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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westfield, MA, USA
    Posts
    28

    Post

    Hello all,
    I could use a little advise here. I have a hive with 2 deep hive bodies, an excluder, then one shallow super. When I checked it today I found capped brood in the shallow super. I assumed I trapped the queen above the excluder somehow, but I didn't see her, and when I looked in the hive body there was capped brood in there as well. It is a new metal excluder but it doesn't appear to be excluding. How would you all go about rectifying this. I would hate to lose all that capped brood but I don't want to make this a bigger problem for myself come fall either.
    Thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    I assume that it's not capped honey and you are sure that it's brood? Do you see any open brood in the super? Any eggs? If there is no open brood in the super, I assume it's really capped honey. The difference is that honey caps are farily white and almost shiny and brood cappings are yelow and not at all shiny. If there is open brood in both the super and the brood box, then you must have more than one layer. Is it drone brood or worker brood in the super? Drone has a dome shaped cap, like a bullet sticking up. Worker brood is basiclly flat (if you look closely worker brood has a slight arch to the cap, but you have to look close to notice it).

    Possible scenerios:

    1. You are mistaken and there is no brood and it is capped honey. (likely) Symptoms: White smooth cappings in the super and no open brood in the super. Solution: You're done everything is fine.

    2. There are two queens in your hive and one is above and one is below the excluder. (unlikely) Symptoms: Open brood and capped brood both above and below the excluder. Most of the cappings on both are flat, not bullet shaped. Solution: Be happy you have a 2 queen hive.

    3. There is a laying worker above the excluder laying drones and a queen below laying. (more likely than two queens but not that likely) Symptoms: Open brood and capped brood in both locations. Bullet shaped brood cappings above the excluder. Flat brood cappings below the excluder. Solution: The standard practice for this is a shakedown a couple of hundred yards from the hive so the laying worker won't find her way back to the hive. I would probably just shake (or brush) all of the bees off of the super frames into the hive and put it back above the exluder and see what happens.


    4. The queen is above the excluder. (likely) Symptoms: Open brood and capped brood and eggs above the excluder. Open brood and capped brood but no eggs below the excluder (unless it's been 10 days since you did this in which case there is NO open brood below the excluder). Solution: Find the queen, put her back below the excluder and don't worry about the brood above, it will hatch and they will fill it with honey eventually. You only have to not use it for comb honey because it will have cocoons in it. (chewy)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    I suppose there is another which you mentioned:

    5. The excluder is too wide and the queen is too small and the queen is moving freely between the boxes. This seems doubtful, but personally I usually don't use an excluder anyway. If you add another deep the queen should have more room to lay closer to the main brood nest and be less likely to want to lay up in the super. This may make they work a bit harder to keep the brood warm that is no above an empty box, but it should give the queen some room. I would run three deeps and no excluder myself. I would consider that the brood nest.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westfield, MA, USA
    Posts
    28

    Post

    Hello again
    Thanks for the informative answer to my question. Tomorrow I will spend a bit more time investigating. There is definitely capped worker and drone brood above and below the excluder, probably 10% drone. And there was some uncapped above (some in the process), but I'm not sure below as I only pulled one frame from the middle and it was mostly capped worker brood. I'll get back to you

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    128

    Cool

    2. There are two queens in your hive and one is above and one is below the excluder. (unlikely) Symptoms: Open brood and capped brood both above and below the excluder. Most of the cappings on both are flat, not bullet shaped. Solution: Be happy you have a 2 queen hive.

    This happened to me a few weeks ago. There was a opening in the top cover at 1 of the corners and apparently the hive below the excluder swarmed and moved to the super. No big deal though just let it go a little while then moved the super off and started another hive with it.



    [This message has been edited by cochran500 (edited June 06, 2003).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    olympia, washington, usa
    Posts
    8

    Post

    In the case of two queens, one above and one below the excluder... if you split the hive do you need to move the split a few miles away... or in this case can you leave them in the same yard?

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