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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    503

    Default beekeeper instinct

    So... my strong hive.

    In years past ive actively managed the hive. Ive tried to keep brood to the bottom, honey on top. Ive actively moved around supers that the queen layed in and then also moved supers the bees backfilled with honey. I also used excluders to manage this.

    Generally this method was meet with mostly success. I pull honey off the hive, it makes it through the winter, perhaps it swarms perhaps it doesnt... perhaps i take a split... all these things have happened in the past with my one "strong" hive.

    so this year, Ive decided to head in a different direction. No excluders and just give them more boxes to do whatever they wanted with. They overwintered in 3 med supers and did great. a Month ago i added an additional med honey super to the top and a deep to the bottom.

    Todays inspection says, the queen had no intrest in moving back down to the bottom and kept laying up top. the bees have packed the bottom super with fresh nectar and polen. So i said screw it, i said I was going to let them do there own thing, so i will. I put everything back the way it came off the hive, and added another med honey super on the top. (the previous one i had added was starting to be filled with fresh nectar) No queen cells noted with attention paid to looking for them.

    The strong hive currently sits at (in order from bottom to top)... one deep (80% netar 20% pollen, no brood) 3 med 10 frame suppers 6-8 frames of capped brood each. 1 9 frame med honey super being filled with fresh nectar, 1 9 frame med super that will need half frames drawn (other half are drawn alternating)

    Thoughts? suggestions?

    Oh and the other hive is slow but predictable. they overwintered in a deep with a full med super of honey on top. A month ago it got checker boarded with the still mostly full super of honey and a second med honey super above. Todays inspection is as expected, queen has layed up the the bottom deep with brood, workers were working on storeing fresh nectar in open frames I gave a month ago and drawing others that were foundationless. They were working in the top box but did not seem to need the room like the strong hive. I prepared a 2nd 9 frame med honey super to go on top and will add in another week or 2 depending on how warm weather and the flow goes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: beekeeper instinct

    I think that will work. All that pollen in the bottom box will be used this winter for next year's build up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,929

    Default Re: beekeeper instinct

    The bottom box is usually a battle for pollen anyways. During good pollen flows it can fiill up pretty easily with all pollen and nectar. During peak brooding though I would expect some brood to make it's way in there, time will tell I guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: beekeeper instinct

    What would happen if you closed bottom entrance and created top entrance?
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: beekeeper instinct

    Good question. Would all that pollen end up in the honey supers? M Bush? I know you run all top entrances.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Orange, Texas
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: beekeeper instinct

    Interested in the above 2 questions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: beekeeper instinct

    >Good question. Would all that pollen end up in the honey supers? M Bush? I know you run all top entrances.

    Bees tend to want the pollen in the bottom, the brood above the pollen and the capped stores above the brood. They also have a tendency to put the brood nest next to, but not too close to, the entrance. In trees they have entrances all over the place and still tend to store in the basic arrangement of honey over the brood nest and pollen under it. Since there are two different tendencies at play here and bees are not that predictable, they may have the brood nest higher with a top entrance. All in all, though, I don't see an issue. The honey still tends to be at the top and the brood under.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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