Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Rock County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Bees in the honey super

    I've put honey supers on both of my hives about two weeks ago, but I am still not getting any bees building comb on them. There are no queen excluders on them. Does anyone have any advice on how to get the bees to move up?

    Any help would be great, thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Hancock County, TN
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Guessing that the brood chamber is full of bees and lots of brood in there, if not they are using all their energy to get the hive up to strength before adding to the honey supers you added. So lets hear about the strength of the hive first.
    Sideline beekeeper /State Certified Inspector
    Bee Friends CO-OP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Rock County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    The strength of both the hives are great. Lots of brood and bees at least in the top hive body. I would assume the same for the bottom hive body.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,403

    Default

    Assuming the colonies are up to strength, my second question would be: Is there a honeyflow starting or in progress? If so, what is that source, and historically, how strong is it?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    839

    Default

    Move up frames of honey from the lower chambers, and place frames of foundation into the middle of the lower chambers. Place the frames of honey into the upper supers, between the foundation. This should help move the bees up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Rock County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    This is only my second year beekeeping and we had the same problem last year, but I just figured it was because there were queen excluders and they were still building up their colony.

    The hives are located in the middle of a 200 acre prairie with plenty of flowers blooming throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

    Would making a top entrance help any?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,403

    Default

    I don't know how it would work in your area, but I tried something for the first time this season that has greatly boosted the production from the hives I manage for honey production.

    Configuration for Honey
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I don't know how it would work in your area, but I tried something for the first time this season that has greatly boosted the production from the hives I manage for honey production.

    Configuration for Honey

    I'd be worried about water infiltration in our area, especially this year when we have received too much rainfall, all at one time. Sounds like a great management tool for you in the drier southwestern states.

    MM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,549

    Default

    In this area we are done with dandelions and waiting for the hay to be cut so the clover comes on. There is a little still coming in but nothing major. Not sure how much your wildflowers contribute or if clover is your main crop also. What type of foundation (size, wax or plastic?) are you using? Plastic is definitely harder to get them going on, but going through the excluder onto any kind of bare foundation can be tough unless there is a good flow on.
    If you can move frames around like previously suggested that will work but if your supers are mediums and your brood chambers deeps you can't. I would leave the excluder off until they are working the first super, even let the queen get some brood started, then move the queen down and place the excluder on under the super. The brood will keep the bees up there and working. An upper entrance will help too.
    Sheri

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    Same situation here but some of my hives swarmed and they aren't building comb in the supers either. You say your hives are strong so that's good at least.

    The Black locust bloom looked good at first but the flowers were drenched by the rain and turned brown/yellow after that pretty quickly. Maybe with all the rain and relatively cool temperatures in the evening it has affected the nectar flow more than we realize. Also it has produced a lot of "vegetative growth" but has slowed the production of nectar producing flowers. The weather looks a lot better for the next 10 days or so and the clovers are blooming so maybe we will have a nectar flow after all. If you are anywhere near the Rock river,the Basswood should start blooming in a week or two.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lynchburg, Va
    Posts
    23

    Default Bees in honey super

    I had the same problem my first year. I put a queen excluder on when I put my first super on. They would not go through the excluder. I talked to our local Dadant dealer and he said remove the queen excluder.

    He said that they have no reason to go through the excluder to the empty super. So let then start drawing comb and collecting necter. Give them several weeks then put the excluder back on the hive. Make sure the queen is in the brood chamber when you put the excluder on.

    ray

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    Posts
    190

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I don't know how it would work in your area, but I tried something for the first time this season that has greatly boosted the production from the hives I manage for honey production.

    Configuration for Honey
    Joseph, I note each successive honey super is slid back 1/4 inch - is that to say it is slid back enough to give a direct entrance into each super, or just ventilation, or is the 1/4 inch not enough to create a gap between the edges of the boxes??

    Just trying to get it clear in my head

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,403

    Default

    I slide them back just enough to let bees (and air) through.

    This is to serve several purposes:
    Foragers never need to bother the brood nest unless they either run out of room in the honey supers or purposefully move nectar or pollen into the brood nest because it's needed there. The bees are masters at controlling air flow, I can see them leaving the area open for convection, blocking it somewhat with their bodies (assembling across the openings), or sometimes, even lining up and fanning to forcefully move air in the direction of their choice.

