I started with a nuc for the hive in question. I put on either side of the nuc frames, SC starter strips. The bees did fine drawing out comb. I then put a medium box above the deep below and set it up with SC starter strips - the bees drew it out but made somewhat of a mess. They also filled these frames with honey. I want to encourage the queen to use this box for brood.
I know the bees will do what they want to do, but my current thought is to put another medium on this hive and move some of the honey laden frames up to the new box and feed in starter strip frames in the medium below (which is just above the brood box) Two questions:
1. Is this a good plan to get the queen to lay eggs in the box above and not be bound by honey?
I have heard that a queen will not cross a honey super to lay brood. From what I have seen in feral colonies this is partially true. I have seen the drone laid outside of the honey comb. Also I have seen the bees consume honey in one set of frames and move it to another super creating room for the queen to lay. I won't say it is scientfically valid. Brood is laid in a pattern. The pattern generally doesn't get broken up. So most likely the brood would be restricted to the area below the honey.
Now I want to clarify something. If you have just a few honey frames in the box and the rest are empty comb. The queen would lay in a pattern all the way up into the medium on those frames that stack on top of one another. So the two honey frames surrounding the empty frame are not a barrier to the queen. If all 10 frames are honey it becomes a barrier. If any of the frames are empty she will lay in them.
2. Should I leave a frame of honey (already there) between each starter strip frame I add - I was thinking to add about three frames of starter strips?
I think that would be fine.
This may all be moot - I may find when I open the hives tomorrow that the queen IS laying in the medium, but I am afraid she is bound below by the honey.
I am thinking it is all there also. I could always take a look.