This is my first year beekeeping. I bought 2 nucs of bees that were put into my new hives. In my area most people use a deep hive, then a queen excluder and then start with shallow supers. Both queens were doing well laying and the bees drew out all the combs rather quickly. The first super was about 70% full on both hives so I put another super on each one. At that point in one hive I could not find the queen, no new eggs and queen cells had developed. The other hive was going strong but did not pull any of the comb out on the new super I gave them. That was about 4 weeks ago. I check them about once a week. Two weeks ago I noticed that the queen cell had hatched and then last week I finally got new brood going in the one hive. I suppose due to not having a queen for several weeks could have something to do with that hive not drawing out the combs in the new super. Well unfortunately last week in my strong hive - I noticed that it also contained capped queen cells, no queen and no fresh eggs. So looks like I lost another queen? Anyway is there a reason they are not drawing out the comb other than what I mentioned. Will they not draw out comb if they honey isnt coming at a certain rate? Should I take a frame from the first super and move it up to the new super to entice them to come up there. I do see bees in the new supers each time I inspect the hives, but they just seem to be hanging out and not drawing out any comb? Any thoughts on that?
I would remove the queen excluder first. Then take a full frame of honey out of the lower super and put it in the upper one, just like you said. Yes, if no honey is not comming in it makes a big difference in cone production.
Everyone has something different to say about queen excluders. I don't like them. If you are realy not sure about it, try removing one and give it a week or so to see how much better the hive does. Hope this helps
Thanks for the info. I am going to try moving some frames around this afternoon.
First both of your nuc's have swarmed, due to lack of brood space- very common during a nectar flow (honey bound). Second when putting on a second super of foundation use the "bottom super" method. That would mean removing your 70% super, add your new foundation super then return the 70% super. "Top super" when using drawn comb. Also I seldom use queen excluders. Once you get a good "honey barrier" above the brood the queen will seldom venture out of her area. If you still have a good nectar flow this time of year, go for that second super. If not, you may want to consider giving that 70% super to your girls for the winter and have a strong colony next spring.