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Author Topic: bees arn't working in honey super  (Read 785 times)

Offline mharvey

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bees arn't working in honey super
« on: July 15, 2012, 09:05:21 PM »
   This is my first year as a bee keeper and so far its been exciting, but today I did an inspection on my hive and notice that I had some bees in my honey super but they have not been working it.  I added the super two weeks ago after an inspection and saw that the second hive body frames were almost full of brood and capped honey.  At that time I also removed the inner cover to add a propolis trap and also vented the outer cover with a stick about an inch in diameter. Do you think the trap or the large stick as a prop for ventilation is keeping the bees from wanting to get in that upper box?  Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

Offline AllenF

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Re: bees arn't working in honey super
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 09:28:15 PM »
First, where are you located?   The flow may be slow to none there.   And the bees may be working in the brood boxes.   Did you use a queen excluder?   If so, remove it on new frames without comb. 

Offline mharvey

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Re: bees arn't working in honey super
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 10:17:38 PM »
  I live in southern Michigan, and yes I do have a queen excluder on. The temps have been in the upper 90's here last week and I was wondering if that may have something to do with it also.  I noticed that most of the frames in the hive body were full with brood or capped honey and noticably quite a bit heaver.  If I do remove the queen excluder what will prevent the queen from getting up in the super and laying eggs? Thanks again for your time

Offline Wolfer

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Re: bees arn't working in honey super
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 10:48:53 PM »
I'm not really qualified to give advise but here's my experience. Bees are slow to work above an excluder, my queens very rarely come above the second deep, the top cover only needs to be propped up 1/8" or so. My bees won't build comb where there's a draft. They are very capable of venting the hive and they like to have full control. They also only build comb when they need it so if they still have room to work in the brood boxes of if the flow is slowing down they won't work the super. Their usually slow to start a super without any drawn comb but once they start they go like gangbusters if they need it.

Offline tryintolearn

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Re: bees arn't working in honey super
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 09:48:16 AM »
i had the same problem here in sc  bought a nuc and started feeding 1st of june...they would consume a quart a day.  put them in a deep hive body with 5 frames filled comb and five of foundation...even with the feeding they were slow to build.   inspection showed queen laying,  capped brood, honey,  and the like...yet still they were slow to add new comb...weeks later upon inspection i found a queen cell that was opened  found the queen( wonder if they superseded her)...well anyway the intake of 1/1 slowed down dramatically...and i discovered we have a cotton flow going on now....and they just took off ballistic...building new comb now....just added yesterday new deep hive body and placed a frame from bottom to top and this morn they are building in top box already...and i was ready to give up????

i would suggest if no flow going on there keep feeding they will let u know when they prefer something else to take in

good luck

Online kathyp

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Re: bees arn't working in honey super
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 11:11:19 AM »
get the excluder off at least until the bees are working the boxes.
 even if the queen were to lay there, so what?  unless you are doing cut comb, it makes no difference.  most of the time, she doesn't go up there because there is already honey over the brood nest and most queens don't go over it.  if she does, and you want the brood out before you take honey....which you probably shouldn't be doing the first year....you can run her down, put the excluder on, wait for the brood to hatch and take the super.

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Offline AllenF

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Re: bees arn't working in honey super
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 04:13:57 PM »
Ditto.   Remove the excluder.   You want the bees to work those frames and draw them out.  Bees really want to store honey over brood.   You can always open up a little brood space below.  Excuders only work with already drawn frames.   

 

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