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Author Topic: Forcing them to fill the super  (Read 2866 times)
MagicValley
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« on: May 25, 2013, 07:59:32 PM »

I put a queen excluder on between the two deeps and the super about 6 weeks ago.  The frames in the super all have empty comb from last year.  The bees have not put a single cell of honey in that super.

This morning I drilled a hole in the bottom edge of the super and waited half a day before checking on them.  Not one bee was using that hole.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to drill 2 more holes in the super and block the bottom main entrance to the deep. Then the only way in and out of the hive will be via the super.

What do you think of this plan to get the super filled with honey?
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hardwood
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 08:07:51 PM »

You still need a bottom entrance. The honey excluder er...queen excluder will also keep drones below and they need cleansing flights too!

Scott
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bailey
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 08:17:13 PM »

Queen excluder in most cases are commonly known as honey excluders.
They have uses but they aren't great in the supers.
They don't really like crossing them and if there is room down stairs they will frequently use that first.

Be on the lookout for a swarm if you decide to leave it in place.  They may decide to cross it eventually but
They don't like it.

Pull a honey frame from down below up into the top,box and hope the beetles or moths don't get there first
Is my only idea to get them to cross it.
Bailey
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MagicValley
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 08:39:28 PM »

The deeps have a screen bottom, so there is plenty of ventilation.  The drones can hold their poop until they croak, I don't care.

The last time they swarmed was mid-June, so they are getting ready to do that again in a couple weeks, is my guess.

If they must enter and exit only via the holes in the super, and they don't like crossing the excluder, then when they cross it one time, they are stuck in the super or out foraging, because they won't go back down.
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bailey
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 08:48:47 PM »

No they won't be stuck in the supers but if you must use it then watch the hive close

Best I can think of.
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 09:48:30 PM »

You do not want bees contained so they cannot go out and void. They will make the mess on tops of frames and on the honey frames you want to harvest. Like bailey said about remove the exclude and bait the box with a honey frame. It would happen quicker if you could pull a frame of brood up in the middle of the box you want them to work in. I personally don't see the need to make more than one hole in a super and it could invite pest or robbing if there is to many places to defend.
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MagicValley
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 10:09:15 PM »

OK, tell me how you put a deep frame in a shallow super.
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2013, 10:42:41 PM »

OK, tell me how you put a deep frame in a shallow super.
I had a broken deep frame. I put it on the end to allow the brood to emerge and they started filling it with honey and nectar. I pulled it and cut the comb out and then cut it in half and used rubber bads to hold the pieces in two medium frames. Those frame then went into the new medium I put onto the hives to try to get the bees start working the new box.
 Unfortunately, it's been raining for the past week and the temp dropped too low for me to see if there is any progress.
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 10:48:22 PM »

If you weigh the good sunny warm days against the cool rainy days you might come up with some idea as to what the bees are doing.
50/50 is not a good average. Smiley d2
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10framer
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 01:06:26 AM »

put the super on the bottom with the excluder above it.  bees like to work down anyway and this forces the to get used to crossing the excluder and passing across that comb. 
we ran excluders in the 80's and it wasn't unusual to pull 4 supers per hive twice in one season.  i don't buy into the "honey excluder" claims.  if you time it right and the hives are strong they'll cross over and store in them.
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 05:00:57 AM »

Is the population enough to populate this super ? Maybe 2 deeps are enough space for your bees. I have similar issues and before a few days i added excluders to 3 hives to test a few things compared with other 3 hives with no excluders. I put it to the first deep at the moment the second deep was full of bees few frames brood and honey. The plan seems to be ok, the only thing have to consider is swarming. I have no supers with drawn comb, so this was the only way to gather some honey of the desired type by the clients. I think the current population is the main fault if your combs are drawn.
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2013, 05:16:11 AM »

.
Your colony is so small that it does not rise to the super.
Look what they have in broodboxes....how many brood frames...

And excluder between brood boxes? Strange idea.

Let the colony grow. You cannot force them , not at least to fill super.

A hive must be quite big that it truly fills a super. About 4 boxes.

If you force enough the colony, it starts swarming.

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JWChesnut
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2013, 09:42:57 AM »

If there is excess flow, and the bees are not just treading water, the honey is being stored somewhere.  That means the deep boxes are still being backfilled.  The bees won't move up until their core brood is surrounded by 1 or 2 frames of honey.

I'm guessing you overwintered with two deeps- the bees won't make surplus for you until the brood nest honey stores are replenished.   Your management should concentrate on making  sure the core brood doesn't get honey bound.  That is, a small population or weak queen may end of storing nectar in the upper deep and lose the ability to expand to fill sufficient frames with eggs when the flow and population ramps up.

I am confused by your description of the excluder location.  Is is it Deep-Deep-Excluder-Super or Deep-Excluder-Deep-Super.
I pretty sure you would need a minimum of two deep for an Idaho winter. 