    At the bottom there is a shallow box the same length and width as a super with its bottom opening covered with #8 hardware cloth. Inside this box I fit a slatted rack, of various designs (mostly for my own curiosities sake), then, after placing and leveling this shallow box with bottom screened closed (but open to air flow) and holding a slatted rack (so the bees can cluster and control the air flow) onto concrete blocks, I then place super(s) to be used for the brood nest onto this shallow box, I make sure there is a small hole, somewhere in the brood supers, large enough to permit drones or a virgin queen an entrance directly into or out of the brood supers. I then place a queen excluder over the top of the brood supers, then an entrance rim immediately over the queen excluder. All supers for curing nectar or honey storage are placed above this entrance rim. This configuration has the majority of house bees stationed in the honey supers, foragers don't need to visit the brood nest unless they have a particular need to do so. Unless they run out of space in the honey supers, the brood nest remains open to permit the queen to have the maximum space to keep laying.

    This is my first season trying this configuration, and it has worked marvelously well. If I were in a cooler and wetter geographic location and thought that my bees would not be able to handle moisture entering the hive from precipitation, it would be a simple matter to realign the supers and the cover to eliminate these extra openings.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-17-2008 at 10:44 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Rock County, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    I didn't even think of what all the rain and flooding has been doing to the blooms. I will wait it out and hope for the best. Thanks for your help!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default honey supers

    when the nectar comes in, bees will put honey in supers, excluders or not. Without honey flow there is nothing you can do to make the bees do what you want.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    217

    Default

    When you get a good strong honey flow and there is no room left to store honey in the hive bodies. your bees will begin drawing comb and storing honey in your honey supers. Until that happens your honey supers will remain empty.
    Bee just and just bee

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    goshen, ma
    Posts
    359

    Default

    Hey joseph neat idea but i was just wondering don't you end up with alot of pollen in your honey supers?
    -jeff

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,403

    Default

    I thought that might happen, but oddly enough I've had to move a few frames almost solid with pollen and/or honey out of the brood supers (especially the top one - the bottom one seems to stay almost solid with brood) and replace them with frames of either empty comb, plastic or beeswax foundation, or foundationless. I move them into one or two of the "honey supers" which I mark to use for feeding back to the bees.

    - - - - - -
    I wish to make sure not to take credit for this idea - I read about it here on BeeSource: [http://www.beesource.com/pov/hayes/abjaug85.htm]. Apparently it was an article in the "American Bee Journal" in August 1985, reporting on a queen excluder experiment. I only tweaked the idea a little bit to fit some of my own ideas. Where they use a closed bottom, mine is closed to bee traffic, but screened for ventilation and includes a slatted rack so the bees can cluster and control the air movement. Instead of deep supers for brood chambers I use mediums, and all my equipment is 8-frame width, instead of 10-frame. And, of course, I stagger the honey supers and the covers for even more entrance and ventilation area.

    I would like to have thought of this idea. For me it is an excellent marriage of the ideas of upper entrances and queen excluders. One of the most common complaints of queen excluders is connected with the idea and statement that they are, "honey excluders". Since this configuration reverses the normal situation where foragers enter the brood nest and either carry the nectar themselves or pass their nectar load to house bees who them must move through the brood nest, then through the queen excluder, before reaching the honey supers to deposit it, or deposit it in the first available cell. In this novel configuration the foragers access is through the honey supers and house bees occupy the brood and honey supers, where they can accept nectar loads from foragers or foragers can unload directly into the honey supers, house bees or foragers can move stores down into the brood supers as it is needed there, but they must move it down through the excluder. No bee "need" traverse the queen excluder in order to access the honey supers.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-18-2008 at 10:19 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by naturegrl22 View Post
    I've put honey supers on both of my hives about two weeks ago, but I am still not getting any bees building comb on them. There are no queen excluders on them. Does anyone have any advice on how to get the bees to move up?

    Any help would be great, thank you!
    I'm late in this conversation but if your supers are UNDRAWN you shouild only put one super on a hive at a time. After that super get 80% drawn than you can add another super.
    BEE-L snob since 1999
    What's a swarm in April worth?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    "The Black locust looked good at first but the flowers were drenched with rain and turned brown/yellow after that pretty quickly". - OB.

    "May and early June Black locust flows were hit and miss depending on the timing of the rain. Once the blossoms are rained on, they generally stop producing nectar and turn brown." --American Bee Journal; July 2008.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads