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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I'm a first year beekeeper and everything has been going well. However, I ran into a problem recently that I can't figure out. About a month ago, I put a honey super on top of my two deep brood chambers. I did not use a queen excluder, but the bees just aren't interested in going up into the super. They are extremely active and are packing the honey into the two brood chambers, but they just won't super. It has been over a month. I tried putting honey on the frames in the super (beeswax frames) to entice them up. They came up, got the honey, and then went back down.
Any ideas?
 

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If they have room and empty comb in the nest they will store the honey there. Especially if you`re using foundation only in the super. What foundation are you using? Is your nectar flow still on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have beeswax foundation in the super, but it has not been drawn out yet. And I THINK the nectar flow is still on (I'm in N.E. Washington state) although I don't know how I would tell.
 

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"And I THINK the nectar flow is still on (I'm in N.E. Washington state) although I don't know how I would tell."

If I were to move to a part of the country that was very different from what I was familiar with and wanted to keep honey bees, one of the first things I would do is study botany [get a plant identification book] and become acquainted with the flora of the area. I would contact some beekeepers in that area too! > http://www.wasba.org/officers.htm

"They are extremely active and are packing the honey into the two brood chambers, but they just won't super. It has been over a month."

Are they raising some brood in the chamber now? They may have been in the process of superseding the queen sometime before or after you put the super on. This will cause them to reduce comb building and place nectar in the brood chamber. It is not uncommon for package queens to be superseded.
 

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You can tell if they are bringing in nectar by taking a frame from the broodnest holding it upside down and shaking it a little. If liquid shakes out of the frame then there is a honey flow going the more nectar the better the flow. It seems a little late in the year to be drawing foundation in Wa.
 

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yeah its past late for drawning supers - but this is good in one way -

starting feeding 2:1 - they might and i say might draw a little in the super but if they dont they will start to fill the second deep with sugar syrup - this will push the brood down and start to get the hive ready for winter -

but only start about a quart a week until sept. then up the amount to full speed - let them take it all - until they stop storing

hope this helps

then next year the will be ready to draw those supers early
 

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Are you saying there is no flow in Wa. state untill next spring? Here we have a fall flow and they will draw comb as they need it.
 

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The East side of the state is very different from the west side. On the west side we still have the blackberry flow going, although it is winding down, then if you are lucky you will have fireweed and knotweed, then that is really it until the spring.
On the east side they probably have blackberry, dont know what else, however they do have many more farms on that side although I suspect pollination is pretty much done for the year, except maybe pumpkin.
 

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yeah its past late for drawning supers - but this is good in one way -

starting feeding 2:1 - they might and i say might draw a little in the super but if they dont they will start to fill the second deep with sugar syrup - this will push the brood down and start to get the hive ready for winter -

Depending upon specifics of your location, you should still have some flow in Spokane. "Major flow"??? hard to say. You probably need a good flow for drawing supers from foundation.

In my experience, the hive needs to be "crowded" or a major flow to draw empty supers of foundation.

In this situation, there is not much you can do, just wait and see. keep the excluder off.

IF you had all of the same size boxes, you could pull a frame (or 2) of brood up (STRONG hive only) above an excluder, and this would probably get the bees started working. Put the frame of foundation below on the outside or second from end.--------

If you have an extra deep with foundation, you could try this
 

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Striker, they WILL NOT draw foundation if there is not a pretty good honeyflow on. They will just chew holes in your foundation. They will fill it in with drone comb when they finally do draw it. I don't like to leave foundation on them if they are not drawing it.

Signs of a strong honeyflow are:
1. Lots of uncapped honey.
2. Colorless "honey" ( nectar ) that will shake out of the comb.
3. Lots of brace comb in any bee-space.
4. White specks of virgin wax on dark cappings.
5. Honeybound brood nest.

Late July and all of August is a dearth time in my area ( SE Tennessee ). They WILL NOT draw foundation at this time !
 
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