Brood in honey super?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Manchester, NH, USA
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    32

    Default Brood in honey super?

    I've got brood in the supers. Is the solution to add queen excluders? Will the bees fill the supers with honey after the brood hatches?
    Any other strategies?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Limstone county, Alabama
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    127

    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooder View Post
    I've got brood in the supers. Is the solution to add queen excluders? Will the bees fill the supers with honey after the brood hatches?
    Any other strategies?
    Is the solution to add queen excluders? - It is one solution. Some people love queen excluders, and some people hate them. I have been using them for 7 years with no complaints.

    Will the bees fill the supers with honey after the brood hatches? Yes. I have been transitioning from a deep-medium brood chamber to a deep-deep. I make sure the queen isn't in the medium, move the medium (including brood) above the excluder, the brood hatches, and the medium becomes a honey super.

    Any other strategies? - Learn to deal with brood in your honey supers .
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work" -- Thomas A. Edison

  4. #3
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    Jul 2014
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    Black Forest, Colorado
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    672

    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooder View Post
    I've got brood in the supers. Is the solution to add queen excluders?
    That would be a solution without a problem. If your bees need the space, let them have it. Force them back down and you are likely to prompt them to swarm. When they no longer need the extra room, they will withdraw back into the lower boxes and backfill the space they used with honey. Yes, your frames will appear a bit darker, but it's not a problem.
    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Limstone county, Alabama
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    127

    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    It is a problem if a beekeeper doesn't want brood in his honey supers, and it goes beyond dark spots in the comb. Also, I have observed no correlation between swarming and the use of queen excluders.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work" -- Thomas A. Edison

  6. #5
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    Jul 2014
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    Black Forest, Colorado
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    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by RickR View Post
    Also, I have observed no correlation between swarming and the use of queen excluders.
    Who said that the excluder would cause swarming? It wasn't me. It was the act of forcing the bees into a smaller area, by whatever means, that can cause swarming. Not just the fact that it was an excluder that was used.

    Quote Originally Posted by RickR View Post
    It is a problem if a beekeeper doesn't want brood in his honey supers, and it goes beyond dark spots in the comb.
    Sorry. We've always been operating under the idea of keeping the colony healthy first, and gathering honey second. I forget that this is not the case with everyone. My apologies.
    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Limstone county, Alabama
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    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    If I misunderstood your statement about swarming I'm sorry, but I really don't know how else to interpret it.

    "Sorry. We've always been operating under the idea of keeping the colony healthy first, and gathering honey second. I forget that this is not the case with everyone. My apologies."

    There is no need for sarcasm and thinly veiled insults just because we disagree about the use of queen excluders. I put a great deal of effort and expense into protecting the health and welfare of my bees, and my colony losses are far below average for my area. Honey production and hive health don't have to be mutually exclusive goals.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work" -- Thomas A. Edison

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Champaign, Illinois
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    2,461

    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    I had some brood up in a super so I real quick put the queen down below and added the excluder. Guess what?
    They made a second queen upstairs.

    The whole idea of keeping "honey" combs pure is dumb. I'm about done with excluders. Tried it and it worked great on a couple hives last summer but in practice in a larger apiary, say with 20 or more, it gets counter-productive imo.

    Now for comb honey production colonies I will be using excluders. Got several things going on. Experimenting a lot. Having FUN too. That's the idea. Beekeeping is a blast if you don't take it too serious. That's easier said than done tho.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    St Petersburg, FL, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    What do you mean it "goes beyond dark spots in the comb"? What other problems are there?

    I've been planning on not having a queen excluder and not stressing too much where the queen lays, except maybe to occasionally shuffle some frames back and forth between the hive body and honey super to keep everything more or less where it belongs. (Well, "where it belongs" isn't really a fair statement, since I'm sure the bees think everything is right where it should be!) Are there other problems I should know about with going without an excluder?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Limstone county, Alabama
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    127

    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahsbees View Post
    What do you mean it "goes beyond dark spots in the comb"? What other problems are there?

    I've been planning on not having a queen excluder and not stressing too much where the queen lays, except maybe to occasionally shuffle some frames back and forth between the hive body and honey super to keep everything more or less where it belongs. (Well, "where it belongs" isn't really a fair statement, since I'm sure the bees think everything is right where it should be!) Are there other problems I should know about with going without an excluder?
    One thing I don't like about brood in my honey supers is the added time and trouble it produces when I an uncapping honey for extraction. I also do not like the amount of wasted brood that I have seen in the past. The couple of years that I tried to get by without queen excluders I had some hives with enough brood in the supers to make a good split. My brood boxes are deeps, and my supers are shallows. If I was using all deeps or all mediums I could have just put the frames with brood in the brood box, but I'm not. I had one hive this year that I supered, but forgot the queen excluder. By the time I caught the mistake I had two honey supers that were almost wall-to-wall brood. If I had put 3-4 supers on the hive, I'm sure they would have been liberally peppered with brood too. With 60-70 supers this year I just don't want to have to navigate through the brood.

    Another thing I don't want to have to deal with is the added probability that wax moths will attack my supers. When I don't have old brood comb in my empty supers I usually don't have wax moth problems. If the super has frames that have had brood comb in them I get wax moth damage close to 100% of the time.

    To sum up:
    1) Brood complicates uncapping at extraction time
    2) Any brood that ends up in the honey house is lost/wasted brood
    3) In connection with 1&2 is the amount of comb some queens can put in a stack of supers
    4) Wax moths. Brood comb virtually guarantees wax moth damage (in my area at least)

    I haven't seen a drop in honey production or comb building with excluders in my hives. Other beekeepers do see a decline. I expect location has a lot to do with the difference.

    Now having said all that I still recognize that choosing to use excluders or not is a matter of personal judgement and preference. Beekeepers have different goals and different priorities. Differing geographical locations will change the beekeeping style too. Listen to both sides of the discussion, and then follow whatever matches your needs.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work" -- Thomas A. Edison

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
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    1,222

    Default Re: Brood in honey super?

    When your pulling honey during a flow from 50-100 hives it's a real pain in the you know what to have a couple frames of eggs or brood in the center of your honey supers. I can generally pull the boxes pretty quick without having to deal with brood up top where I don't want it. I get the feeling that a lot of people just haven't had the opportunity to see how excludes can be used properly and effectively under the right conditions.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

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