I have had similar situations with excluders, the hive build burr comb everywhere below it, stores honey in burr on the lower side of the excluder, gets crowded and leaves the super untouched.  In a situation like that, no risk in pulling the excluder since the queen won't cross the "honey band" created by the over-active bees at the top of the brood.

I use excluders when I want to make a requeen split (to isolate the queen in a particular box), and temporarily to generate a honey band.  Running them season long is unneccessary and problematic.  My brood naturally moves to the very top of the hive in winter (I am assuming for warmth).

Hive management is an order of magnitude easier with a minimum of three hives.  In this situation you would be able to checkerboard the super with frames from a stronger hive, open up the brood frames with deep frames from another hive, etc.
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MagicValley
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2013, 10:36:24 AM »

The hive is:  bottom tray-deep-deep-excluder-super.

There has been for a couple years a hole drilled in the upper deep, but this year no bees use it.  I think over winter they waxed around it and it is sealed.

This morning I drilled 4 holes at the ends of a board, placed it across the bottom openings and hooked bungee cords around the hive, with the hooks in the four holes.  Now there are no bottom entrances, they are sealed with the board.  I also drilled two more holes in the lower edge of the super.  One hole has a plastic landing platform.  Now the bees can only exit and enter via the 3 holes in the super.

I do not open or mess with anything in the two deeps, that is left to whatever they will do.  I never take honey frames from the deeps.  Looking into it from the top, it is a jumble of wax, all the frames are stuck together.  I tried to move one frame last year and the top bar pretty much broke off, and the frame did not budge.  Now I just leave the deeps alone, everything is stuck good.

I'm going to leave the bottom entrances sealed for 3 days and see what happens.  Hopefully when I remove the sealing board, they will have acquired a new habit of using the holes in the super, and some will still come and go from there.  If not, I may try the suggestion to stack the hive: bottom tray-super-excluder-deep-deep, and see how that works.
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 11:03:18 AM »

the simple answer is that you take the excluder off.  if they have excess, they will store up there.  if not, they won't.  this is not always true with the excluder on.  sometimes they will have excess, store in the brood area, then swarm.

since your hive has already swarmed once, finski is probably right.  you don't have enough bees for them to feel compelled to store above.  add the excluder to that, and they will store below and swarm again.

it's your choice, but i don't think it's to complicated.
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MagicValley
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2013, 11:18:54 AM »

the simple answer is that you take the excluder off.  if they have excess, they will store up there.  if not, they won't.  this is not always true with the excluder on.  sometimes they will have excess, store in the brood area, then swarm.

since your hive has already swarmed once, finski is probably right.  you don't have enough bees for them to feel compelled to store above.  add the excluder to that, and they will store below and swarm again.

it's your choice, but i don't think it's to complicated.

Yes, I know that is the simple answer.  I want to get honey frames that did not have larvae in them.  Perhaps its just not that important

Sooner or later I'll close up the hive, put a couple pounds of dry ice in a super, and euthanize the entire colony.  Then I'll pry apart the wax mess in the two deeps, clean it all up, and get a new queen with 3 pounds of bees.
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2013, 11:30:38 AM »

"i want" and beekeeping don't really go together.  Maybe a puppy next time?   evil
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2013, 11:39:48 AM »

the simple answer is that you take the excluder off.  if they have excess, they will store up there.  if not, they won't.  this is not always true with the excluder on.  sometimes they will have excess, store in the brood area, then swarm.

since your hive has already swarmed once, finski is probably right.  you don't have enough bees for them to feel compelled to store above.  add the excluder to that, and they will store below and swarm again.

it's your choice, but i don't think it's to complicated.

Yes, I know that is the simple answer.  I want to get honey frames that did not have larvae in them.  Perhaps its just not that important

Sooner or later I'll close up the hive, put a couple pounds of dry ice in a super, and euthanize the entire colony.  Then I'll pry apart the wax mess in the two deeps, clean it all up, and get a new queen with 3 pounds of bees.
if you've got bees that have survived a couple of seasons with no management you don't need to kill them.  you need to go through and clean the mess with them in it.  if the top bar pulled off of one frame move over til you find one that will come out  and then remove them from side to side.  being as far north as you are i think it's fairly rare for bees to survive the winter without at least a little management.  i'm sure there is someone up in your area that would trade you new equipment for your mess to have those bees.  if i were there i know i would.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2013, 12:38:50 PM »

You are making all the wrong choices.
Do not kill survivor bees unless they are way, way  too hot to manage.  (and even hot hives will be calm if they are not in swarm mode).

Disasterous cross comb can be cleaned up. 
Twist the whole deep to break it free from the lower deep.
 Once broken free, you can pry up individual frames (or groups of 2 or 3 together).
 Use a knife to cut the cross comb apart.
Trim the burr down to frame. 
If the frame is too wonky, replace it with a fresh one. It has to be pretty bad to do this.

 You will have a drippy mess, and will have to kill some brood, but the bees will totally clean up the mess in just one day.
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2013, 01:13:53 PM »

OK, tell me how you put a deep frame in a shallow super.
Pile 2 shallow super. Then deep goes in.

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