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Hello All,

Beginners mistake here. I installed a 3# package 10 days ago. Put a top feeder on top of the frames of a medium super. Put another empty medium on top to make room for the feeder. Put the top cover on top of the second empty super. Bees decided to build comb on the top cover. Ten days out there are three combs drawn on the top cover already some filled with honey. Did not look around too much because a top cover with bees is much different than pulling out frames.

Any advice? Do I scrape everything off the top cover and try to fit it in a super with frames? At some point I have to get them off the top cover. Should I wait and let them build up?

Beginner mistake. Help appreciated.

Thanks,

KLB
 

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I had a similar experience with one of my 2 hives. They just loved building comb in the top hive feeder and on the top cover.

Get it out of there or they will keep building where you don't want it. I had to remove it twice before they finally got the idea. I scraped it off and placed it in on the screened bottom board. They cleaned out the comb (mostly) and recycled the contents. Do you see any bees building out the frames? If so, once the 'smell' of brood kicks in, the rest of the bees stop spending time building on the top cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Zbee.

That is the direction I am heading. Is the anything I should watch out for or avoid?

Radar Sidetrack,

That is one awesome creative idea. Not anywhere there yet with my experience.

Thanks,

KLB
 

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I'd probably use Graham's method with the rubber bands. But they will keep building on the top cover with the setup you have because of all the open space. What I do is sit the feed jar on a screened inner cover, add a super, and a top. The #8 screen prevents the bees from entering that open space in the super and confines them down where the frames are. This way proper bee space is being maintained and they don't go building comb all over the place.

If you don't want a fully screened inner cover, you can use a traditional inner cover and screen over the center opening. Just remember to reverse the lid on the mason jar so the bees can reach its holes through that screening, because the mason jar lid is concave. Reversed, it works fine. This is how I feed my new hives.

HTH

Rusty
 

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You don't have to use any screen to use Rusty's feeder method.

My hives all have migratory style lids, so I don't have any inner covers. But I recently wanted to be able to feed a split from up top, so I drilled a 2 3/4" hole in a suitable piece of plywood. The jar top will fit into the hole and hang down somewhat below the bottom of the plywood (the jar rests on its wider shoulder area, which won't fit through the hole.)

So while I was at it I drilled the same size hole in a couple of small scraps of 1/4" plywood. Those small pieces act as shims to raise the shoulder of the jar so that the lid is even with the bottom of the main plywood piece. No screen required, and I can use the jar lid with its rubber seal against the glass. Not all jars are formed from the same mold, so having two 1/4" shims allows for variation in jars.

I put an empty body and regular top board on top to shield everything from the sun/rain.
 

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Bees will ALWAYS build comb on a flat surface in preference to frames. Always, never fails -- this is in fact their normal mode of making a hive, after all. Leave a frame out, and they will draw comb from the inner cover or migratory cover and ignore the foundation in the frames until the wild comb is full, every time.

If the comb is large enough to scrape off and rubber band into frames, do that. If not, scrape it off and put it on the top of the inner cover or someplace similar for them to rob out. If you have brood in it I would try to save that by putting it in a frame. There are plans out on the internet for making special wire split frames designed specifically for this if you want to got the the work. Otherwise, rubber bands or cotton string work fine.

Peter
 

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Rader...You still saving all that drone brood on cut outs? It's the first thing in the trash for me (after weepy honey comb)...just curious...

klb...It's only going to get worse if you don't remove it now. The comb may be too soft to salvage, but it isn't going to get better. If you can, cut and push onto the top bar of a frame.
 

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> Rader...You still saving all that drone brood on cut outs? It's the first thing in the trash for me

If you followed the photo credit link that I posted with the photo you would see that it is not my photo. I chose that photo because it clearly illustrates the use of rubber bands to temporarily support cutout comb with a standard frame.

The odds are good that the comb Klb is referring to in post #1 is not full of drones as that is a brand new package install.
 

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As a new beekeeper with a single hive I needed to feed after installation of my nuc. I chose to feed using zip bags. I placed them on top of the inner cover with a box on top to provide space and not squash the baggie, then the telescoping cover. The bees came up through the hole in the inner cover to get at the 1:1. Did this for about 4 weeks with no building of comb anywhere other than in the foundationless frames in the bottom box. Maybe I was just lucky.
 
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