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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,035

    Default

    Well if you don't have a screened bottom board, put a couple twigs under two corners of the telescoping cover so it lets warmer air chimney out the top a little bit. Or use/make an Imrie shim. Or use a top entrance.

    And sure, the bees do know what they're doing. But please consider: their knowledge is based on having developed their hoarding behaviors WAY before we beekeepers were feeding gallons of sugar syrup to them right inside their house .
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Mankato, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Thanks for the advice Ben; I will make some ventilation adjustments tomorrow. You make a very good point. Feeding could influence the natural storing tendencies of the bees. However, when I stopped feeding there was very little capped "sugar honey" only 10% of the center four frames, the lower half these frames were brood. The remaining frames were freshly drawn comb with some sugar water in them. At this point I stopped feeding and placed a honey supers on top. None of my hives moved up into the supers immediately. First they topped every frame in the upper brood box with capped honey. They then expanded the brood chamber to occupy 60% of the center six fames, using a small area under the capped honey and the outer four frames for nectar. It took each hive about two weeks from the time I stopped feeding to have the upper boxes in this configuration. At this point they started moving up and drawing comb in the honey supers. Over the next week the primary focus was the honey supers. The following week they decressed focus on the honey supers and began backfilling the brood nest with honey. I assume a majority of the brood hatched during this time freeing up space.

    What I don't understand is how could me feeding each hive about a gallon and a half of 1:1 over a month and a half this spring affect their decision to back fill the brood nest now? It's not like I feed them utill honey bound. I feed them enough to draw comb and raise healthy bees.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,035

    Default

    If that's the case they probably just don't have enough supers drawn to keep them from backfilling the brood area when you had a strong flow, so they just need to read some beekeeping books to get on the same page with us . It's a bummer, because the poor queen had to shut down for a while. One of the risks of different box sizes and queen excluders (I'm assuming you use one or she could lay in the drawn but empty supers).
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Brood nest backfill

    Generally speaking my Carniolans won't move up in to a super until the bottom boxes are full. Especially if they're in two deeps. You will learn more by observing the bees than by trying to make them do what you think.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Mankato, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Thanks for the input guys; I really appreciate all the advice. I think you are right Ben; it was all a timing issue. The odd thing is, I don't use queen excluders. However, at the time of the flow there was a well defined honey line at the top of the frames. Which I have read can deter a queen from laying above it.

    I also agree with you Tom. I think at this point in my beekeeping endeavor far more knowledge can be obtained by observing my bees than trying to manipulate them. I am starting to understand that beekeeping is by no means an exact science. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another. This being said I have decided to take a more passive role in managing my hives. Who am I to try and defy millions of years of instinctual behavior.

    Tom, you are right. The bees are smarter than me!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Andrew C

    Smarter than me too!

    And endlessly fascinating.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,984

    Default

    Sounds like your flow has run short, your queen has settled into the bottom, and the bees decided to fill the second instead of filling the super ( which I assume it is foundation aswell)
    If your going to make the hives fill out the supers, you have got to have the hives booming right on the start of the flow, and watch out for swarms.

    Nearing the end of the flow, they will focus thier energy to where it pays off the most, in this case, smaller hive, smaller brood nest, second full of honey.

    Extract the seconds, send it back to them over excluders. have them fill the seconds again on the alfalfa, and then feed them up as singles to winter indoors.
    If your wintering outside, id either leave them the full super for food and forget feeding, or pull 1/2 the frames, extract them, and feed them up with surip.
    One thing to consider, is there any surip in those frames? How much of it was being used up to excellerate the nest? Usually the hives tend to store some away while being fed, but if you had stopped feeding before the flow, they probably used it up.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Mankato, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    The funny thing is the two hives that were booming at the beginning of the flow are now my weakest hives. One of them swarmed today. Today I also discovered that the hives that were slow to start are now working overtime filling their supers. I had to add a second to each today. Any suggestion as to what to do with this swarm I just finished capturing? They are currently being housed in two medium supers with undrawn foundation stacked on top of each other for lack of a better option. I would think one of my four hives could benefit from them some how.

    Any suggestions anyone?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,984

    Default

    >>Any suggestion as to what to do with this swarm I just finished capturing?

    Put them straight onto foundation. Swarms are the best at drawing out comb. They are so focused on building a new nest, they will fill out a box in a matter of a week.
    Before they cast out, they gorge on honey, to be used right away on thier new nest.

    I always figure, if they are going to leave and you get them back, make them work off thier lost production having them build out comb
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    807

    Default

    people usually suggest giving the swarm a frame of brood to take care of so that they are less likely to split.if you are using diffrent size equipment that might not be possible.i would venture to guess that your light colored honey is from vetch.it went off gangbusters here this year.

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