I opened up the hive today to check if my queen was laying. The good new is that she is. I saw eggs, larvae, and capped brood in addition to lots of pollen ( don't know from what ).
Now I remember reading a little on this forum about the hive being honey bound. Now my hive has 2 deeps. The top is still filled with honey. I keep reading that the cluster should be in the top super by now. They never really made it up. I was worried that the queen would have nowhere to lay.
I saw three frames in the brood chamber that contained eggs, larvae, and capped brood. I rearranged the only two empty frames in the hive next to those three. This way, the queen could lay in them.
I think I did the right thing. Was it enough though? Is there anything else I should be doing for a honey bound hive? DOn't want them to swarm.
Thanks a bunch.
Yes, I think that's enough for the moment. They need some stores and pollen close and they can rearrange things some to suit them, but if both boxes are full of honey then there's nowhere to raise brood. I wouldn't worry if they are in the bottom box or the top box as long as they are doing well and there's healthy brood and a little extra room for the brood nest to expand. Another thing you can do if the brood nest is small and surounded by capped honey, is just uncap the honey on each side of the brood so the bees will move it. Bees are reluctant to uncap honey to move it, but they quite quickly move it if it's uncapped and in the way. Again, though, there has to be somewhere to move it to.
I'm with Michael (as most people seem to be).
If it were me I might try to swap some of the full frames of honey on the top super with some built out comb or foundation.
As a rule of thumb, I wouldn't really move any frames that are directly adjacent to the brood nest. My bees are pretty particular about having pollen and honey right next to them.
Proabably not a big deal with the amount of food you have in your hive, but a bigger deal at this time of the yearfor other hives. (the bees will starve with food in the next super if it is too cold for them to get to it).
At least now you know how much stores you need for a typical winter!
As long as you have enough room for colony expansion in the bottom chamber, the bees will use up the honey in the top as they expand their brood nest. Though I dont like to have that much honey overtop of my developing hive, for they cant explode into the next box the sameway. I usually remove a few or four frames and use the resources elsewhere. A conserverative hive as this one provides usefull resources for a hungry,or split hive.
My problem is that I only have the one hive. Two more are on the way...
I have no extra frames with drawn comb and I have nowhere to put the frames with capped honey. Maybe, I'll put some in with my two new hives ( from nucs) ?? How many do you think?
Maybe I can take a few frames of capped honey out now and replace with foundation. I can store the honey frames in the fridge.
Would this be good idea? How many should I take out and from where?
Yes, by all means give them to the new packages. If you want to pull a couple now, put them in the freezer so the wax moths don't get into them. Then let them thaw before you put them in the hive with the new package.
>>Maybe I can take a few frames of capped honey out now and replace with foundation. I can store the honey frames in the fridge.
Yes,. What I would do is leave the frames in the hive, and pull the honey frames when your packages come. Your bees not likely draw the foundation out yet anyway, or very well that is, but they will save you the bother of storing them. And your packages will likely arrive before your hive needs the space. I like to draw foundation when there are an abundance of young bees(strong and expanding hives) becasue they draw the best(uniform and straight) comb out. A good flow or honey or syrup always helps comb building
What kind of bees are they? That does make a difference. Also do you have any nector or pollen coming in now that they can use? It takes one cell of honey to produce one bee so you may find that if there is no flow on they will consume a lot building up.
I have Italian bees. There is lots of pollen coming in. However, the nectar flow in Md is from around April to June.
I did a better inspection yesterday. I found one colony to have to many stoes and the queen filling every empty cell she can find. The other is light on stores. I found out that I had a mouse in the first one. It must have climbed in during a cold night. As the mouse was dead on the bottom board and the bees were covering it will propolis and wax. The plastic foundation was not hurt and a place about 5 inches round was chewed out between 2 combs. Feed is going to the light colony in the morning. Pollen and nector are coming in from Maple and Dandelioins. I am going to have to postpone my split by a week(was planned for the 15th) because there is not enough drones.
How can you give a queen more room in a honey bound colony without having drawn comb? Since I am going to all mediums my hives have different size combs or I would just move honey to fix both colonies.
In a strong colony you can get away with a lot of things like even putting empty foundation in the middle of the brood nest. I usually don't recommend this unless it's strong and you are trying to regress to small cell. The advantage is they will more readily draw small cells in the MIDDLE of the brood nest.
But if you aren't trying to regress, you can add empty foundation to the edge of the brood nest. Basically, from a bees perspective, the brood next extends to the first capped honey in any direction. So you can just add it on the outside edge of that, meaning there may be some open honey between the empty frame and the brood.
Another way to expand the brood nest is to simply uncap some of that capped honey that is defining the boundries. The bees will much more readily move uncapped honey than capped and it gives them the opportunity to move it out of the way to make room for the queen to lay. Assuming of course, that there is somewhere else in the hive to move it to.
>>simply uncap some of that capped honey that is defining the boundries. The bees will much more readily
Ya, almost overnight in a populous hive