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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Stored food in 2nd deep. What to do?

    I did a quick check on my "slower/weaker" hive tonight. The second deep is mostly all drawn(10 frames) and mostly filled with what seems to be uncapped sugar syrup, or it could be honey. I am planning on removing the syrup feeder tomorrow during my full inspection. I have kept it on because many in the area said to wait until the second deep was drawn. I will be adding the 1st super as tomorrow as well. A while back I posted a question about bees filling "too much" syrup into the 2nd brood box along with much pollen. Frames 2 and 8 of the 2nd brood box seem to have mostly all cells filled with either syrup or honey. Some have advised to split the hive to avoid swarming, but many others have said not to since it is already mid/late June and that won't be enough time to build up from now until fall. Here are my thoughts of what I could/should do. Please give your opinion.

    1. "Let it ride" and just add the super. Hoping that they will "limp" the brood along for the rest of the year in the available cells and begin to fill the super with honey. Will bees "clean out" cells filled with food and then allow eggs to be laid in them eventually yet this year?

    2. Swap a frame or 2 of brood from my strong hive and replace those frames with the food stored frames into my strong hive. This would allow the weaker hive to have brood cells. Or this may result in them just eventually filling these frames in with stores as well.

    3. Take out a few deep frames and extract whatever is in the cells and then place the frames back into the hive in hopes they would use the cells for laying in.

    4. Split the hive and "wing it" in hopes of making it in time for winter. They had already made a few queen cells with larva in them, but I cut them out when I saw good egg laying over a week of time.

    5. Other????

    Having only 2 hives for my first year reminds me that I would like to have something to show for my 1st year of mine/ and the bees work and hopefully not screw up both of my hives.
    Thanks, juzzerbee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Re: Stored food in 2nd deep. What to do?

    number 1 would be what I would do, not uncommon for them to use alot of the second deep for stores would just add a super and quit feeding they may use alot of it over the summer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Sacramento, CA, USA

    Default Re: Stored food in 2nd deep. What to do?

    In my opinion, if you want them to draw and not fill you can't just slap the feed on. You need to give them a nice flow of feed to stimulate comb production but not enough so that can go crazy with it and back fill every open cell with it. It's one of the reasons why I like the FatBeeman style top feeder, it limits access to about 50-60 feeding bees at a time up by where you want them to draw comb.

    I would move the fullest frames to the sides and put the non-completed ones in the middle, that should get them drawn out quickly and if they have space the queen can move up and lay in them or at least the bottom of them. Other option is to move brood frames up to the center of the second box and put the non completed frames down into the brood box. I wouldn't slap them right in the middle of the brood nest though, probably positions 3 and 8 or something like that. They should draw them quickly, open up space in the brood box, and you're stimulating them to move up at the same time. Granted, you need a good number of bees for this, but it sounds like if you're ready to add another super, you have plenty of bees to fill both boxes.


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