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Discussion Starter #1
I see "Honey Bound" mentioned in many threads. Can someone explain what it is, the cause, remedy and what happens to the colony if not corrected. Thanks.
 

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a search at the top of the page would be more productive than asking for the info to be repeated.
 

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I see "Honey Bound" mentioned in many threads. Can someone explain what it is, the cause, remedy and what happens to the colony if not corrected. Thanks.
I snagged the following excerpt from http://www.imkerei.com/articles/us/small_beekeeping/beekeeping_essence.htm:

Not only does the colony need extra space to store honey during the flow, but space is also needed to expand the brood nest during the build-up period. The bees themselves expand the area for the brood nest by using the pollen and honey around the periphery of the brood area. This frees these cells for the queen to lay in, but expanding the brood nest in this manner is a slow process for the colony and can restrict the laying of the queen. When this happens, the colony is said to be "honey-bound" as the brood nest is bounded or restricted by honey. A honey-bound brood nest is a major factor in stimulating swarming.

By exchanging the combs filled with honey on the edge of the brood nest with empty combs, the beekeeper can alleviate the honey-bound condition more quickly than the bees themselves can. This gives the queen more room to lay, and the colony builds up to a high population faster.

During the dearth period, on the other hand, the colony needs less space since the bee population is decreasing. The beekeeper should remove the unused space or combs in the hive. This compacts the colony and permits the bees to defend the colony better against predators.

In manipulating the hive to create or reduce space, it is important to remember that good beekeeping involves understanding the yearly colony cycle and carrying out management operations at the right time. A given hive manipulation made at the appropriate time in the cycle can be foolproof in giving the desired results. The same manipulation made at the inappropriate time is often doomed to failure.
 

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brian
came across the same thing with my hive, my first year, the top brood chamber is full of honey, found some pollen in some of the cells, this should be for the queen to lay eggs, but it wasn't many. we have sumac and sour wood blooming here, so i took one of the supers off to help the bee's in protecting and looking after only one open super, they are moving up in the super but haven't seen any comb being drawn out. they were bearding at the end of the day around 7pm, now there is no bearding, this was done,the bearding, when we had several dry weeks and the day's were long and hot,upper 90' to 100's, we have recently got some good rains for the last 3 day's and the bearding has stopped. i thought they were going through a dearth, but now i can't tell what is going on. i read the post on honey bound, and hope i have not made a mistake. the honey in the upper brood chamber is white capped, and was hoping that they would move on up into the supers. wonder if i did right or add another super? my brood chambers are large, do you think i should take the upper brood chamber and place the super where it was and put the upper brood chamber on top of it?
 

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Learning curve here, too. Be patient with us newbies.

I read Michael Bush's defnition of honey bound and discovered it in real life yesterday as I opened my hive.

Painted another box and put it atop the others early this morning. Will I avert the swarming plan ? The hive has lots of bees and is doing very well.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So in a nutshell, if you see honey in the middle of the comb in the brood nest during the growing season, you are Honey Bound.
 

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i don't know about that will, all i did was add 2 supers to the hive, then saw that they could not guard that much open space, so i took one super off and they seem to like that better, they are moving in quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bradley, I think I read somewhere that the trick to great beekeeping is to allow the bees the proper amount of space at any given time of the year. This means giving them space when they need it and taking it away when they don't need it.

This is also mentioned in Brian's quote above:
A given hive manipulation made at the appropriate time in the cycle can be foolproof in giving the desired results. The same manipulation made at the inappropriate time is often doomed to failure.
 

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gotcha Will,
thats what i did , we had a dearth going on and i removed the upper super, will give them a couple of weeks and check to see if i can add the other super.
thanks
 
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