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Author Topic: Congested / Crowding / Honey Bound?  (Read 664 times)
ChrisT
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« on: June 03, 2012, 03:20:45 PM »

Chris here from Atlanta. This is kinda long, bear with me. Thanks

I installed my NUC April 14th into a deep box bc the supplier used a deep NUC. My plan was to always use mediums and eventually phase out the deep.

[1 week pass] April 21st. Inspected deep and found queen. All seems to be going well.

[1 weeks pass] April 28th I added first medium super.
Inspected the deep. They seemed to be laying eggs at a quick pace in the deep and thought it was time for more brood room, therefore the first medium super was added.

[2 weeks pass] May 12th I added second medium super 
The first super wasnt completely drawn out yet nor did it seem to have anything capped in it. They didnt really need the second one yet but they were close to finishing drawing the first one and I knew I wouldnt be able to inspect again before they would need a new one. I couldnt inspect the deep this time becuase the bees got cranky.

[2 weeks pass] May 26th Inspection shows they finished filling the first super and had drawn out all the comb for the second super. I didnt inspect the first and second medium supers but instead chose to inspect the deep since i missed it last time. The deep had eggs and capped brood and didnt seem to have much pollen or honey in it. I did "peek" at the first and second medium supers from above the frames and the first super seems to have capped honey and the second was completely drawn out but not capped yet. They seemed to be building comb at a faster clip than the first few weeks, so I started building a 3rd box.

[1 weeks pass] June 3rd I added 3rd medium super. Upon peeking into the second medium super, i see they started to cap the honey that was uncapped the week prior.

My question is: Because of the [weird] progression of my inspections, I assumed they would add brood to the first medium super that I added but on May 12th they were still drawing comb and by May 26th they had it all drawn out and filled with honey so the queen never went into the first medium super. (Yes I think that I didnt inspect often enough but they seem to be going gangbusters on their own with my limited interuptions of their hive)

This also relates to a question I have about being honey bound. Did they honey bind themselves? Theres no honey or pollen in the deep so technically they arent losing space in the deep to honey BUT the first medium super is full of honey which I "thought" they would use to expand the brood nest.

So, are they honey bound? Should I stick a new medium between the deep and the first medium? Or do you think they are fine with just the one deep for brood? It june, of course, and I think if they needed more room they would have made it by now or swarmed.

I also have a question about the definition of "crowded". Does crowded only mean no more room for laying eggs (like being honey bound)? Does it mean all the bees are gathering in the brood nest and not dispersing over the supers to thin out the congestion so to speak (like bees per square inch across the entire hive OR bees per square inch only in the brood nest)? Some people say the hive is crowded as each level is 70% drawn which I personally think doesnt relate to being crowded but rather just being ready for more closet space so to speak. So in that definition crowding would have nothing to do with how many supers exist (except that at some point they have no more storage space so they wouldnt be "bee crowded" but "honey crowded"). Which is why I think when people say "crowded" there are 2 types of crowded and I just wanted to confirm this.

Also the 70% rule, Is it 70% drawn AND CAPPED? or just 70% drawn before you need a new super? My bees seem to draw quickly but cap kinda slowly. Didnt want to crowd then since they cap slowly.

Anyone can help with the honey bound question or the crowding question?
Thank You

Chris

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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 03:41:20 PM »

Remember, bees alway store honey over brood.    Honey on top.  Brood on bottom.   Or at least that is where they want it to be until we change it around.   Sounds like your hive is doing just fine.   And the honey flow is over here so there will not be much more honey coming in. 
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scdw43
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 08:49:36 PM »

When the flow stops they will use the honey to raise brood if you leave it on the hive. They will have to move into the mediums. If you take the honey they will stay in the deep and cut brood production back.
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Winter Ventilation: Wet bees die in hours maybe minutes, no matter how much honey is in the hive.
ChrisT
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 05:35:30 PM »

I didnt know what scdw43 mean by their response until now.

For those who want to know what eventually happened, I left the 2 mediums full of honey on the hive and added a third medium.
What I found this weekend was they had not touched the third medium (I guess they came to screeching halt on building comb) and they had removed some of the honey from the first medium and started to raise brood there.

So as scdw43 said, if you leave honey on, they will use it to raise brood. I was just worried about them being honey bound which never happened. They moved the honey and started raising brood in first medium. I was also worried about them being crowded but since they never touched the third medium (even thought the second was completely drawn and mostly capped), apparently they werent crowded. I still have no concept of what crowded definitely is. In time i guess.

I wish i had taken the second medium of honey and forced them to scale back on brood production. Anyways, first year learning experiences.
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 08:13:20 PM »

Dry times are coming here in north Georgia.   Nothing will be blooming for the rest of the summer soon.  I am waiting for some sourwoods, then pack the bees up until fall.   
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