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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Bayboro,NC,USA
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    242

    Default Need some opinions

    I need some opinions. I started back in beekeeping after many many years of absence from it. So my mind/memory is not fully engaged yet. Here is my dilemma: I started a hive with a package, some how the queen did not make it. The hive was declining so I went to a friend of mine that was totally new to beekeeping to help him with his 2 hives, he had a swarm situation on his hands so I took three frames of brood with queen cells on them and made up a nuc with these frames and resources from my hive. It has been doing great until recently. The hive was 2 stories, bottom was brood, second was pollen and honey. They were running out of room so I added another super (medium) with foundationless frames (all mine are foundationless). I went to check them yesterday and here is where I need opinions, They have filled the top box with honey, the second box with nothing (it was the new box), not even drawn comb, the bottom box is pollen, nectar and a very little brood (all capped).
    I didn't find the queen nor did I see any larva or eggs. The hive was a little hotter than normal. The new box has been on for about 3 weeks.
    I'm sorry for rambling on but this is the only way I can explain what is going on.

    So here is my take: The queen has slowed down( way down) or I need to requeen or I can make splits and queen each split.

    I feel like a dumba** for having to ask

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,221

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    What is missing from this picture is what is going on in your area right now. They can't draw comb or fill it if there is no flow going on. It sounds like you separated the brood chamber which I wouldn't have done. Is the queen missing or just shut down because of what you did or what is going on or not going on in your area.
    My shot in the dark suggestion would be to put the empty box on top and feed for a week to see what happens.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bayboro,NC,USA
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    Default Re: Need some opinions

    Acebird, I placed the empty box in the middle (between the brood and honey). Yesterday I placed it on the bottom, so now the configuration is (from bottom up) empy--brood & pollen--honey. If placing the empty on the top will help I'll do that. I was thinking that placing it in the middle would give more room for brood because placing it on top with the honey in the middle would restrict the queen from the top box. And I need more brood not honey for them to build up for the winter. As far as what is going on in my area, we have undergone draught and now rain almost everyday for the past month. I had been feeding them 1 to 1 sugar to assist them to build build build. But that looks like a fruitless effort.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
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    383

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    In a natural situation, the brood area and in fact the entire hive is a three-dimensional structure with the brood in the middle. Separating the two halves with a blank space is probably not a good idea. Put the empty on top.

    Hyper-feeding to make them "build, build, build" can backfire if the colony becomes larger than natural food sources can supply. When you harvest "honey," you want it to be honey, not capped sugar-water. It is entirely possible that they have been putting-away a disproportionate amount of sugar-water basically because they had to lest it ferment or become moldy in the feeder.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bayboro,NC,USA
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    242

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by mrobinson View Post
    In a natural situation, the brood area and in fact the entire hive is a three-dimensional structure with the brood in the middle. Separating the two halves with a blank space is probably not a good idea. Put the empty on top.

    Hyper-feeding to make them "build, build, build" can backfire if the colony becomes larger than natural food sources can supply. When you harvest "honey," you want it to be honey, not capped sugar-water. It is entirely possible that they have been putting-away a disproportionate amount of sugar-water basically because they had to lest it ferment or become moldy in the feeder.
    I wasn't tying to harvest any of the honey, I was just trying to get them to build up enough stores for winter as I have always done when there was a derth. They also needed some source for the comb building as they were foundationless frames that have not been drawn. Thinking that they were honey/sugar water bound I decided to add the empty to give them more room for the brood building to build up the numbers for winter and to make a split. And I am now confused, everyone is tell me to put the empty on the top. Will that provide area for brood? It will be on top of the honey super! I have always been told,taught (my grandfather whom I learned most of my beekeeping knowledge [he did it for 40 years]) and have read on here that to give the brood more room add boxes to the top or bottom of brood box. Not put it on top of the honey supers.
    The original configuration was: 2 boxes (bottom up) brood then honey and pollen. I then (to give them more room for brood) placed an empty with foundationless in between the brood and honey. As of yesterday I now have the empty on the bottom under the brood box.

    I am by no means being argumentative. I just want to get the straight of things.
    Thanks
    Last edited by dadandsonsbees; 08-14-2012 at 11:10 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
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    200

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    I think putting an empty super in the middle or bottom is called "nadiring".
    Most people put the empty super on top.
    I'd put the empty super on top and not feed the hive yet.
    At some point you may want the honey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bayboro,NC,USA
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    242

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    Thanks to everone for the replies.
    I will take the advise and figure out something to do.
    I'm not trying to get more honey or stores, I'm trying to get more brood because what I got ain't gonna last all winter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    I think you are ok the way you are for now.When the fall flow starts they will fill that middle box.
    The queen has just slowed down in response to lack of flow.That's a good thing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Need some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by dadandsonsbees View Post
    I have always been told,taught (my grandfather whom I learned most of my beekeeping knowledge [he did it for 40 years]) and have read on here that to give the brood more room add boxes to the top or bottom of brood box. Not put it on top of the honey supers.
    And your grandfather could be right. Now that you have the empty on the bottom you can leave it there rather than do another manipulation. It just makes it harder to see what is going on if you are alone. I don't like manipulating the brood nest this late in the season I leave those decisions up to the bees. So an empty on top or bottom is fine with my way of thinking. If there is a fall flow in your area the bees should know what to do. If you have a queen and plenty of bees right now I wouldn't worry. Trust that they know what they are doing.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,512

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    Sounds like to me it's more of an evironmental issue. You mentioned you were in a dearth for a while now it's been raining for quite some time.
    Typically when this happens the queen will shut down "production" to ensure the hive will survive on it's stores.
    Check to MAKE SURE there is in fact a queen and that she is able to lay. Maybe there are a few eggs now. If there are no eggs or queen, re queen right away.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,590

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    Trust that they know what they are doing.
    I think the bees were fine before having their house turned upside down. I would put the empty super on top, or not at all depending on your Autumn flow.

    I have wintered non Italian's in two mediums in Connecticut with a little fondant "insurance" added in January.

    I believe the bees would normally bee filling from the top, pushing the queen down. If that's true, your queen is headed toward an empty box.

    Just my thoughts....
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Need some opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I believe the bees would normally bee filling from the top, pushing the queen down. If that's true, your queen is headed toward an empty box.
    So if the top is already full she will expand into the bottom box, right? To me it is just an issue for the beekeeper to try to see what is going on.

    Personally I don't think it matters. It has been my experience that if the colony wants to raise brood and there is space available they will use it. In cooler climates in the spring there could be an issue of separating brood and not having enough bees to keep it warm. I don't think that is an issue now in NC but I don't know. As far as the "honey block" goes that is about as reliable as the weather man.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: Need some opinions

    dadandsonsbees,

    What's the latest news?

    Are your bees drawing out foundationless frames in the bottom box for the queen to move down into?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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