Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wilson, Wyoming
    Posts
    17

    Default full lower supers but not filling honey super

    This has been an excellent spring/summer for my bees here in Wilson, WY (Jackson Hole). We got started early and weather has been steadily favorable. A month ago I added a queen excluder and put on a honey super, as both lower supers were pretty darn full -- a mix of brood, honey, pollen in the lower, mostly honey, water, pollen in the upper one. Numbers are great, the hive seems very healthy, and I expected action on the honey production side.
    It's been about a month and the honey super is pretty much untouched. I've done two quick inspections -- I find bees moving around the honey super but not a single frame has anything stored in it. The lower supers continue to be essentially full....
    So, I'm wondering what's happening. It looks like we'll have good collecting conditions for a while yet, but not forever. The hive is in full sun for a good part of the day, and one beekeeping friend suggested that maybe it's too hot in the top of the hive.
    I don't really have any other ideas so am looking forward to some feedback. At least it looks like they'll go into winter in great shape... but I was hoping it would be a good harvest for the humans, too. Maybe not... thanks for any ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,961

    Default Re: full lower supers but not filling honey super

    What kind of frames above the excluder? Foundation or drawn? Some bees do not like an excluder with undrawn frames above it. Personally, never seen a need for an excluder. Moving frames of honey up out of the broodnest will eventually lead you with full supers of honey if your queen likes to run all over the place. Luckily mine stay in the lower two deeps anyways and anything above there stays honey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wilson, Wyoming
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: full lower supers but not filling honey super

    The frames above the excluder are drawn. I wonder what would happen if I took out the excluder... if the queen moved up into the honey super, well, it wouldn't be the end of the world (end of my honey, perhaps), but maybe she's got enough room to roam in the deeps down below.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: full lower supers but not filling honey super

    Take the excluder off.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: full lower supers but not filling honey super

    A queen excluder is a honey excluder. The top area (bands) of your deep frames are probably now filled with honey, That filled honey area usually serves to exclude the queen from going higher with many beeks. It doesn't always work, however the commercial beekeepers don't usually use excluders, ever wonder why? You might also use the formic acid strips or whatever you tend to favor. - the mite load might be high at this time of the year. OMTCW

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: full lower supers but not filling honey super

    Leave the excluder in and move a couple of frames of brood up and nurse bees will move up to look after the brood.

    Otherwise there is a very good probability that you will get patches of brood on the honey frames. You probably can't think about harvesting much honey this year as winter is coming.

    For next year, if you you have brood throughout the honey frames, you can't harvest until brood is emerged which is late in the season. And honey will be stained by having brood previously in the cells. Try using the excluder.

    Also try a top entrance and get bees accustomed to entering from the top from the get go in the spring. Worked well for me, but I did leave the bottom entrance slightly open and as bees are now using the bottom entrance more than the top entrance.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,827

    Default Re: full lower supers but not filling honey super

    With drawn fames above the excluder there should be no problem. I would say your flows have slowed down enough they aren't bringing in any more than what's needed for the reduced brood production at this time (they reduce brood production this time of year and concentrate on packing honey in around the reduced nest). If they get more flow starting up for fall then they'll start storing above the excluder. One thing you've not mentioned is what sizes are all your boxes? If they are all the same size, then you can try moving a nectar frame above the excluder, but I really don't think it's needed, it's more an issue of the time of year with reduced flows at the moment.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wilson, Wyoming
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: full lower supers but not filling honey super

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments and ideas. In response, the frames in the honey supers are smaller (dimensions? Not sure, but more or less about half the size of frames in the deeps).
    True, winter's out there, but historically even here in a high mtn valley the late summer and autumn have offered good collecting -- asters and some other natives keep blooms going well past the first frost.
    My neighboring partner with two hives (we're both pretty new at this) has had this experience in other years --- while a friend of hers has added her second honey super this week! This more successful situation has the hives in a more shaded spot, leading to the idea that our hives might be too warm/hot. Just an idea...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads