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Author Topic: bees not using honey super  (Read 2791 times)
Anonymous
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« on: July 29, 2006, 02:45:46 PM »

My partner and I are new to the beekeeping thing (installed our first 3 pound package of bees in April).  We now have one hive of two deep brood boxes brimming with bees.  About a month ago (around the time of blackberry flow-lots of honey being made) we thought it was time to add a medium honey super with a queen excluder, so we did.  It's been a month and the bees have not  touched the honey super-no comb being drawn, nothing! We're not going to harvest honey this year, as they are still a fairly new colony, but we want to be sure they have enough honey stored for the winter.  Should we be worried that they're not using super? Should we just remove it altogether? Any thoughts??!!
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Patrick
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 03:03:42 PM »

I can't answer your question, but I am sure someone with more experience can.  But, I have been lurking around on this site long enough to know the few other bits of info anyone will need to be able to help.
Where are you located?
Are you using a queen excluder?

Cheers
 Cheesy
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shado_knight
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 08:18:26 PM »

Get rid of queen excluder, spray foundation in honey super with a light coat of sugar water, 1:1 .
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 10:01:15 PM »

>Get rid of queen excluder, spray foundation in honey super with a light coat of sugar water, 1:1 .

Sounds good to me.

If there's no flow it won't make a difference, but if there is getting rid of the honey excluder, er, queen excluder will help a lot.
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Michael Bush
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Dale
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2006, 09:46:40 AM »

My bees did the same thing, just like last year, and the year before.  I'm not sure where you are located, but in my case, we are "inbetween" flows.  It will remain dead, until the middle of August.  The late summer/fall bloom will appear, and honey will be abundant again, especially when the goldenrod comes on.  
   If you want to try spraying the foundation with sugar water, go for it, but they won't do anything until they have more than enough to feed their brood.  You might want to feed them sugar syrup, but even then, they will probably use it for their efforts of raising brood.
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Dale Richards
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Wombat
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2006, 10:36:50 AM »

This happened to me once, and I was afraid that the ribs in the excluder were too close to actually let the bees through (dumb thought, back then). What I did was get a frame of bees and knock a good portion of them into the super above the excluder, put the foundation frames back in, and fed them the sugar water (1:1).  

I don't know if it was just timing or coincidence, or both - but it worked, like you wouldn't believe. The super was drawn out and filled before I knew it.

I'm guessing the sugar water was the key in my situation (building up the carbs fast), although there was still a strong flow on so they shouldn't have really needed it.

Anyway, worked for me!

wombat
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keeper007
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 02:00:29 PM »

remove the queen excluder and feed 1.1 sugar water
it'll be drawn out in no time Cheesy
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2006, 02:25:04 PM »

Shiloh,

If you will put what area you live in on your profile, it will help people give you advice that could pertain to your area. Cheesy
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Anonymous
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2006, 10:45:15 PM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
Shiloh,

If you will put what area you live in on your profile, it will help people give you advice that could pertain to your area. :D


Good advice! we forgot to say that we live in Santa Cruz,Ca.


Quote from: keeper007
remove the queen excluder and feed 1.1 sugar water
it'll be drawn out in no time :D
This seems to be what most people are advising. We will try this and thank you for the advice.

Quote from: Patrick
I can't answer your question, but I am sure someone with more experience can.  But, I have been lurking around on this site long enough to know the few other bits of info anyone will need to be able to help.
Where are you located?
Are you using a queen excluder?

Cheers
 :D
Thank you. We live in Santa Cruz,Ca and we are using a queen excluder Any other missing pieces of information you can think of that would help us in getting an answer to this question? Thank you
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2006, 10:57:29 PM »

Siloh,

Take it from an old beekeeper get rid of the excluder it is called a honey excluder or a swarm generator for good reason.  If you use one you'll get a lot of both.
Some bee colonies will swarm before they cross an excluder, some can be baited to cross through it, and some will go voluntarialy.
 
A few things to remember in making beekeeping easier:
1.  Give the bees plenty of room (once the hive is established) to work and super at 80-90% capacity of the box.
2.  Using 1 size box solves the problem of putting a medium or shallow frame of brood into a deep box at harvest time.
3.  Give the queen as much room as she requires to raise brood, the brood chamber will be reduced later in the summer--see # 2.
4.  Feeding should be done in only the following scenerios: A. To give a boost in the spring, B. To give a boost to top off stores in the fall, C. To weather a dearth or drought.
5.  Dearth and drought put the bees into a temporary "winter" mode so wax production, foraging, brood laying, etc., are reduced or cease entirely for the duration.
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 12:20:16 PM »

if you really don't want to get rid of the queen (honey) excluder, here is something i did.  

i put the super on and let them work on it for a while without the excluder.  when they had a good start, i put the excluder back.

now....i didn't do this for the honey.  i actually wanted to get the queen down into the bottom boxes for winter, but i wanted to add another honey super as well.  i don't have much time left until we'll be having first frost.  i don't expect to get anything out of that second honey super, but figured it was worth a try.

you guys have been hot!  there probably isn't much going on in your area right now?  are you up in the hills?
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lindsacl
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2006, 08:18:40 PM »

Hi -

I'm in the same situation - two large supers, queen excluder, two medium supers.  Many bees are hanging out on the landing board (it is around one hundred degrees!)

If I remove the excluder, doesn't that put me in a bad way for collecting honey in the autumn?  Given that I got off to bit of a slow start this year, should I just remove the excluder, forget about a harvest this year and work to strenghten the colony?  

Any help would be appreciated. THanks Smiley
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