What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    12

    Default What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    I left a medium super on one of my hives (double deep) over the winter and now it's filled with drone brood and what I assume is largely sugar from fall and winter feeding. Right now my plan is to (checking for the queen) shake the bees from the frames down to the brood boxes and put the super above an inner cover and hope they clear out the stores in the super. I want to treat for mites soon so I need the box off.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Fargo, North Dakota
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    I suggest you edit your profile to identify your location. Do not trust answers to inquiries when they do not know your geographical and weather circumstances — all beekeeping is local (in my opinion).

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    If the bees have access to the super, they will go back to the drone brood ASAP. Unless the drone brood has already been capped.

    Why do you need to remove the super to treat for mites?
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    I'm in central Indiana. I will be doing OA vapor so I can't have supers on during treatment. It's mostly capped drone brood. Maybe I should use a queen excluder instead but they appear to be bringing in nectar already so it will be capped eventually. I guess I could take it off when I go to treat with AO and then extract the frames and use that to feed nucs.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Fargo, North Dakota
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    Jpfbeek - thanks for telling everyone your location, but your “profile” should be updated so it will appear for every post, along with your join date. In my opinion, there is no need to remove the “super” before you do a OA vapor treatment because your “super” is actually a brood box with non-honey sugar stores. The efficacy of a single treatment of that “super” will be questionable - it will depend on the stage of the brood (drones?); if capped, the oxalic acid will not kill the mites under the cappings. For that reason, the normal practice is a series of oxalic acid vaporizations every 4-5 days to kill newly-emerging mites over time.

    The reason that “honey supers” (not “supers with brood and/or non-honey sugar substances) are removed during the oxalic acid treatment is due to the law — which attempts to minimize any adverse impact of the oxalic acid, a naturally-occurring organic acid (but less is always regarded as better).

    In my opinion, you are putting emphasis on the word “super”, when the purpose of the restriction is to protect the “honey intended for human consumption” which may be in a super, deep, medium, or any other sized box.
    Last edited by JTGaraas; 04-06-2020 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Spelling

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Niagara Co., NY, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    Why not freeze the drone brood and get rid of the mites that are with them and then put your super back on after your OAV. The sugar syrup, I don't know; I think I'd scratch the cappings and put the super on the bottom for a week and see if they will move it out of their way. No guaranty, but that's what I would try.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    It was my understanding that you don't want to ever extract a frame that has been subject to OAV, even if it wasn't the same honey. I'll eventually want to use the frames for actual honey so I don't want them on while doing OAV. If I scratch the frames and just open feed them a good couple hundred feet from the hives they should have it cleaned up pretty quickly I imagine.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,972

    Default Re: What to do with super full of winter feed and drone brood.

    Comb that has been subjected to Oxalic Acid is safe to use for honey. The OA is not absorbed into the wax the way Amitraz (Apivar) is. If you open feed the sugar and have supers on any of your hives, there is a good possibility of that sugar syrup ending up mixed with your honey.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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