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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Washington, nc
    Posts
    3

    Default Jumbled Mess, I fear...

    So, I am a newb. I started a nuc I received from a fellow beek in late April here in eastern North Carolina.
    I now have a quadrillion bees, but fear I may have messed up my hive's mojo.

    When my brood chamber (full size) and medium super were pretty full, I slapped on another medium super. After a week hardly any comb was built, so I thought, "hey, I will just move some from the box below so they will stay up here and build out the rest". I also, during the build out of the lower hive bodies moved a few frames around thinking it would make them draw the comb faster (from the inside to the outside of the hive body). I suspect this was not a smart move.

    I went through some scary time where I was sure my queen was gone. The brood nest was not a built out as before, and some frames were storing uncapped honey only and some pollen. A week later I found her in the third body from the bottom laying and there was little or no space left, so I put on another super at the advise of a local beek who visited my hive.

    Now, two weeks later I don't seem to have a barrier through which the queen won't travel. I don't want to put an excluder in, as it doesn't seem natural. (This from the guy who totally jacked with the frames repeatedly, like a moron)

    Like I said, I have a jillion, million, bees. My gut tells me I should get the queen back down to the brood chamber at the bottom (yes, there are larvae in the frames, but the brood pattern doesn't seem tight), yank out half the frames and move them to a new hive body, replacing the frames with blank ones. I would then put one of the other hive bodies with brood and honey on top of that one, and toss a new queen in with them.

    I am not interested in harvesting honey this first year. Is a split wise now, or dumb? Or, it is completely stupid. Should I have not put another honey super [for a total of one large hive body, and 3 supers]? (they just now starting to draw out comb on the frames of the third super, and it has been on for almost two weeks). There is a ton of honey in the hive... I mean a ton. I could barely lift the two supers off the ones below, but I fear adding the third super while there was so much space available in bottom brood nest may have been a bad idea.

    Please advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Jumbled Mess, I fear...

    Relax. Leave them alone. What you think you believe they might need is based on what? Since you aren't using an excluder they will arrange their nest just fine if you let them.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Washington, nc
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Jumbled Mess, I fear...

    Ok, so my gut was actually telling me to leave them alone too. :-) I figure at this point I could just leave them bee for at least a month and nothing bad would happen. I see no evidence of mites, and I have very few hive beetles outside of my traps... so I think leaving them alone isn't such a bad idea. My queen is a 2013 model, so pretty sure her transmission will keep working for a while.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,541

    Default Re: Jumbled Mess, I fear...

    I suspect you kept moving brood frames up into new boxes, and if you do the queen will move up as well. It helps with new boxes to get the bees up into them with drawn frames, but unless you want to have brood up there, use capped honey frames.

    This is a common problem with new beekeepers since they don't have drawn, empty frames to use to "bait" bees up. Next year, likely you will have more drawn comb and won't have to use frames from a lower box.

    If you want honey without brood, it's best to use medium or shallow boxes over whatever sized brood nest you want - if that's a single deep, likely you will need to use a queen excluder since the bees will want to use more space as a rule, at least here. With two deeps or a deep and two mediums, simply add boxes on top. Do not move frames up, let them draw storage comb up there, may take a while, but when you get some capped frames of honey, you can then use those in a new box UNDER the original one.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lawson, mo. usa
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Jumbled Mess, I fear...

    I agree with David. Let them bee. And RELAX!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Jumbled Mess, I fear...

    I agree with the above posts too. Leave them alone and let them arrange the hive the way they want to for winter survival. Sounds like you gave them enough room to prevent overcrowding. If it was me, I wouldn't even open the hive until early March. They will probably be a booming hive then and you may need to split it then to help prevent swarming.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Washington, nc
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Jumbled Mess, I fear...

    It's so great to have so much support. I really appreciate help and advice. I will probably open it up one more time in a couple of weeks, as my daddio is coming to visit. He has 16 hives back in Indiana, and has been beeking for 5 years. Other than that, I am going to focus on building hive bodies for spring, or take up needlepoint or something to keep from messing with the girls. :-)

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