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  1. #1
    kookaburra Guest

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    Hi I have 2 question, I'll ask the questions first and then fill in the details after (uh oh, now I sound like I'm on a call in help show!!)
    1. If I put a super of drawn comb over a partially (1/3) drawn will they finish drawing the bottom one before filling the drawn comb?
    2. Feeding honey: should I dilute this if I want them to use it to use it to draw comb? If I don’t, then do they just throw back it into the nearest cell?

    I am trying to maximize their drawing out comb, but am also hoping to harvest some fall honey. I’ve been feeding, so I extracted the full super (contaminated with suger, still tastes pretty good). They are working on drawing out that second super, and I am feeding that contaminated honey back to them. I am hoping that they finish drawing that super out and then fill up the drawn comb.

    Thanks for all the answers and questions that I've been reading over the last year!!
    -rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

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    >1. If I put a super of drawn comb over a partially (1/3) drawn will they finish drawing the bottom one before filling the drawn comb?

    You can never tell with bees. Sometimes they will finish the bottom one and sometimes they will chimney up the middle. I don't care which they do. I just make sure they have the room to use as they need.

    >2. Feeding honey: should I dilute this if I want them to use it to use it to draw comb?

    I never diulte honey to feed it because it will spoil if you dilute it and it won't if you don't. And the bees have to dry it back out if you dilute it, making them work harder. I just feed it staright. The bees will happily suck it up. But they do get stuck in it easier, so be careful of feeders where they already drown easily.

    >If I don’t, then do they just throw back it into the nearest cell?

    That's what they will do whether it is honey or syrup. The throw it in the nearest cell until there are none to throw it in, and then they draw comb. Bees will NOT draw comb if there is already drawn comb available to put the syrup/nectar/honey in.

    >I am trying to maximize their drawing out comb, but am also hoping to harvest some fall honey. I’ve been feeding, so I extracted the full super (contaminated with suger, still tastes pretty good). They are working on drawing out that second super, and I am feeding that contaminated honey back to them. I am hoping that they finish drawing that super out and then fill up the drawn comb.

    I'm not sure I'd use the term "contaminated" to describe sugar syrup, but I agree it's not honey.

    Deprived them of comb and feed them and they will draw it. Put a lot of bees in a big box with just few frames of comb and feed them heavily and they will have to draw comb. They will have no choice.

    But are you sure you want to work that hard and stress them that much? Why not just feed them and let them do what they need to do.

  3. #3
    kookaburra Guest

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    Thanks for the reply!!

    Trying to acheive several things in this order...

    1. Get extra stores to share with another hive that is still pretty weak and will probably need the extra help. I need this drawn first, though.
    2. Get drawn comb. I have no other drawn supers except what they've done (1 1/3 super so far).
    3. Get some suplus for me if I can!!

    I think that they need something more to do, though, there have been a lot of queen cups (empty) showing up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

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    A quick way to get some drawn comb is do a shakedown. Setup a box with an excluder on the bottom board as an includer and one frame of open brood and maybe another of capped brood and a lot of foundation and shake all the bees in including the queen. Give the frames to another hive. Feed.

    They have no choice but to draw comb because they don't have any.

    This time of year this can work fairly well. They will be in a race for winter. They probably will need some frames of stores back later, but you can steal them back from the hive you gave them to later in the year.

  5. #5
    kookaburra Guest

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    That is an interesting idea. I missed seeing what you meant in your first post.
    I'll keep that in mind, but right now I don't want to do anything so drastic. (like you said about the stressing the bees!!)

    Thanks, rick

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