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Author Topic: Lazy bees? Rookie Question  (Read 418 times)

Offline rgennaro

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Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« on: June 12, 2019, 03:12:32 pm »
So on May 21 I put the honey super on the hive (two-deep 10-frame brood chamber) because all the frames were close to be full (definitely more than 75%). I checked the super this weekend and there was nothing! The frames have drawn comb on it from last year. No nectar, no capped honey. Did I put it on too early? I am in Callicoon NY (Delaware River Valley) ... shouldn't we be in the middle of a flow? (lots of stuff in bloom, and I see my bees going crazy on the chive flowers in my garden). The weather has been unsettled which might be the reason.

More pressingly however, my issue is that I will be away from June 26 to July 20. Should I put a second super on, just in case? Or hope that they will just fill the one they have?


Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 03:42:50 pm »
Couple comments and suggestions:
- The bees will move up when they need the room. Only the excess goes up. Currently, they may be needing most of what they are bringing in right at the brood nest, feeding the brood.
- You may try encouraging them to go up a bit by taking two frames that are pretty full but mostly OPEN nectar and placing those into the centre of the super you added.  For the replacement frames, put those on the outsides of the brood box. This will draw them up into the super, but do not expect them to do a whole lot until there is sufficient flow and all the nest needs are looked after first.  Only the excess goes up.
- Yes, absolutely add a second super before you go.  It is near impossible to add too much space at the time of peak bloom and flow, ... when you will be away. The amount of space you need is regional.  Where I am, a full deep box per week in the midst of the flow is barely enough.
 
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 03:53:01 pm »
As mentioned,I would just swap a honey frame or 2 with a foundation frame. This will get the bees to move up into super. I do not think your hive is large enough to need 2 supers for that amount of time.
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Online Oldbeavo

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 07:54:14 pm »
If you assess the boxes as 75%, then by experience they will be less than that.
HP is on the money, if the hive is growing then a lot of what is coming in is being consumed. Bees store the surplus.
There is no such thing as "lazy bees", they will use the next super when they need it, I am unsure about shifting frames, you will end up with bees in the top box and you will feel successful but the bees will fill where they feel like or is most efficient, probably the 2 new frames you put down.

Offline cao

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 10:45:47 pm »
As I read it you put a super(medium?) on two deep boxes.  If so, swapping frames isn't possible.  As previously stated the bees are using most of what they are bringing in plus they still have room in the deep boxes.  They will eventually fill the deeps and start on the super.  As far as adding a second super,  were they doing anything in the super you had on already or was it mostly void of bees.  If your super is full of bees then I might add another.  Otherwise I would not add a second super.

Offline Xerox

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2019, 12:25:47 am »
I added a super a few days ago as well. I think as many have said that the bees are still working in the bottom two boxes. I removed the queen excluder on mine so more can come up and start working on comb to store honey in.

Online Oldbeavo

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2019, 06:34:44 am »
Has your super got new or drawn frames?
If the bees need more room the QX will not stop them going up and storing honey. in odd cases I have seen a super with all new frames need a drawn frame to get bees to go up to new frames. Not very often.
Again patience and let the bees sort it out, the honey flow may not be as good as you think, so they don't need the room at present.

Offline rgennaro

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2019, 10:18:59 am »
Tha is everybody... indeed I can?t swap frames because the super is a medium while the brood box is a deep. The medium super has drawn comb from last year. I am not in a rush to harvest honey ... so if they are consuming what they get that?s fine. Just wanted to make sure they are ok (my lazy bee comment was in jest).

There were very few bees on the frames of the super. I?ll check again before I leave but just as a curiosity:what?s the damage in the putting the second super too early? This one will not have drawn comb. It?s july so it?s going to be hot, the extra space should not be an issue temperature wise. Are there other issues to be aware of?

Thanks

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 01:13:19 pm »
... ... indeed I can?t swap frames because the super is a medium while the brood box is a deep. ....... 

what?s the damage in the putting the second super too early? This one will not have drawn comb. It?s july so it?s going to be hot, the extra space should not be an issue temperature wise. Are there other issues to be aware of?

Thanks


Wrt box/frame size. This is a reason I promote picking one size for everything.  All medium or all deep.  Soon as there is mismatched equipment, the flexibility for hive management is hampered and the piece count of equipment sitting around the yard goes up to near double what is actually needed to operate.

With respect to adding more boxes. As said, the timing and intensity of the flow is regional. It may be best to ask some (more than one) beekeeper close to you, such as the bee club, what their past experience is for flows in June/July in your area.  Then you can decide how much space is needed. As example:  where I am, they need a deep box per week.  If I am going to be gone for 2 weeks, they get 2 boxes before I go. Check your local consensus.  Any risk of adding too much space is also regional.  What pests are in your area that may move into excess space that is not used or patrolled by the bees?  For example small hive beetle or nearby heavy ant infestation.

