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pretty harsh there sfamous, the forum is a place to "ask questions" and "pick brains". JohnV the second box is used both for stores and brood, depending on location additional super or supers of honey are left on them over winter also. With two boxes the queen will extend her brood area up into the second box this area will expand and contract based on the needs of the queen and the stores required by the hive. Yes most times they will move up by themselves, but sometimes they need a little coaxing, and again depending on location and flows it might be necessary from a time/seasonal perspective to help them all you can to assure they are prepared them for winter. Besides the books mentioned, the "search" function on the tool bar above is very helpful and provided a lot of info and different perspectives on just about any beekeeping subject. Good luck to all.

steve
 

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Why do they need to be coaxed up into that second box? Maybe they do, and maybe they don't, but remember that in a natural hive they wouldn't have to do that. In a tall narrow cavity like a tree they would start at the top and build comb down until it was big enough or they ran out of space, and then they would move around on that contiguous comb.

They might move up without any coaxing but sometimes they seem to act like they can't or don't want to, and they get really crowded even though they actually have room to move into. In a case like that when you do move a frame up they will sometimes start building on the adjacent frames right away.

It would probably be ok if you don't, but I always move one up if they are crowded.
 

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Okay I'm a new beek and this is what happened my first year. I had two deeps and the ladies choked it full of nectar. The majority was not capped. They had pollen too but most of the 20 deep frames were uncapped nectar. I emailed several folks and looked on here. I got plenty of advice.
Everyone called this honey bound. My queen was not laying, there was no space. I opted to follow Jim Tews advice and put on another deep. If I'd spoken to a local beek I would have followed his advice and pulled some of the frames, given them to a weaker hive, and just given the ladies empty frames.
I thought my queen was gone, no eggs, no larva, no brood. But in a week or two she was back in business. I know it was the same queen due to her mark. I believe the term honey bound is used to cover the idea that there is too much honey/nectar and not enough empty space for the queen to lay.
 

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2nd year beekeeper..
John, sound like you got the idea. That is the way it is "supposed to be", but sometimes :D the bees don't do what they are "supposed to do".

You may be mixing up to different points though. Mostly when I hear people trying to encourage bees to move up, they mean on new frames that are empty (foundation or foundationless). They want them to start using it. So sometimes you encourage them by moving som used frames up.

Once stores/brood are up there they will "move up" during the winter/spring as they need those stores. You don't need to encourage them to move up during this time.

Maybe they sometimes dislike it because it isn't natural to have wood frames around the combs - I have heard that a lot of the top bars on the modern frames was developed during the hey-day of comb honey production and the extra wide frames (1" - 1 1/8") were used to discourage the queen from moving up.

You can read langs. treatise if you want I guess, and be a slave labouror if you want. Or you can just learn as you go. I doubt books will make you good at beekeeping though. Like so many things doing it will be the key.

Mike
 

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Good news.

My swapping of three frames worked. Now I have brood again. I even saw the queen.

My bottom box was starting to fall apart, so this time I went in it was to swap the box itself - put all the frames into a new box. That's when I did the inspection, found brood and queen. The replacement frames are being drawn.

Now that the bottom box is replaced then it will be impossible for the girls to use the cracks as an alternate door, and they can only use the top enterance to the hive. This means they will have to build up the shallows I placed up there which they seem to be ignoring.

But swapping a few frames for a honey-bound hive is a great solution, at least for me.
 

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similar situation here...last inspection a week ago...saw eggs/brood almost two deeps drawn out so we added a medium honey super on top , no excluder and let it be...

Inspection today...only a few bees in the medium super/no start to any foundation work...No eggs to be found in the top deep...still some capped brood but all open cells seem to be full of nectar...

Inspected the bottom deep...same scenario, some brood and lots of hatched space just backfilled with nectar...Found only a handful of eggs in one corner of it and incidentally at the bottom of this just found what I believe to be a queen cell in the making...Not capped yet...

Since we had not much equipment on hand...For now chose to squash the queen cell, and put the medium super in between the first and second deep to encourage them to build and hopefully for the queen to lay again...What are our chances of success here...Population is very stron, this is a new hive started this May...Surprised that they did not want to start on medium super at all..and they seemed to have stopped working on wax in general as I still see the same frames from last week which were half drawn in the same condition....

Any advice to share...? The super in the middle hope has the same effect as pulling some frames up as there is still brood in the top deep...
 

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Discussion Starter #47
similar situation here...last inspection a week ago...saw eggs/brood almost two deeps drawn out so we added a medium honey super on top , no excluder and let it be...

Inspection today...only a few bees in the medium super/no start to any foundation work...No eggs to be found in the top deep...still some capped brood but all open cells seem to be full of nectar...

Inspected the bottom deep...same scenario, some brood and lots of hatched space just backfilled with nectar...Found only a handful of eggs in one corner of it and incidentally at the bottom of this just found what I believe to be a queen cell in the making...Not capped yet...

Since we had not much equipment on hand...For now chose to squash the queen cell, and put the medium super in between the first and second deep to encourage them to build and hopefully for the queen to lay again...What are our chances of success here...Population is very stron, this is a new hive started this May...Surprised that they did not want to start on medium super at all..and they seemed to have stopped working on wax in general as I still see the same frames from last week which were half drawn in the same condition....

Any advice to share...? The super in the middle hope has the same effect as pulling some frames up as there is still brood in the top deep...
having exactly the same symptoms....a while ago...I stopped feeding for about 10 days and once they consumed the syrup in the old brood cells, she went back to work laying. For some reason, mine are making queen cells as well...so i took out all but the biggest one, in case it's a low-hanging supercedure cell disguised as a swarm cell. I have come to the conclusion that Langstroth was right about having to limit the amount of food when backfilling starts...and why now, and not before? Since they have to draw comb, it shouldn't ever be an issue...right? My hypothesis: That's WRONG....for a few reasons....the urgency level is different now than in Spring...there's already two deeps of drawn comb....so that takes off some of the pressure....the season is now "the dearth" and even though you're still feeding, maybe other cues are telling the bees to start stockpiling for Winter, and not increase brood/egg laying as we would like...and maybe having backfilled so much comb already, perhaps they don't see the immediate need for more comb/broodspace right now...and therefore not wasting of the stores on making more wax for comb that is for honey storage....AND ALSO....perhaps the numbers of bees at the right age for maximum wax building is proportionately much less than foraging age bees....think about it....it makes sense...too many foragers bring stuff in, too many juvenile nurse bees warehousing it and too little wax builders to consume it and convert it into comb.....just a theory.....for what it's worth...
 

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There's no telling what all the cause and effects are (although those sound fairly feasible) but one thing is for sure - the more nectar (natural nectar) there is coming in the easier it is to get them to draw comb, and vise-versa.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Agreed....I didn't really think that there would be a difference, but in hindsight of events passed, I think you're on to something with the, "natural-nectar",comb-drawing connection...good catch Dave!
 
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