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  1. #1

    Exclamation

    I am in need of advice from everyone.
    I was given my first hive woodenware by a friend. He always setup his hive with one deep and the rest were shallow supers. When I started last year with a swarm, I was given the deep and a 4 shallow supers. The feral comb was tied into the deep hive body and before doing my homework, I put the super on top. The queen immediatly moved up to the super which was drawn out and began laying. It was 55 degrees here yesterday so I opened the hive to chek on them and put in a grease patty. It appears that the queen has moved to the deep, but the super on top has capped honey arced on all of the frames.

    THE QUESTIONs I have ARE:
    1. Some of the feral comb has come loose and is laying against the other frames. Should I remove these frames and put in new foundation? or retie them in?
    2. Should I remove the first shallow super that has the arced honey? The super on top of this one is full of capped honey from frame 1-9. They didn't miss any space. (One edge of the fram to the other is completely filled!)
    3. I am planning on splitting this hive in the spring. I know there are several threads out there on this, but with my configuration I think it will be a challenge. Should I modify my Nuc box so I can place a couple of frames from the super in it when I split? (I was thinking of a shelf of sorts to bring the bottom of the nuc to the bottom of the super fram and then place deep frames in as normal next to them. I would still leave the gaps needed around everything.)

    ANy Help Would be appreciated! I still want to get a honey crop, so if I need to wait to split until next year I will. (Wife wants to see some return on the investment!)

    Thanks Again Everyone!
    If you see me runnin' you'd better keep up!
    http://hillshivery.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,232

    Post

    Take these one at a time.

    1. If the comb is crossed so that the frames can no longer be easily removed, then you will have a very difficult time making a split. Either putting the comb back in place and tying it there or replacing with foundation would be acceptable. It would probably be best to put foundation in IF there is a nectarflow in the near future or IF you are prepared to feed until the wax is drawn out.

    2. The arrangement of the honey in the super depends a great deal on whether you have a queen excluder in place. Since you state the queen was in the super I will presume no queen excluder. In this case, the only manipulation required at this time of year would be to make sure plenty of honey is next to the cluster. Bees are already starting up brood rearing and once they have sealed brood, will not leave it to move onto frames containing honey. They can literally starve to death within inches of food. It might be a good idea to move full frames of honey to the bottom by switching the two supers. Do this only if there is no brood in the super!

    3. The best nuc box is a full depth hive body. In your case, you could build out a full depth body with foundation, then exchange 4 of the foundation frames with 4 frames of mostly sealed brood and honey and put in a new queen. There are lots of pitfalls in this process so either study carefully before doing this or ask lots of questions here or both. If you want to put shallow frames in a brood chamber, don't worry about modifying the brood chamber. The bees will build drone comb beneath the shallow frames. Once the drone cells are sealed and the hive is otherwise in good shape, you can remove the shallow frames and replace them with deeps if you choose. Cut the drone brood off the bottom of the shallows and feed it to the chickens to control varroa. Note that this only works if the number of shallow frames in the deep brood chamber is 4 or preferrably less.

    Fusion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    If you have a deep with feral comb tied in, and then two shallows on top of that, odds are that the cluster has moved mostly or completely into the shallows by now, and the deep should be close to empty.
    When you get some warm weather, check to see if the cluster has moved up, if they have, you can pull the deep and sort through the combs at your convenience.
    If the cluster hasn't moved up yet, they should as the weather warms up and they start rearing brood and using the honey up top.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    The feral comb was tied into the deep hive body and before doing my homework, I put the super on top. The queen immediatly moved up to the super which was drawn out and began laying.

    You make that sound like a bad thing. [img]smile.gif[/img] The queen did her job and layed a lot of brood and the hive prospered didn't it?

    >It was 55 degrees here yesterday so I opened the hive to chek on them and put in a grease patty. It appears that the queen has moved to the deep, but the super on top has capped honey arced on all of the frames.

    The cluster will most likely end up back in the top before winter is over. But you never know.

    >1. Some of the feral comb has come loose and is laying against the other frames. Should I remove these frames and put in new foundation? or retie them in?

    If they are empty, I'd remove them and put in foundation. If they have brood in them, I'd retie them. If they only have a very small amount of brood, it's your option. If they have a lot of other brood, I'd remove it, if it's pretty much all the brood they have, I'd leave it and tie it in.

