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Thread: Frame problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Cross, SC
    Posts
    2

    Default Frame problems

    I am kinda new at this bee keeping. I have two Italian hives; They came from nucs back in June. Each has an extra brood box that was added around the first of July. One hive is very, very busy and the other is so-so. I am in Cross, SC. I was at sea and have just returned home to find that the "busy" box has gone wild. Some of the frames in the upper box have been waxed together and a couple on the lower box as well. There has been hardly any activity at all on the new "not so busy" box. The foundations are plastic (I have wax to replace them with). One frame has the wax built out from the frame and has two sides and the bees are working it from both sides. It is all honey in the new part of the "busy" hive. No brood or eggs. My plan is to clean up the frames and add a super (the 9") including a queen excluder (on each hive).
    Questions: >Should I reduce the frames to 9 each (from 10)? >Should I trim up the frames that have grown into each other so they are more symetrical and fit the box after they haver been removed. All input is appreciated and welcomed. Thanks, R. Barrett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Frame problems

    Welcome to BeeSource!

    I don't know SC patterns well enough to know if you can expect any flow still to come this year. I think you need to find someone local to go through the hives with you and come up with a plan.

    Bees are pretty much done drawing frames for the year. They primarily draw comb when they 1) think they need it and 2) are in either a natural or beekeeper simulated flow. How does a beekeeper simulate a flow? By providing a light sugar syrup.

    I'm guessing your primary concern at this point should be getting the bees ready for winter. There are many components to this the two biggies being do the bees have enough food to make in through until spring next year and are the bees being born now healthy & with a low parasite (Varroa) load.

    Let's consider your questions in light of a goal of getting the bees ready for winter:

    The active hive - no brood in the top deep. This is how things ought to be.
    reduce frames from 10 to 9? No. What are you hoping to accomplish?
    add the super and queen excluder? Leave the supers (and excluders) in your shed/garage/basement whatever. It is too late to be using them this year. (especially if the frames in the honey super still need to be drawn)
    "trim" up the frames that have grown into each other? Not a bad idea given that you need to be able to work the hive and put frames back into the box without killing lots of bees, especially the queen.

    It would have been nice if your slow hive built up like your active hive, but I think you need to play with the cards you have been dealt. Concentrate on getting the bees ready for winter. Two deeps for the active hive and 1 deep for the slow one. At some point soon you'll start feeding the slow hive to force it to put by winter stores. If you can find a mated queen locally replacing the queen in the slow hive is probably a good idea.

    I encourage you again to find someone local to go through the hives with you. As you go through the bottom box of the active hive you'll need to assess how much room the queen has to lay. If there isn't a lot of room action other than what I'm talking about in this e-mail will have to take place to keep the hive from being too congested.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: Frame problems

    it is virtually impossible to analyze the best course of action without being able to see what you actually have,,

    I would suggest you contact the Charleston area beekeepers club, and ask for one of their experienced beekeepers to come out and look and help,,

    www.charlestonbees.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,950

    Default Re: Frame problems

    Thank you for your service sir! Since I was career Air Force I want you to notice I did not call you Swabby! Good advice going to the local bee club! I am glad your bees are still in your boxes on your return and you have something to work with. The best advice has already been given. Just be careful if you feed to not open feed and get robbing started. I would reduce your entrances to a couple inches as a precaution until you get that help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Cross, SC
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Frame problems

    At some point soon you'll start feeding the slow hive to force it to put by winter stores. If you can find a mated queen locally replacing the queen in the slow hive is probably a good idea.

    Thank you, Mr. Dewey....After reading the replys (btw, thanks to all) I went out and took a look at the queen in the "not so busy" hive. The last time I looked at her was about two months ago. Then; she was very active and moving around and across the foundation, looking in cells and generally, acting like a queen. Today; she was not moving at all. I'm not sure what she was doing...just kind of standing around. I think I need a queen. There were plenty of full worker cells and I did not see any drone cells and no queen cells. I have removed the plastic, wax covered foundations from the new brood box that was put on back in July. There was zero cells drawn on any of those foundations. The bees were plenty active... whole lot of honey cells in the bottom box, got bit three times...and I did get the frames trimmed and back in. I guess I will call someone local and see if I can get a mated queen. Thanks again.. R. Barrett

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Default Re: Frame problems

    >>Should I reduce the frames to 9 each (from 10)?

    Generally wider spacing contributes to the problem you describe. They build a comb out from the surfrace of the foundation because there is enough space to do so.

    >Should I trim up the frames that have grown into each other so they are more symetrical and fit the box after they haver been removed. All input is appreciated and welcomed.

    If there is plenty of other comb, I would. If you're concerned that they are not built up enough for winter, I might wait and see what the fall flow does.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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