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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may take a L O N G time to explain, so here we go;

I split my strongest Lang earlier this Spring and it has continued to 'boom' :) This is the 'standard' Lang setup; deep brood box, with a medium 'brood' box atop that. This medium box directly above the deep brood box was - IS - slam full of honey stores Including the three new frames from the split!

About three weeks ago I supered the hive with a new medium box and 9 foundationless frames. After a week or so, I took a peek and was disappointed to see NO drawn comb. Asked a few local beeks who said 'feed 'em' (in spite of the local nectar flow we've been having, which I mistakenly thought was a 'good' reason to NOT feed them :doh: ) so they've hammered a gallon of 1:1 sugar syrup in two and a half days! Took another peek today and STILL no drawn comb.

Here's my question;

My response to the situation was to swap medium boxes, i.e. I put the new, empty, undrawn, foundationless-frame box UNDER the medium 'brood' box that's FULL of honey.

IS this a reasonable solution or have I confounded the bees? I did NOT see (nor look for, really) the queen, but I'm reasonably certain she's in the deep brood box.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Peace,
Joseph
 

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Joseph,
Sometimes a hive gets "honeybound". The top box gets so crowded with honey that the bees think they're out of room. When this happens the chances of a swarm increase. What I probably would have done is remove some of the full frames from the second box (providing it didn't contain brood)and put them in the new top box. I'd take the empty top box frames that I just replaced, and put them down into the second box. That way both your top mediums would have a mixture of empty and full frames, and the bees would see this as empty space that needed to be filled. Like checkerboarding. The way you did it originally, they probably didn't consider the top box. Moving the empty top box to the middle position might work, if you already haven't given them the swarming idea, and if the moved full box doesn't contain brood. Keep an eye on them.
 

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I would suggest that based on the fact that they are not drawing comb and they took a gallon of sugar water in a couple of days, that you are not in a local flow right now.

...and no, you should not be feeding during a nectar flow. Normally they won't take it anyway then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Joseph,
Sometimes a hive gets "honeybound". The top box gets so crowded with honey that the bees think they're out of room. When this happens the chances of a swarm increase.
That's one of the reasons that I split this hive two months ago! At that time I put three empty frames in the medium to replace the three frames I took for the split (as well as three - or four, I forget - deep frames from the bottom box). I saw no further signs of swarming and there are PLENTY of bees still in this hive!

Joseph,
I'd take the empty top box frames that I just replaced, and put them down into the second box. That way both your top mediums would have a mixture of empty and full frames, and the bees would see this as empty space that needed to be filled. Like checkerboarding.
See above, but I wish I had thought to checkerboard while I was out there! :doh:

Joseph,
Moving the empty top box to the middle position might work, if you already haven't given them the swarming idea, and if the moved full box doesn't contain brood. Keep an eye on them.
Even IF the box DOES contain brood, since I didn't shake the bees off, won't the nurse bees stay with the brood until hatch? (I did NOT go frame by frame, but that was a pretty heavy box, I suspect it's all honey :D

Thanks a TON for your thoughtful reply ... it is very much appreciated!!

Peace,
Joseph
 

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Well, if your bees don't act "normally" then you have sugar water mixed with your nectar honey. If you are just going to feed it back, then go ahead. If you plan to use it, give it away or sell it, then don't.

Particularly on a weak flow (at the beginning or end of the strong one) they will take some. It doesn't sound like you have a nectar flow right now, or at least a very strong one, so they will be mixing a gallon of sugar water every couple days with any nectar that they come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
At the risk of creating a thread that runs forever, help me understand what "act normally" might mean or look like? I understand that mixing sugar syrup with honey to be consumed/sold is less than desirable, but how can I tell the bees have done that based on "act normally"?

Thanks!
Joseph
 

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Wow, Johnyoga...I like what you said. Pulling a few frames of foundation to and switching out with full frames of honey, i.e. a checkerboarding pattern between the full and empy super is a GREAT idea. Works gradually, not a huge shift in the furniture so to speak. What a great tip. Thanks,.
 
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