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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new beekeeper in NC and I got a nuc on 5/9. I have one deep and I added a super about 3 weeks ago. I looked at the super today and there are plenty of bees in there but absolutely no honey. I have a queen "reducer" (cant think of the real name) in between the body and the super. The hive appears to be strong, does anybody know what might be going on??
 

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take off the queen excluder, most bees dont like to go through'em. good luck,mike
 

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First year you dont need an excluder, are you saying that the brood area doesnt have honey? if not you need to feed, if you are saying there is no extra honey that is normal they are using it to grow larger, get back in there and look around, good luck
Bob
 

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I agree...Take off the queen excluder.
 

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If you have a lot of bees above the excluder, then they are going through it easily. They probably are getting it prepared for storage of honey if they need it. In NC, most everyone runs 2 deeps as the hive body and then puts on supers above that. Two deeps makes a large brood nest and a lot of bees to bring in a lot of honey. A nuc bought on 5/9 may not build up strong enough to have extra honey this year. It's been rainy/cludy more than normal for us and they haven't been able to get out to forage as much this year. Don't be disapointed if you don't get any surplus the first year. That's normal. Think more in terms of getting them built up well to make it through winter strong enough to get a bumper crop next year. That's my take on it.

Good luck & keep us posted on what happens. Don't be shy about asking us more questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replies! I know most people in NC have two deeps, but I really don't care about having so much surplus honey, I'm not planning on selling it or anything. I am at the beach this weekend but will look into the deep on Sunday to see if there is honey in there. It's good to know that probably nothing is wrong. I belong to the local Beekeeping Club and you get so many different opinions it's hard to figure things out the first year. I was told by someone that I would get one or two supers full this year! So that's why I was concerned when I opened the super and found nothing but bees.
 

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Welcome, it is also called a honey reducer. The greatest reason for double brood supers and a surplus of honey on the hive all year is survival. If they do not have great enough numbers to fight off diseases, pests and parasites; and sufficient stores to feed that number - we will be reading a sad story by Spring. No one wishes that on any beekeeper.
 

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Thanks for your replies! I know most people in NC have two deeps, but I really don't care about having so much surplus honey, I'm not planning on selling it or anything. I am at the beach this weekend but will look into the deep on Sunday to see if there is honey in there. It's good to know that probably nothing is wrong. I belong to the local Beekeeping Club and you get so many different opinions it's hard to figure things out the first year. I was told by someone that I would get one or two supers full this year! So that's why I was concerned when I opened the super and found nothing but bees.
I run a 8 frame deep and medium for brood chamber. I have excluder on and they have been a little slow at drawing the 1st super, have had to move frames from medium brood box with honey up to the medium super. Thinking i'm going to pull off my excluders also as in 1 of my hives I found a swarm cell yesterday. Going to try and make a split out of it today. Holly Springs as in Franklin?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just checked the 1st super and there is honey (yay!) in the middle frames - and there are lots of bees in there. I was going to check the deep but the bees started getting a little agitated so I just figured everything was alright and left them alone.
This is a really stupid question I'm sure, but where do you put the super full of bees when you want to look into the brood box??
Also I have two shallow supers above the brood box, they probably won't use the second one but it can't hurt to leave it there can it?
Also, Holly Springs is in Wake County. Just SW of Raleigh.
 

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You could use a couple of cement blocks or whatever you might have handy. I have my 2 hives setup with 6 cement blocks with 2x4 boards in the holes of the blocks which the hive sit on. They way they sit gives me space on either side where I could sit a super while inspecting other boxes, as the boards are about 4 ft long. I also have a small wooden table which I leave out there and after I remove my screened inner cover, I sit supers on top of that, and usually have an empty hive body sitting on the boards in the space next to the hive where i will temporarily put a couple of the first frames I pull so there will be some space in the box i'm inspecting.
 

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You can have too many supers these days. The bees have to protect every space within the hive from wax moths, small hive beetles and other threats that can destroy your hive within the week. Your hive also has to regulate the temperature and humidity of all the unneeded space. It is like giving a 12 bedroom ranch house to a new couple that cannot even take care of an efficiency apartment yet. They will be overworked and consume more resources for nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks so much for your help! I just removed the top super since they just barely are putting much honey in the bottom one. And, I did notice a couple of hive beetles on the top of the super I removed.
 

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I always use a gueen excluder. Where you are located you need 2 hive bodies so you get enough bees to survive the winter. If you put on suppers with foundation only put on 1 at a time. When the first supper is 2/3 full of honey put on the second supper and let the bees work on that one. This way you will get all foundation pulled equally not just the center frames. when that supper is 2/3 full you add another supper.
Clint
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So if I don't get another hive body, they will not survive the winter? I wish they would tell you that at the beginner class!
Can I use the extra super as a hive body? I realize this is a really stupid question, but oh well. I really don't want to buy another deep, and paint it, and then it is probably too late for them to fill it this year anyway, isn't it?
 

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There are no dumb questions, only dumb people embarrased to ask. Bees do not care if supers are deep, medium, shallow or comb honey shallow. There are plenty of opinions on the forum. Whether bees, religion or politics, everyone has their idea and it is the only way. No matter how many supers you have for brood by Winter, they will need at least a super of honey or fed sugar syrup before temps drop. Queen/honey excluder opinions are like super counts - some swear by them and others at them. Being new, you should try something for a year and be patient. If you are not sure of or do not like the results try something else next year. Bees are extremely resilient. They survive all our opinions of what they need and what color their supers should be, what foundation to use if any, and if we go too far they leave to where they can survive!
 

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As I have quite a bit of experiense in bee keeping, 14 hives to keep up with at this time.
May I suggest what I have learned in the past years.
As I introduce a nuck into a new hive, I have learned that
if I set up 2 hive bodies and 3 supers the bees see that they
have lots of room to work with so they go into a production
mode reather than a survival mode. Yes I do use a queen excluder
on all the hives and the ladies love it. June 5th I extracted from 2
hives and got 37 quarts of honey using my old proven system.
I don't feed the bees any sugar water unless it is dry weather for more than a 2 wk. span. Then and only than I will give them pure honey with 25% water added with a trace of medicine to strenghten their amune system.
My honey sits for up to 3 years with no change to it.
Most important thing I have learned in the past years is that planting
SPEARMINT in front of each hive reduced pests like mites and shb by 90%
and I can live with that because the bees will take care of that themselves.
For the ants I cote the legs of the stands with vaseline, and use ant traps
by RAID white ones work the best. They go into the trap and cary the
poison into their nest and kill off all other ants in there, I replace the ant traps once a month.

Most important ,,, Put your bees into a productive mode first, by giving them
lots of room to work in.

Last 2 years I had no sworms, and did not split them.
I have made all the woodenware myself all pine and paint all with interior
latex paint at least 3 months before intro of bees into fresh woodware, and
yes the paint woorks great outdoors in the rain.
 
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