to two thousand eggs each day, the colony would quickly dwindle down, especially as the average life of the bee in the honey season is only about six weeks. 
 
"For my part I care not where the queen lays—the more bees the more honey.  If she lays in some of the super combs it can be readily rectified now and again by putting the brood below, and side combs of honey from the lower box above; some of the emerging brood also may be placed at the side of the upper box to give plenty of room below.  I have seen ex-cluders on in the latter part of the season, the queens idle for want of room, and very little brood in the hives, just at a time when it is of very great importance that there should be plenty of young bees emerging.” 

--Isaac Hopkins, The Australasian Bee Manual, 1911 edition
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Michael Bush
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2011, 06:22:14 AM »

Thanks Michael, I think I will try my number one hive without an excluder.

Yanta, The apiary I get all my gear from doesn't use excluders and I am sure if I asked for one I would receive a mouth full of blah blah blah they are no good for this and that reason..(Typical ol timer Smiley ).
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Shane
yantabulla
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2011, 03:45:08 AM »

I won't be throwing my excluders away

Let us know how you get on

Yanta
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2011, 04:14:59 AM »

No worries, I ended up having to put a second super on my trap box today. I didn't bother with an excluder. I'll also be putting a super on my first hive tomorrow or Sunday.
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Shane
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