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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    76

    Default Honey Bound Deeps

    My first hive seems to be doing well. When I installed my 3# package in April, I had purchased three deeps as a (sort of) start up kit, except I bought some sort of new brand of boxes that I assembled myself with metal corners. Turns out they don't have those handle grooves that most hive boxes have. In retrospect, I wish I'd gone with mediums, but I'm still figuring it out as I go.

    I added the second deep in late May when the bottom deep had 7 frames drawn out. Last week (6/22) I noticed both deeps were pretty full. The bottom deep was filled with mostly honey and the top deep had 4.5 frames of honey and 4.5 frames of brood. There were maybe two frames that had some room left... until Saturday (6/29) when I checked again. After almost giving myself a hernia trying to heft the handle-less boxes around, I decided that I DEFINITELY should have gone with mediums... and those mediums DEFINITELY should have had handles. Trying to grip the slippery metal corners of a FULL deep while pinning it to my chest all while trying not to squish bees was significantly more stressful than it needed to be.

    But even though I pulled at least a dozen muscles in my inner thighs, I only had my third deep available to add to the top of my hive. My questions are as follows:

    1. The brood seems to be in the box above the honey. Shouldn't the brood be in the bottom or is it common for the queen to move up?

    2. People say that you shouldn't add another box until the existing boxes are filled 70% or 80%. What does "filled" mean? Drawn out? Filled with honey? Or does it mean drawn out, filled with honey/brood and COVERED in bees?
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Clarendon County, SC, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Screw some cleats to the boxes before you hurt yourself. Just a 1x2 on 2 sides would help a lot, 4 sides is even better. I go drawn and covered in bees. I like to keep most of the comb covered for protection. Around here if you have vacant comb something else will move into it, small hive beetles, wax moths etc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Sounds extremly honey bound. as mentioned add some cleats, and if you have an extractor, get it out. and capped deep frames you don't want for winter stores, extract them. way to early in the season to have teh brood combs full of honey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Very few of the honey frames are capped so I can't do any honey harvesting quite yet, right?

    Since the top deep is full of bare foundation, should I be doing any sort of checkerboarding to get the bees up there? If so, should I move honey frames up replaced with bare foundation? And while I have the hive disassembled, should I move the brood frames down to the bottom or just leave that part alone?
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Can extract a few frames to get your self some space for egg laying. To be on the safe side( not fermenting), put it in plastic containers and freeze until you want to eat it. It keeps very well frozen and does not crystalize.

    Spreading some melted wax around on frames as well as sugar water will get them drawing frames more readily.

    Don't be afraid to do some frame manipulation. Move some frames of nectar/honey up. Put a frame of blank foundation(waxed and sprayed on sugar water between every couple of drawn frames. Once the bees get it partially drawn, move it further away from the center and move waxed and sugar water coated frames towards the middle.

    Screw a 1 by 1.5 inch cleat, full width on to the narrow ends of the super, down 1.5 inches from top.

    Install your third deep. Need to get the bees working in the honey super before installing the queen excluder. Putting a frame or two of brood above the queen excluder if and when you do install the queen excluder will ensure nurse bees stay above the excluder.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Maybe you need to hit the gym, while your at it!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,430

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    People say mediums are lighter... I picked up two stacked on top of each other, people are liars..... It wasn't so bad but lifting them higher as I added another medium didn't get added into the equation until after I picked them back up. Honestly, if it was me, I would've put the brood on the bottom, the frames in the middle, foundation flanking them, the full box on top, the new box in the middle with the nectar frames that were with the brood in there pushed to one side with new foundation filling the rest of the space. Keep any pollen frames with the brood as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    While the weather is like this I don't mind manipulating the frames around the hive. I'd get as much honey up top as possible and get the brood below that. You don't necessarily have to force them all into the bottom box but give them some breathing room below that honey. I'm no longer a fan of deeps but in the past I've wintered over before with a deep box of honey above two deeps of brood chamber. It was fine but I worried about the amount of travel to get to the honey up above in the colder weather. As mentioned, if they cap it you can extract it (or even extract a little now if it's firm but not capped....give the frame a good shake and if the honey stays in the cells it's probably OK) and think about feeding later in the year if necessary.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. This morning I went back out and removed three frames of honey from the bottom box and replaced them with empty frames of only foundation (FFEFFEFFEF F=Full E=Empty). I moved the honey into the second box and interspersed a couple of empty frames in there as well. Then I put three frames of brand new white comb (taken from the second deep) filled with honey 50% capped into the top box. So now both of the deeps have a couple frames each of foundation and the top box has 5 empty frames and 5 frames of honey that I wanted to shove my face into.

    I'm hesitant to take any honey at all (even though it's sooooooo tempting) until later in the year since this is a first year hive (and MY first and only hive) and I haven't learned yet what the bees need and what is considered "excess".

    ps I counted around 10 bees squished as a result of my clumsiness. Even though there are upwards of 50,000, I couldn't help but feel a little bad. Oh well. One thing I've learned in my 36 years of life is that guilt fades.
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Better to take a few frames now. I took about 50 lbs from a first year hive from a package. Beekeeping is regional - we are just heading into our main nectar flow. If your's is mostly over, maybe not take very much.

    Bees will refill "wet" frames pretty readily with available nectar now.

    And once fall comes, one can feed sugar syrup to ensure adequate winter stores.

    And then there is mountain camp sugar and candy/fondant blocks in a feeder rim on top of frames as winter progresses.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,430

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    If you have a flow you might be ok, but I would not alternate honey/nectar frames now. You may find they enlarge the drawn ones already and ignore the foundation which is why I mentioned putting them in a group, push them to the side and then fill the box with frames of foundation. If you have a strong population you may be ok too.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I would not alternate honey/nectar frames now. You may find they enlarge the drawn ones already and ignore the foundation.
    Crap. I misread that part. I actually thought about that as I was pushing the frames together and it seemed like (in some spots) the full frames were almost touching the bare foundation of the new frame next door. I might try to arrange them differently during my next inspection if it's not too late.

    Also, if I DO decide to harvest a couple of frames, is there a way to salvage the comb if I don't have an extractor? Other than cutting off the caps and spinning around in a circle as fast as I can? I figured the only options are an extractor or "crush and strain". I'm not missing anything, am I?
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Ogden, Utah
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Warren View Post
    Maybe you need to hit the gym, while your at it!!
    Great idea.Do they have personal trainers that force you to move heavy, slippery, awkward stuff while pinching exposed flesh with tweezers?
    If God doesn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?
    Zone 5b - Utah - Elevation 4,300 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,430

    Default Re: Honey Bound Deeps

    You can try the cut the caps off and let drain method which is pretty slow but works for some people. Just have to remember the bees pitch the cells upwards so you want to turn the frame over so the topbar is facing down to drain. If you have a good flow it might not be an issue, but as the season moves on they tend to not want to draw new frames but they will double deck even capped frames for whatever reason. I just speak from experience, checkerboarding the broodnest works great most of the time but not in the supers or if they start backfilling the brood area. Honestly though, if you're going to extract the honey, if they make the combs bigger, oh well. Just let it be for now and see what happens, if you got a good flow they should draw them out though but it will probably be some fat combs in there with the new frames sandwhiched between a little on the thinner side.

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