Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hive (foundationless) that filled 75% of its frames.

I added another hive body about a month ago (2nd box). This body is now full of frames with comb and jam packed with brood/eggs/pollen/honey. They even started to make burr comb and fill it with incoming nectar.

Inspecting the bottom box today, I see a lot of empty comb with no eggs. Still a number of bees on the frames, and some honey/pollen - but definitely nowhere near full. I also noticed they stopped building the rest of those frames out on the bottom box and focused their attention on that top box.

Did I just catch her highness on a bad day and she has not been back down to the lower box yet? Is that normal behavior to move up in the hive and leave the bottom somewhat vacant?

Any insight is most appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
From what i've seen in my own hives that scenario isn't so much normal. Have you been getting rid of the burr comb between boxes? The queen uses that as a ladder to move between boxes much of the time. I don't remove mine anymore. I did in the beginning and I had problems like you speak of. However, since the bees have quit working on the frames in the lower box, it may be time to mix up the brood nest a bit and put those frames between drawn frames.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have been pretty vigilant on controlling the burr comb. Most of it is on the outermost frames where the space between it and the wall is much larger than the frames, but did not extend between the 2 boxes. Today I added a slatted rack on the bottom of the hive to help with better ventilation and the hopes the bees would draw the last bit of comb towards the bottom entrance since its now out of the doorway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
A lot of times the bees move up and the bottom box becomes pollen storage or a place to deposit resources that get moved up. Eventually she'll move down if she can lay fast enough. It seems empty at times, especially during dearths.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Makes sense JRG13. I will monitor for another week and see if things change.

Does anyone have experience with slatted racks and foundationless frame build out? Does it help promote frame build out on that bottom box like I hope?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
Can't help on slatted racks or F less. Have tried neither. But, will take a stab on brood location:
In the wild bee cavity of the tree hollow, the bees start at the top of the cavity and build comb downward. The comb at the bottom of the construction is used to rear brood. In other words, the brood area leads comb construction in the downward direction and as the brood area grows, space is gained above for developement of wintering honey. This can be seen in the Lang hive by the upper, outside corners of a brood frame accumulating capped honey in the first deep of the starter colony. (Most of the frame is devoted to brood.)

In our infinate wisdom, we add growth space above - the second box. Without notice, the bee's instincts are turned upside down. Now growth is up, not down. Most colonies make the adjustment and add honey overhead. But some continue to lead the growth comb with brood and wind up with the basic brood nest in the upper deep, and the lower deep basically deserted. Blame genetic diversity.

To compound the problem you have, where the broodnest IS in early August is where it will likely be going into winter. That's when they start preparing the broodnest for winter. Too late in the season to push them down with either feed or incoming nectar. Some radical colonies may store honey below the broodnest, but that's also against their natural instincts.

The recommendation from here is to reverse the two hive bodies betfween now and early Aug. That will encourage them to store wintering honey overhead, on the fall flow, where they want it.

There are advisors here that recommend no action for irregular circumstances - "The bees know what they are doing." While that may be true in the hollow tree, it is not always true in the Lang hive.

Walt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,681 Posts
It sounds to me like your nectar flow slowed down enough that the brood moved up instead of moving honey up, as there was not enough nectar flow to make more honey than what was needed to feed brood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the incredible insight. I'll check on them later this week. Love the idea of reversing hive bodies if it becomes a pattern - simple yet makes total sense.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top