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Author Topic: How to draw bees into the top super  (Read 3151 times)

Offline tom

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How to draw bees into the top super
« on: June 08, 2006, 12:27:57 AM »
Hi

   My first hive is strong and working very well but they will not go up into the top hive body. Will taking a frame of drawn comb with some honey in it get them to move up and expand and store honey there all they have done is just moved up and not doing nothing.

Tom

Offline Brian D. Bray

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 12:57:45 AM »
If you're using a queen excluder--86 it.  Some hives will swarm rather than cross through it.  If that doesn't work or isn't the problem try baiting the wupper by moving a few drawn frames up there.
I assume you are using foundation, as this is usually symtematic of that situation.  Alternate the baited frames (NO Brood) with foundatiion in a cluster in the center of the super.  Put the foundation from the super into the brood box as a cluster on 1 side of the brood frames.
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Offline Finsky

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 01:07:48 AM »
Surely they rise up if they need the room.  It is dangerous to force them to do expansion.

Offline vabeeguy

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 08:39:23 AM »
I agree with Brian, do away with excluder if you have one. I noticed last year they were hesitant on moving up, so, I have been moving one frame of honey up and then spraying the empty foundation with sugar syrup and they seem to go up immediatly and start building comb. I use 3 mediums for the most part for brood and have yet noticed any eggs in the honey supers with no excluder.

Offline Scott Derrick

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 09:48:45 PM »
Finsky,

What is the danger of forcing them to expand? The reason I ask is because I had a hive that I wasn't drawing out the top super deep that has no excluder. I decided to rotate the bottom super with the top and pull four frames of brood to the bottom box. My thought is that this would expedite the expansion.

Scott
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 11:11:36 PM »
Please note that bees like to build down, not up.  In nature the bees begin by building comb from the top of the cavity they're in to the bottom--same is true for a TBH.  Moving brood frames to the bottom gives them the idea they've reached max out.  
Only 4 frames of Brood?  They aren't ready for a super yet.  When they have 6-8 combs brood and 9-10 frames drawn ( but not necessarily full) then super.  If you have only 4 brood frames the hive isn't building it's population to a level where it can do what you want it to.  Bees don't like empty space and they don't and won't build comb if there is no bees to occupy the space.  The only time bees don't cover all available comb is during the winter cluster.
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Offline Michael Bush

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2006, 12:41:10 AM »
>Please note that bees like to build down, not up.

Precisely.
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Offline Scott Derrick

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2006, 01:12:25 AM »
So then once the first hive body is full it is a good thing to put an empty deep on the bottom of a hive if you are looking to build up the hive?
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Offline Romahawk

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2006, 11:36:23 AM »
Quote from: Brian D. Bray
Please note that bees like to build down, not up.  In nature the bees begin by building comb from the top of the cavity they're in to the bottom.


So I have two new nucs in full hive bodies that need a second brood box and it looks like you are saying that the new box should be set on the bottom board instead of on top of the nuc, is that right?

If it is true that they build down then why in the spring does everyone say to reverse the brood boxes so the empty lower box is moved to the top?
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Offline Michael Bush

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2006, 03:38:17 PM »
The bees naturally build down.  But they will build where ever there is space.  It's EASIER to add boxes to the top and it works fine.  It also works fine to put them on the bottom.
Michael Bush
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Offline Romahawk

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2006, 04:49:03 PM »
Thanks Michael, now I have another thought (Question). If I wanted to convert to small cell in the brood boxes wouldn't it be easier to put a box of small cell foundation under the two brood boxes in the spring rather than try and feed a few at a time in through out the year. That would recycle all the frames in the brood boxes every two years. If I'm thinking right the top brood box would then become a honey super as the queen is forced down to the two bottom boxes. You could then continue to use or discard the old comb depending on condition every year after the third year. Reasonable, not reasonable?  :?
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Offline Michael Bush

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2006, 07:28:29 PM »
>wouldn't it be easier to put a box of small cell foundation under the two brood boxes in the spring rather than try and feed a few at a time in through out the year.

But they will draw it better if you feed it in.  It will also help control swarming if you feed it in.  It will also encourage them to expand the brood nest more if you feed it in.  There is no downside except the labor.

> That would recycle all the frames in the brood boxes every two years. If I'm thinking right the top brood box would then become a honey super as the queen is forced down to the two bottom boxes. You could then continue to use or discard the old comb depending on condition every year after the third year. Reasonable, not reasonable?

If your bees behave much more preditably than mine, maybe it could work.  You're going to have to go through the hive and pull out either empty or honey filled frames to rotate combs regardless.  If you want to end up with a small cell brood nest you'll have to measure some now and then to end up with 4.9mm in the core of the brood nest.
Michael Bush
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2006, 02:20:23 AM »
>>The bees naturally build down. But they will build where ever there is space. It's EASIER to add boxes to the top and it works fine. It also works fine to put them on the bottom.

