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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mount Hope, N.Y USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Bees not building foundation!

    Hi all, I have 2 hives from previous year, one is two supper deep and another hive is only one supper. I added to each hive a medium with frames and start foundation. The problem I have that bees not building any foundation in the medium. I installed the mediums at the begining of April and since then no activity at the medium.Both hives were full of bees. The hive with Two deep, it swarmed 3x already and they had plenty room to move up and build the medium, but they did not. Same problem with the other hive that has only one supper and medium on top - it swarmed 2x and the medium was not touched. Can anybody explain what is the problem? and what should I do to fix this? Thanks for any responses.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default

    They will build it when they need it.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    Are you using an excluder?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mount Hope, N.Y USA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    No, I am not using excluders.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,709

    Default

    Are you using unwaxed plastic foundation? Pierco type,Honey Super Cell, or Duragilt? (If the wax gets off the Duragilt, the bees won't think of touching it.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Council Grove, KS
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I'm having exactly the same problem, and Yes, I'm using an excluder.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Council Grove, KS
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I'm using wax foundation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,709

    Default

    Lose the excluder.

    Or pull a frame or two of brood up from the bottom box. That will draw bees through the excluder.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,264

    Default Seems Like this is a recurring problem

    I am beginning to wonder if it is a problem with an accummulation of the miticides in the wax supplies because of chemical treatments. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mount Hope, N.Y USA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I bought the foundation Dadant and it's Crimp Wired Wax.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Litchfield County, CT
    Posts
    53

    Default

    A couple of thoughts from someone with more book knowledge than experience:

    -With several swarms having been cast, they may not "need" the space right now

    -You didn't mention if you've been feeding your bees syrup. They need a flow of some sort, natural or artificial, to make wax and draw out comb.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    If the swarming was do to overcrowding, they should have moved up. I would definitely move a drawn frame up into the super to encourage them. Excluders do sometimes slow them down from moving up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    rochester ny usa
    Posts
    36

    Default

    hi
    i'm in upstate ny
    and having a similar issue. feed em and move a couple of frames up to draw the bees up.. if you have drawn foundation you could spray it with some sugar syurp to get them intrested. It seems to me that my bees this year are moore intrested in throwing swarms then they are in building up their honey supplies or improving the hive that they are in

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windham,Me,USA
    Posts
    25

    Default moving on up

    I had this problem last year. Try placing the medium super between the deep boxes on the double deep hive to get them to draw out the foundation. dont leave it too long as you dont want brood in the medium super,once they draw it out some place it back on top.
    The single deep hive take the medium off and replace with a deep,then you can pull 1 or 2 frames of brood up to get them working in the top box.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mount Hope, N.Y USA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Thans for all the responses. I don't think I should feed them because the deep supers are filled with bees and they will probably swarm again.
    Thanks jrtrapper and locoskip for the sugestion to put the medium super between the deep and spray with some sugar syrop and that should probably work.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Bernardino County California
    Posts
    168

    Default

    Every time I feed sugar syrup I get paid back with lots of drawn comb! My Bees do prefer wax foundation to the plastic though.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    550

    Default

    Few weeks back I warned the northern beekeepers to look out for swarms, the weather has been perfect for swarming this year, strong hives, nice days and 5-6 days or raining, nice days again and swarming.
    Putting supers with foundation and expecting the bees not to swarm "because they have enough room" is asking too much. Drown comb makes a difference in a weather like this.
    Once again Bee biology is the answer. What we people perceive as "room" and what bees do are two different things. In this case a supper of undrown comb above what bees perceive as they nest is not "room". The bees will ignore it and with days advancing and their numbers growing, they will feel crowded and swarm.
    The bees need incoming nectar to draw comb and with the interruption we have had the bees focus only on the drown comb.
    The solution consist on the changing and expending of what bees perceive as their brood nest, this is done not by putting a supper with foundation but by moving 2-3 frames of brood on a new deep on top of the existing ones. The best scenario in the lack of constant nectar flow is drown frames but even foundation will work.
    So the difference is the use of foundation not on top but on the sides and in the brood chamber.
    Like everything else in beekeeping, anticipation is the key work. When we see Q cells it is too late, we should split and in this way we are controlling and not preventing the swarming.
    Even with our best intentions and efforts, swarming is going to happen, some bees will swarm. Certain bees swarm more, some seasons like our this year are more favorable to swarming.
    While we try to prevent it, we should embrace it when it happen. We should put out swarm traps with lures in the yards and visit them more often in this period.
    While swarming reduces the number of bees in a hive, affecting negatively the production of surplus honey, there are some important benefits to it.
    A period of broodless in the hive is essential to the health of the colony with cleaning effects on brood disease and devastation effect on Varroa (which I consider brood disease). From my experience, the colonies that swarmed in late May or early June and that were self requeened successfully, were strong enough and produced a good surplus in the late summer fall flow and overwintered much better than the colonies that did not have a interruption of the brood circle.
    Any swarms cached and hived, are a good basis the next season so your yard is well balanced with "new" and "old" colonies. In my opinion these new colonies don't need any kind of treatment in the fall.

    Gilman
    Last edited by bleta12; 05-31-2009 at 05:38 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Racine, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    115

    Default Feed em

    Quote Originally Posted by KRIS L View Post
    Thans for all the responses. I don't think I should feed them because the deep supers are filled with bees and they will probably swarm again.
    Thanks jrtrapper and locoskip for the sugestion to put the medium super between the deep and spray with some sugar syrop and that should probably work.
    KRIS if you are working with undrawn foundation feed them 1:1. You should read George Imiries PINK PAGES at http://pxbacher.home.comcast.net/~px...cal_Index.html
    George recommends feeding 1:1 until Labor Day when working with undrawn foundation.

    Good Luck with your bees.
    "Can't never did do nothin'" Grandma Heltsley

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    550

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Apple Farmer View Post
    KRIS if you are working with undrawn foundation feed them 1:1. You should read George Imiries PINK PAGES at http://pxbacher.home.comcast.net/~pxbacher/PinkPages/Alphabetical_Index.html
    George recommends feeding 1:1 until Labor Day when working with undrawn foundation.

    Good Luck with your bees.
    I don't think that feeding is the solution. His hives are swarming.

    Gilman

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