    >2. Should I remove the first shallow super that has the arced honey? The super on top of this one is full of capped honey from frame 1-9. They didn't miss any space. (One edge of the fram to the other is completely filled!)

    How much stores do they have in the Deep? How much longer do you think winter will last? It's not critical that they don't lay in a shallow. It IS critical that they don't starve.

    >3. I am planning on splitting this hive in the spring. I know there are several threads out there on this, but with my configuration I think it will be a challenge. Should I modify my Nuc box so I can place a couple of frames from the super in it when I split? (I was thinking of a shelf of sorts to bring the bottom of the nuc to the bottom of the super fram and then place deep frames in as normal next to them. I would still leave the gaps needed around everything.)

    The headaches of having a mixture of frame sizes. Best case all your brood will be on the same size frame (whatever that is) and you can just do a split. But if it's a mixture of frame sizes, you can put the deep and the shallow both in a deep box. The bees will just draw comb on the bottom bar down to the bottom of the hive. You can treat this like a deep frame. Later you can work it to the outside of the brood nest until it's either full of honey or empty all together and remove it.

    >ANy Help Would be appreciated! I still want to get a honey crop, so if I need to wait to split until next year I will. (Wife wants to see some return on the investment!)

    Next year as in 2006? You can always start a small nuc and not an even split, or wait until two weeks before the flow and start one with all the open brood to maximize the field workers in the other one and that won't hurt your crop, in fact it may help.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5

    Post

    I did not check any of the frames around the cluster. I didn't want to disturb them. There were bees from the deep body all the way up to the top super. It appeared that the bees in the top super were working the bottom of the foundation? seemed a little early for that.

    Michael....Would you recommend a queen excluder to keep the queen from going into the supers and stay in the deep? Or maybe removing the first super with the arced honey (No brood) and replace it with the super that was full of honey?

    I just want to make the splitting process as easy on me as possible without stressing the colony too much.

    Thanks everyone for your advise!
    If you see me runnin' you'd better keep up!
    http://hillshivery.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    >I did not check any of the frames around the cluster. I didn't want to disturb them. There were bees from the deep body all the way up to the top super. It appeared that the bees in the top super were working the bottom of the foundation? seemed a little early for that.

    Seems early for Olney.

    >Michael....Would you recommend a queen excluder to keep the queen from going into the supers and stay in the deep?

    Sounds like the frames in the deep are mostly tied in comb and combs that fell out. Wouldn't it be easier to split if the brood is all on movable combs that won't fall out?

    Anyway, this is NOT the time of year to put an excluder on in your climate. The queen could get caught on one side when the cluster moves somehwere for stores and she could die.

    >Or maybe removing the first super with the arced honey (No brood) and replace it with the super that was full of honey?

    I'm not sure what difference you think that will make.

    >I just want to make the splitting process as easy on me as possible without stressing the colony too much.

    Until you get them all on the same size comb, it's going to be a bit tricky and that's just the way it is.

    BTW, do they still have those white squirrels in Olney? We have black ones in Omaha.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7

    Post

    Michael...

    My thinking was that if I switch the arced super with the full super there would be no room for the queen to lay in the supers and thus would stay in the brood chamber.

    Yes we still have the white squirrels. (4 legged and 2 legged, but think the 2 legged numbers are growing!)
    If you see me runnin' you'd better keep up!
    http://hillshivery.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    Do you have, or can you get, any drawn comb besides the deep with feral comb, and the 4 supers?


    If not, don't worry about the queen laying in the supers, just think of EVERYTHING as "brood comb". Wherever the bees want to raise brood, let them. Get as much out of the queen as you can by feeding, and if they move up out of the deep, go through it and decide what's worth keeping and what isn't.

    Keeping the queen out of the "supers" is only really important if you have so many hives that you can't go through the frames looking for brood when you remove honey.

    Do you have bare foundation in the hive right now?

    What's the exact configuration of the hive right now? I'm picturing a deep with two shallows on top of it. Or are all four on?

  9. #9

    Post

    Relax. Your bees are alive!

    1. You will want to replace the tied in comb. As able, move these to the outside, provide new foundation interspaced to get drawn. AS it gets drawn, you can remove the junk. No hurry here.

    2. Cold temps are likely not over. I would leave the super on without a queen excluder.

    3. Get your 2nd hive equipment ready. You might make a split into a nuc box, but if you have 10 frames of drawn foundation with a fair amount of brood, you can make 2 5 frame splits with one super on each (sounds like you have 2 supers on this one).

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