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drone brood in supers

1047 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NeilV
Hi all- First off I apologize if these are silly questions, I'm a 'newbee'.
So great 1st year- installed a package in May, strong queen, have two fully drawn out deeps with brood, pollen, honey, etc. I now have 2 supers (shallow) on top. The first is fully drawn out, filled w/ honey but not yet capped, the second is being worked on- we are not using an excluder. In checking today I noticed some capped drone brood in the bottom of the middle frames on the lower super- should I be worried? Also, it's been a while since I went down to the bottom deep- should I check this to see if the colony is 'moving up'? And finally, what exactly constitutes 'honey bound'? I live in Maine and am sure I'll need the honey for the winter...Thanks so much in advance!
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The easiest solution is to put a queen excluder on. The drone brood will mature and they can use the cells for honey. You are probably correct the queen is moving up for a reason like a healthy hive. When there is no room to lay brood they are honey bound. It would not be a concern near Winter time, but they still need room this early. Honey bound is like asking when a truck is overloaded. If it is driving down the road safely - it is perfectly loaded. When you cannot stop or turn without rolling the truck or load it is overloaded. Too much depends on a bunch of factors. If you have to ask yourself if you need to inspect the whole hive, you probably should have already done so.
I've got the same situation upon inspection in my hives: drone and workers mixed in with honey in the supers. The two deeps below it are full of honey, but there is still an active brood nest. I'm not terribly worried, just curious, since this is year two for me and I'm happy with just a little honey. I am going to let things run their course and let the queen lay where she wants.

Remember--finding brood where you don't "want" it is a heck of a lot better than not being able to locate brood or eggs at all :thumbsup:
They tend to put drone brood on the outer edges of the brood area, and the brood area sometimes gets up into supers. But that just means you have a healthy hive with a nice big brood area.

They will probably back fill the area that is currently brood with honey after the brood hatches out. It will probably not even be there if and when you extract.

You could put an excluder on. I'm sure some people would say to do that. I would not. It's a judgment call.

I use excluders only when I get a goofy queen that is laying outright in the supers. I had that happen this year on a hive that requeened itself after I accidentally killed the queen. The new queen started laying up top for some reason and then proceeded to lay down low and everywhere in between. That's the sort of situation where I will use an excluder.

Of course, plenty of good beekeepers use them regularly and routinely.

Use of queen excluders is an area where you can ask 10 beeks and get 11 answers.
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