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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    78

    Default Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    Got a rookie question for you.

    I am trying to figure out how the hive/honey flow works.

    Since the queen can not get into the honey supers because of the screen, then where the queen is those combs can be either honey or brood, right? The parts that are honey is what they live on? Guess it just depends on the comb where she lays her eggs?

    Then in the honey super, it is only honey because the queen can not get up that high, right?

    Some of my questions are going to sound pretty simple for you veterans. Just trying to learn as much as I can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    I'm a newbee but I did want to reply to you. From what I have learned you are right in your assumptions and..........properly managed bees won't use "your" honey super for brood but this is something we all have to learn how to manage. A queen excluder will keep her from moving up into what you consider your honey super but she can also get left behind and freeze under certain conditions. Get a good mentor to help you watch your hives. That's what I intend to do until I know ALL the answers. lol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,764

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    What you need a queen excluder for?? If you manage the hive properly and give them enough brood space, honey will be will you want it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    What you need a queen excluder for?? If you manage the hive properly and give them enough brood space, honey will be will you want it.
    What he said.....kinda......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    So just adding more boxes on the bottom will keep the queen from going up to the honey supers ? How many brood chambers can you end up with , I thought 2 deeps was pretty much it , or 3 med. ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer128 View Post
    I'm a newbee but I did want to reply to you. From what I have learned you are right in your assumptions and..........properly managed bees won't use "your" honey super for brood but this is something we all have to learn how to manage. A queen excluder will keep her from moving up into what you consider your honey super but she can also get left behind and freeze under certain conditions. Get a good mentor to help you watch your hives. That's what I intend to do until I know ALL the answers. lol
    There is an older guy in my area that has a few hives that can kinda help me, but he really doesn't do much with his. Pretty much just adds boxes when needed and removes honey supers at the end of the season.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,938

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    Josh78.

    Using an excluder is a management preference and like any tool, you need to understand how to use it. The queen will lay anywhere she can but generally at the top of the empty comb and will lay down as far as she needs. You will need to learn when your honey flow starts for your area. Since you are just starting I assume that you only have foundation for your honey supers.

    You need to put your honey supers on at the beginning of the flow. With foundation unless your hive is very strong it is easier to just leave the excluder off until the bees start drawing comb in the super. When they have a couple of frames started you can add your excluder. Just shake the bees off of the frames above or make sure the queen is below when you add it.

    The excluder will keep the queen out of your supers most of the time. If you bend a wire, are careless when examining your hive, or you have a small determined queen, she can get above. It doesn't happen often in my experience, but it can. Whether you want to use excluders or not will depend on you. I stopped using them many years ago (1980's) for a while, but after a year or two I started using them on half of my hives and after another couple of years went back to using them on all of them.

    The reasons are simply personal. I wanted to extract at the end of July, but the hives are their largest then and the queen kept moving up into the supers. Then I had to pick through frames to find some with no brood. With excluders it is simple to pull supers at a time rather than frames at a time.

    If you have a fall flow and can wait to extract, not using excluders might make sense. Like other beekeeping tools you will learn what you want to use and what you don't.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, MO
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    What my neighbor does/did is start bees in bottom box. Once they have made and filled all 10 frames and combs he would add a 2nd box. After those 10 frames of combs were filled he would place the excluder then add a honey super box. If it was filled in time he would add a 2nd. Then the end of the year remove the 2 honey super boxes. He is no pro by any means, but his family has had a hive or 2 for years. Is his way the easy way or not really the right way?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,938

    Default Re: Silly new keeper question brood vs honey

    You can generally add another box when they are working on the last two frames in the box. Plus you can move the outside frames in a frame or so. They are more likely to draw them when they are not against the edge of the box. So when 8 frames are drawn and they are working on the last ones, add the second box. For honey supers I would still wait for the flow, but based on what he did, it sounds like the timing of the flow is about right for your area.

    On the other hand, when I first started out I didn't have any idea what I was doing and set up both boxes of foundation to start with. It worked fine. So there are many "right" ways of doing things. Again, it is how you personally want to manage your bees.

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