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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Vassar, MI
    Posts
    10

    Default Correcting a Honey Bound Brood Box, Langstroth Hive

    Over the past month, we noticed that our top brood box was becoming “honey bound”. Honey bound simply means that the box has so much honey that the queen has no where to lay eggs, thus continuing brood production. The problem arises when the queen decides she needs to relocate part of the hive, aka “swarm”, to remedy the situation. In our case, the center two frames were full of brood, sandwiched by 4 frames of capped honey. The remaining 4 frames were virtually untouched. So why didn’t the queen find those empty frames? Because she will NOT go past honey frames. We had put on a honey super, but the bees never moved up. We also tried switching frames within the brood box, but the bees were not wanting to draw out comb on these new foundation frames (even after spritzing them with sugar water as suggested).

    Fearing a swarm, my husband decided he had to take action. Here's a video we took!

    https://youtu.be/N-Mtb3-OERw
    Last edited by Jenna Tetil; 08-29-2015 at 12:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    990

    Default Re: Correcting a Honey Bound Brood Box, Langstroth Hive

    Leave the brood in the center of the top box, and move the full honey frames to the outside. Put and empty frame on each side of the brood frames. That hive of your does not have a strong population. What is in the bottom box?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Vassar, MI
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Correcting a Honey Bound Brood Box, Langstroth Hive

    This was a NUC installed in May. Needed second brood box in just a few weeks. We had a rapid expansion in June, so added a honey super with queen excluder, but they never went up and actually swarmed. We tried switching frames prior, but bees did not want to draw them out (new foundations spritzed with sugar water). So we figured if we extracted honey and left them with drawn comb, we'd have a better shot. Bottom box is a great mix of brood and honey. We have since taken off excluder, as we were told it could be causing them to not want to go up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    3,754

    Default Re: Correcting a Honey Bound Brood Box, Langstroth Hive

    Shouldn't they be filling the top box with honey this time of Yr? I know mine are here in IL. It really hard to get them to draw this time of yr too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,135

    Default Re: Correcting a Honey Bound Brood Box, Langstroth Hive

    HC, in a normal hive without an excluder they will put the honey on top.
    Now that the excluder is off the hive should be back to normal again. What
    is important now is for the hive to expand in preparation for the cold winter months.
    Move all the honey frames up in another super. Then add more drawn comb for the
    queen to lay in the lower box. If they continue to fill up the cells in the bottom box then
    consider extracting the honey to free up more space. Adding another super on top should
    allow them to deposit more nectar.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Squaw Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Correcting a Honey Bound Brood Box, Langstroth Hive

    Mine fill the upper brood box this time with honey. I'm not sure why you want to exctract-That's their winter food supply. Most of time bees know best how to setup the hive- I found that leaving them alone to do their thing is best. As far a swarming- do you see swarm cells? Bees normally don't have the swarming impulse this time of year. Their goal is organizing for winter. My plan this time of year is helping them do that , removing honey supers, and treating for varroa.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,469

    Default Re: Correcting a Honey Bound Brood Box, Langstroth Hive

    I still have some brood in the top deep but those cells are being filled with stores as they emerge. Brooding is going on in the lower box. I want stores solid over their heads to push them down into clustering in the bottom. I would be worried if there was new brood being laid up top this time of year.

    I think this colony has been messed up by forcing a swarm due to undrawn foundation being put over an excluder. Unless the hive is near target wintering weight I dont think honey should be removed. They will move honey up to clear cells for brood in the bottom box.
    Frank

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