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Looked in the third deep today and it was plum full of honey. Well, 85% full. 1.5 frames were being worked on but newly. I had no clue what to do at this point. My memory failed me as to what I learned at the University so I'm begging for instruction at this point.

I added a queen excluder even though she wasn't ever in the third hive body (right or wrong?)

I added a honey super on top of the queen excluder (right or wrong?)

How do I encourage them to move into the honey super or will they just naturally do it?

Do I leave all this honey for them to over winter or just what it is in the third deep?
 

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Pixie,

I'm not sure I understand the problem... are you trying to get the bees to move the honey from the 3rd deep into the med super?

I've heard the way to do that is to move the brood boxes ABOVE the deep full of honey--apparently bees can't stand having honey below brood, so they'll move it up of their own accord.

Depending on where you live, 80 lbs of honey may be necessary thru the winter. I don't know. If you think it may be the case (talk to your local beeks) just add the med up there and harvest the med once they get to it. Is there any honey stored in the lower 2 deeps? Like full frames on the sides, not the bits in the corners on brood combs.

If you leave the deep where it is, there's probably no reason at all for the queen excluder. I don't think she'll travel up over the honey combs to lay above them.

Of course, I bow to greater experience if someone else knows differently...
 

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You are fine the way you did it, may want to remove the excluder for a while until they get used to going up there.....you could also pull some or all of the deep, extract and stick it back on to see what they will do with it.;)
 

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Given the third deep is full of honey and they will at least partially backfill the lower deeps you should be good on stores for the winter. I personally would not bother with the excluder as my experience has been that the queen is usually discouraged from moving up by the presence of a super full of honey. You should be well set up for the tree foil and clover that is still blooming and aster and goldenrod that are showing up. It seems like my bees in Bville have been on a flow since the middle of june with one thing or another. Good luck.
 

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If you think that they'll need more space above your deep and if you're using foundation in your super, I would remove the excluder and let them go up and pull wax as they want. They can take their time doing it since they need a reason to make that space. I find that an excluder often slows them down from working a new super. They take to comb better and brood even better than that. I wouldn't sweat it since it sounds like they've done a good job with stores. Sometimes I'll get a hive where they've ever so slowly made a little comb in the topmost box and then the season ends. I never complain since that's just comb...ready to go....for next years supering.
 

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20 years ago, I used excluders on all my hives. Now, if I use them, the bees don't like to go through them. I found one hive, that the workers were actually too large to go through the slots. I found that the excluders retarded honey production, and pulled all of them, and production picked up. Generally, I have not had any problems with the queen moving up. I had one hive this year, that the queen did lay some eggs in the first super above the 2 brood boxes. It was not much, though.
 

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How many deep boxes do you leave on in your area for winter? We have pretty long and hard winters here and it is common practice to winter in two deep hive bodies. Probably with 70 to 80 pounds of honey in the two deep hive bodies.

When the bees become crowded in the two hive bodies, add a queen excluder and a super. When that super is about full add another super, etc. Everything above the excluder is yours to rob. If your super is filled with frames of new foundation, you can encourage the bees to move into the super if you put one drawn comb in the box. They will move up into the super when they get crowded enough below, and if the flow continues.

If you are going to winter in 3 deep hive bodies, then add the excluder on top of the third box then a super.

I always use the excluder. I just don't like brood in the honey supers. What a mess if you have brood in the box when it is time to rob.
Perhaps the queen will not go up, but my experience tells me she most likely will. My honey supers have light comb and the honey is light. If you extract honey from dark brood combs the honey will be darker. Another reason to keep the queen out of your honey supers.
 

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My honey supers have light comb and the honey is light. If you extract honey from dark brood combs the honey will be darker.

Don't think the color of the comb makes any difference, at least it didn't on some of old deep frames I extracted in the spring from a swarmed hive - perfectly normal light spring honey. If you got darker honey it would mean that you were getting cocoon debris into the honey.
 

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If you are not planning on harvesting,you don't need an excluder. I installed an excluder on top of my second deep brood box. Then put some 3/8" shims on top of the excluder/below the medium super. I reduced the bottom entrance to the 2" position. This caused quite a traffic jam and the bees started using the upper entrance regularly within two weeks. Now both entrances are full open and in regular use.
 
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