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Bees only Filling out Half the Hive?

6776 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  drlonzo
I'm a greenhorn beekeeper, and I'm having a little trouble comprehending why one of my hives seems to only be building comb on one side of the hive. I recently took off the entrance feeders, and the mentioned hive won't even go near the spot the entrance feeder rested at - the same side that it avoids entirely. Heck, the bees aren't even present on the 3-4 frames on that side. Maybe 2-4 bees will be on those frames at any time. I do have two deeps on at the moment (perhaps a mistake), and both of the supers are having the same problem.

I have two hives, and the problem is only present in one of the hives. The other is perfectly normal. I got the hives in May.

Any ideas/advice for a new beekeeper?
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Is the top deep undrawn also. If so I would take it off or move drawn frames down if it has any.

Bees won't draw comb where there's a draft. What's your ventilation like. It could be that they don't think they need it.
I'm using Langstroth hives, and as far as I'm aware, there is no draft. Yes, the top deep has a few drawn frames, think moving those down and filling in the empty side will help a bit?
This is a common occurrence from what I've seen over the years. If it were mine I'd turn that hive body 180 degrees effectively reversing which side the occupied frames were on in the hive. When I've noticed this issue most of the time they will prefer the southern side of an east facing hive set.
As time goes on you'll begin to notice that honeybees are like people in the fact that they will have different personalities just as people do. Some colonies will do things that are not easily explainable especially when only one presents an odd behavior unlike any others in the same yard.
Just because one plan works for most all your bees doesn't mean it will work for the occasional renegade.
My brother has had several hives that refuse to use the last frame on one side of the hive.

The best thing to do, I think, on a new hive like that is to move the undrawn frames to the other side. They are more likely to draw them out over on that side, but may in fact abandon the drawn ones you moved over.

Not a problem for me this year, my large hive had all ten frames in the deep full of brood at one point, even the outside faces which are usually honey.

You just never know.

You are also probably going into the summer dearth, and they won't draw much more comb this year unless you feed them.

I would readjust your hive a bit inside. Bees will start at one point and go straight up if you added a super too soon. That is one of the reasons to wait till the first one is at 75-80% drawn out prior to adding supers. Second thing to take note on is the amount of area that they must keep warm enough to brood up.

The fix IMO.. Take apart your hive, move the frames from above back down into the lower body, then bust up the brood nest with a few undrawn frames between drawn ones on each side. Once you do that, give them a little feed if there's nothing to forage for. This will stimulate them to draw comb. Once they have drawn out all the frames in the lower, stack your second on top and elevate two frames in the center up and replace in the bottom with undrawn frames. Keep manipulating the frames this way till they ALL are drawn out. If you have this hive in the shade, put an entrance reducer back in with the largest opening. This will keep the heat in they need to draw comb.
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