And using the best of both tendencies is why the standard practice for supering is once above the brood chamber move the top super up and put the next 1 under it.  having honey above and below the fresh super, whether comb or foundation, will cause to bees to fill in the space by drawing out and filling the combs.
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Offline steveciii

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2006, 12:02:03 AM »
Hello,

I have a newbee question....
I was just watching a bee program on RFD TV on bee's and Dr. Keith Delaplane was switching his 2 big brood box's with a Big brood box and a Med super..... He said it was normal thing for wintering over in the south, because of milder winter's down here in the south....???

He said that the brood moves down and to take the one off the top and leave the bottom....

Here is where I am confused....
Are ya'll saying they "Build" up on new foundation....
and what the mr. Delaplane was saying:
they would "move" down(ie brood laying) if drawn out comb was allready there....?????

I now he was talking about getting ready for wintering up.... and ya'll are talking about spring time..... so is there a diff between the two...????

I am tring to learn a lot of stuff.... man is this great or what....
Please don't bash me to harshly for asking a simple questions....

I'm kinda thick headed... (my wife say so anyway)
If you bash my head on the brick wall....... Sooner or later I will "see" the blood and say "Och".... he he he

Thanks
Steve

Offline Brian D. Bray

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2006, 12:12:49 AM »
>>He said that the brood moves down

Moving down means as summer winds down the queen will decrease the brood chamber into the bottom brood box.  In your area the bottom brood box plus the honey stores in a medium super are enough to winter the hive in good order--usually.  Usually barring a parasite or disease outbreak of somekind.

so is there a diff between the two...????

In the spring the focus is on building up for the honey flows, getting the hive large enough to gather as much nectar as possible in the shortest period of time.  In the fall the focus shifts to harvesting the honey and battening down the hatchs for cold weather so the honey needs to be harvested early enough to allow the bees one last honey flow to fill stores for the winter.
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Offline Michael Bush

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2006, 07:58:58 AM »
If there is empty drawn comb in a hive, they will use the empty drawn comb.  If there is no drawn comb and they need comb and there is space, they will draw comb.  Regardless of where it is, this is the sequence.  They will draw it more redily if they have a reason to be in that space already, like brood to care for etc.  They do not like to cross an excluder as they have to squeeze through, literally.
Michael Bush
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Offline Finsky

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How to draw bees into the top super
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2006, 10:45:13 AM »
Quote from: rsderrick
Finsky,

What is the danger of forcing them to expand? The reason I ask is because I had a hive that I wasn't drawing out the top super deep that has no excluder.


 The system of brood area of bees is quite delikate. They coltrol temperature inside very narrow area.  If beekeepers try to "help" or force to do what bees are not able to do, colony will meet draw backs. They destroy much larvae and pupae.   When you look after a week what have happened in the hive it is not nice to see.

I have learned this through hard way. No one have warned me.

I have seen too that bees occupy frames when they are ready for that.
When you look in the morging into hive, you will see that colony is quite in clump and by day they have spread everywhere.

For exacple it isa said that queen try to lay eggs towards upstair.  When I begun to use thermo cabel on bottom board I noticed that queen like to lay eggs in first box near bottom.  Lowest box is too cold.

When you chanege brood box, after one week you will se what have happened near entrance.

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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2006, 01:36:56 PM »
I am in agreement is well about the throwing of the excluder. Here in Africa they act as a deterent to making honey. The best thing to do is wait for a flow and than put the super on, they will be rearing to lay honey there. So you lose a bit in wax production the first flow, the next one will be ripe. If I time my supering here right on the gums I pull one off a week.

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Offline elvydas

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Excluder
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2006, 06:42:57 PM »
For years I had the same problem. With the excluder, I had to bait them, beg them and cajole them to go up. Without it, they would go up easily but the queen would start laying eggs in the bottom one third of the honey supers. An old timer told me to take an excluder and cut a section of screening off each end. His theory being that a queen lays eggs in a certain pattern and it is mostly in the center of a frame. This way the center is screened and a couple of inches of each end is open for the workers and easy access. What have you got to lose? You can always go back to unscreened.

Offline tom

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Well the bees have moved up
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2006, 09:33:34 PM »
Hello

   Well i went and took a look at the top brood chamber where i took a frame out of the middle and to my surprise they are drawing out frames and my queen has moved up and laying in the top chamber and they are storing honey so i am pleased but now i have to get my other two hives to build up and draw out all of their frames so they will have plenty of room.

Tom