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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    St. Augusta, MN
    Posts
    51

    Default Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    In case you didn't read that correctly, what I mean is this....my bees are capping honey in foundation that hasn't been drawn out yet. I'm only in my second year of beekeeping so I don't have any drawn out foundation in my supers. The bees put little dabs of nectar ( I'm assuming) in the cells and capped it over. Funniest thing I ever saw.

    Can anybody tell me if there's anything I should do about this? My plan is to just leave them alone and hope that they get a little more ambitious and actually build the cells out. I have plastic with wax coating on wooden frames.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    Can you post a picture of that? I've never seen that before.

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    DeSoto County, MS, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    Janer, I found the same thing in some of my hives a couple of years ago. I dont know what caused it but I haven't seen it since.

    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,346

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    Highly irregular. They generally do not cap any cells of cured honey at less than brood-rearing depth - about a half inch. Since their late winter expansion format calls for rearing brood in honey cells, and they don't have wax-making capability at that time, partial cells of honey can stay open indefinately. But it's fair game for consumption or moving to where it is needed.

    Walt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    St. Augusta, MN
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    I'll don my suit and get a photo or two this morning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    St. Augusta, MN
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    https://picasaweb.google.com/JaneSch...pectionJuly10#

    Here are a few photos of my situation. As I got into the middle deep I found that I had more than a honey storage problem.....it appears that I'm queenless. Any advice on what might be going on here? I've been absent from my house the majority of the last three weeks due to a hospice situation with my mother-in-law, so the hive inspections have taken a back burner. They might have swarmed, who knows? I'm going to leave them to their own solutions at this point.
    Thanks in advance...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    There might be a virgin queen in there, so it makes sense to wait and see if there are eggs/brood in a week or two. I've heard that bees don't like the plastic foundation. Wonder if your hive's behavior is a sign of that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,923

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    Seen any queencells? Why do you think you're queenless? Didn't see eggs or young brood?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,346

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    We see at least 2 queen cells in teardown. Karen's suggestion to give it some time is valid.
    Walt

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    St. Augusta, MN
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    Thanks everyone. The reason I think it's queenless is because of the lack of brood or eggs and the many queen cells. "Teardown" is a new term for me, so I'm learning something additional from your comments. I'll back off from further inspections for two weeks and then see how they're doing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    McDonough, NY United States
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Bees capping honey in undrawn foundation

    Here's a shot in the dark with no basis haha - with many places experiencing a drought I wonder if the bees are putting nectar in the foundation to ripen and they're not getting enough new nectar to fill cells with honey. Seems like they would move it and just cap a few cells of honey instead, though. They may just feel like they need to cap it even though there isn't enough so it wont crystallize.

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