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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

One of my hives swarmed about 2 weeks ago. New queen any day now.. but in meantime looks like they've been backfilling the empty brood cells in the deeps w nectar despite plenty of room in the supers. I even undersupered to get the less full super lower but they still seem to prefer packing it in the deeps. I'm concerned that the new queen won't have anywhere to lay. I've heard some mention extracting those deep frames. If I do that, it's mostly open nectar, cells of pollen, some brood etc. What do I do with this extract- feed it back to them in mason jars? I could replace a few of the honeybound frames with empty drawn comb.. but again, what do I do with those old frames with some capped, lots of open nectar, pollen etc?

Any advice much appreciated,

Thanks

brad
 

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Deja-vu, all over again. Make sure they have some drawn comb resources so when the new queen gets herself started, she has room to lay. Wait until she just starts laying and then slot in a couple of empty drawn frames. Freeze the frames you take out (to protect and preserve them.) Once she's cooking along again and the population has a good supply of wax makers ( 8-12 day old adults) add a box with some foundation and the thawed, drawn combs and get another box built out.

That will be useful next year in your efforts to prevent swarming. It's easier when you have spare drawn comb on hand. It's far too easy to look at empty drawn comb and think, I can make another colony this summer using that and then wind up short next spring. You need to think about building up a surplus of it. Preserve it carefully (I keep mine frozen.)

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yep- I get the benefit to having drawn comb-- in fact I saved some frames of drawn comb from old nuc last year. And now coming to use! Ok- I get that I need to swap in some empty frames once she's laying. My question is what to do with these frames of wet nectar filled cells-- all those old brood cells filled with nectar (plus pollen plus some brood). I was told to extract-- but what do I do with this stuff? I would guess it's too wet to be honey. are you advising just freezing that whole frame as is and then just plunk it back in when needed?

And- is this idea of bees re-arranging stores to make room for laying true? I haven't observed that-- from what I've seen they leave things alone and if there's nectar in the cells there's nectar in the cells. curious if others have really seen this rearrangement thing?
 

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If they have some other place to put it yes they move the nectar out seen it a few times. Of course if the queen doesn't return from the mating flight they will keep filling it with honey. Back filling of the brood nest is caused by not putting honey supers on when needed.
 

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Or knock her down to one deep, remove the supers, and put on Basswood section comb honey. You are all set up for it, a deep full of honey, and a new queen.

Crazy Roland
 

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Thisoldfish,
The bees I have when back-filling the brood nest will not move nectar out no matter how many supers I put on. The Queens will move up if there is no QE in place. Post swarm or post split or after placing a Snelgrove board on they will move nectar most of the time.
I have not tried reversing a honey bound brood box to the bottom, but will try that.
I have successfully done, this year, what Roland has suggested. Not basswood sections, but rather cut comb. All things seemingly equal, some of my bees act as though a QE is not an obstacle, some have to be coaxed up with a frame of partially drawn and filled cut comb.

As for what to do with the excess resources, you can save for next year, use for your own increase or make a few nucs to sell. The little bit of money you earn makes spending money for new stuff a little easier to swallow.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks all. And it's definitely not a matter of not enough super.. they have one full super and a partially drawn 2nd super--when I saw the backfilling post swarm I undersupered hoping to get them to deal with the partially filled super but they just kept filling the deeps.

Ok- this has given me some ideas/direction-- thanks all.

brad
 

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Thisoldfish,

I have had the exact same scenerio happen to me this year. I'm a third year beekeeper so I wasnt quite sure what to do. I pulled 2 of the deep frames in the brood box that were full of nectar and placed them in the freezer. In their place I used 2 undrawn frames. Last I looked, they had not even started drawing them out yet. So, of a full deep brood box, there may be 2 or 3 partial frames for the queen to lay. The rest is either undrawn of full of nectar.
 
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