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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eureka, CA USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Bees not interested in new frames in super

    I added a super with wax-coated plasticell frames almost two weeks ago along with Dadant's metal queen excluder. The hive is reeeally full of bees and brood so I thought they'd jump at the chance to expand their honey stores. Unfortunately, only a few bees are ever up in the super at a time, and they only seem to go up there to add propolis to the creases. I have decided to take the queen excluder off but I am disabled and can't easily do hive maintenance by myself. My husband, who is my only helper, broke his foot so he can't help me lift the hive bodies until he is healed up. Until he can help me I decided to rig a top entrance using an inner cover with an entrance notched out of it and smeared it with a little honey. I covered the oval-shaped opening in the cover with mesh to prevent robbing. So far the bees have not taken my honey bait. I know plasticell is not ideal because it takes the bees a long time to accept it and draw it out but that's what I ended up with so I want to do what I can to make it useful for them.

    So, my question is, what can I do to attract the bees to the super aside from what I have already done? Is spraying with sugar water advisable at this point?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,224

    Default Re: Bees not interested in new frames in super

    You can try spraying the foundation with sugar water. Bees ignoring foundation on the top of the hive, particularly above an excluder, is quite common.

    It's best to remove the excluder, but if you cannot, sugar water or some diluted honey sprayed on the frames might get them up and going. If you have any drawn frames that size, replace a couple empties with drawn comb and they will go right to work, too.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eureka, CA USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Bees not interested in new frames in super

    Thanks peter, unfortunately I don't have drawn frames of that size - I have a drawn frame set aside in my freezer that fits a deep but not a shallow. I'll try sugar water tomorrow, hopefully in combination with the upper opening that will attract them until I can get some help removing the excluder. Do you think I should plan on keeping the excluder off or replacing it after they have done some work up there? I don't have any more hive bodies so I can't set the frames aside and wait for any brood laid up there to hatch before harvesting the comb, so since it's my first year I thought I'd be willing to trade some productivity for some assurance that the queen won't lay in the super. Since the hive is so strong I am not too concerned about the wear and tear on them though I do wonder if maybe I should have gotten a different queen excluder, perhaps this one is just too uncomfortable for them to pass through?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,861

    Default Re: Bees not interested in new frames in super

    You just need to remove the excluder until they have started drawing comb. Then either shake the bees off or make sure the queen isn't up there and you can put it back on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eureka, CA USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Bees not interested in new frames in super

    Cool, thank you!!

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