As for lazy bees. .... when they run out of room, frames are pretty much all full, burr comb built and full of drones and honey, .... yes, then they do get lazy. imho, bees hanging out on the porch washboarding is a sign that everything possible has been put in order and they do not have enough work to do. They are bored. Give them more space, give them more work to do. For largest growth and biggest harvest, ensure that they always feel their house is -just- a bit too big and the pantry is never much more than 1/2 full.

Hope that helps!
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 01:21:38 pm »
Outstanding and well worded advice from TheHoneyPump ... again.  :grin:
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Offline incognito

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 01:55:10 pm »
How should we react to newly drawn comb (7 to 10 days old) with uncapped stores on top of two frames of brood below the inner cover? I am feeding syrup above and there is plenty of undrawn foundation in the 10 frame deep brood box.
It seems like a waste of energy to scrape that away and discard it if the bees want to put it there.
I took it as a sign that the bees wanted to move up but I am not looking to harvest any honey from this hive this first year. Were they just putting it near the brood?

I scrapped it off and put a second deep box without a queen excluder above the original brood box and moved a few outside frames of stores (with some brood) into the middle of the upper box.

The next inspection will tell me how the bees feel about my intrusion. LOL


Tom

Offline saltybluegrass

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2019, 07:02:23 pm »
Couple comments and suggestions:
- The bees will move up when they need the room. Only the excess goes up. Currently, they may be needing most of what they are bringing in right at the brood nest, feeding the brood.
- You may try encouraging them to go up a bit by taking two frames that are pretty full but mostly OPEN nectar and placing those into the centre of the super you added.  For the replacement frames, put those on the outsides of the brood box. This will draw them up into the super, but do not expect them to do a whole lot until there is sufficient flow and all the nest needs are looked after first.  Only the excess goes up.
- Yes, absolutely add a second super before you go.  It is near impossible to add too much space at the time of peak bloom and flow, ... when you will be away. The amount of space you need is regional.  Where I am, a full deep box per week in the midst of the flow is barely enough.

Honey pump -
I started all my hives (3) with 1 brood box - what can make a person go to 2 BB instead of just stacking supers on one?
I also kinda screwed up today on my extraction- it was so hot and I got tired early as I removed 4 super frames , I placed the empties in the middle 4-6 instead of outside 1-3 and 7-10 - should I go back and remove those new frames and replace with the fresh wax and honey frames I just scraped  on the outside ?
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Online Oldbeavo

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 07:45:05 pm »
Middle or outside will not matter to the bees, not opening them and disturbing them again is probably more relevant.
If there is a flow they will fill them the same.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 09:51:30 pm »
Couple comments and suggestions:
- The bees will move up when they need the room. Only the excess goes up. Currently, they may be needing most of what they are bringing in right at the brood nest, feeding the brood.
- You may try encouraging them to go up a bit by taking two frames that are pretty full but mostly OPEN nectar and placing those into the centre of the super you added.  For the replacement frames, put those on the outsides of the brood box. This will draw them up into the super, but do not expect them to do a whole lot until there is sufficient flow and all the nest needs are looked after first.  Only the excess goes up.
- Yes, absolutely add a second super before you go.  It is near impossible to add too much space at the time of peak bloom and flow, ... when you will be away. The amount of space you need is regional.  Where I am, a full deep box per week in the midst of the flow is barely enough.

Honey pump -
I started all my hives (3) with 1 brood box - what can make a person go to 2 BB instead of just stacking supers on one?
I also kinda screwed up today on my extraction- it was so hot and I got tired early as I removed 4 super frames , I placed the empties in the middle 4-6 instead of outside 1-3 and 7-10 - should I go back and remove those new frames and replace with the fresh wax and honey frames I just scraped  on the outside ?


1BB vs 2BB.  Is all about what your season looks like and what your goals are.  As well as your beestock.  More brood means more bees.  More bees means more foraging.  More foraging means more honey.  The next consideration of 1BB vs 2BB is come late summer and fall in terms of what your preparations for wintering the colony look like. And particularly what your winter climate is.

I run 2BB in the spring up to past the summer solstice (June 21) to give that queen every square inch of comb she wants to build the population as large as possible, as fast as possible. Third week of June she has peaked, at that time I cut her out of the second with a QE, as the brood above emerges all the boxes above turn into honey supers.  In late summer, which is mid August here, I give them the second BB so she has all the room she wants to fill out the winter brood nest and pack 2BB with stores for the winter.

It is all about what your climate is, what your season timelines are, what the queen and bees capabilties are, and ultimately what your goals are with beekeeping in the first place.  Bring all those things together on one page and your personal hive management method reveals itself.
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Offline incognito

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2019, 10:12:30 pm »
Third week of June she has peaked, at that time I cut her out of the second with a QE, as the brood above emerges all the boxes above turn into honey supers.  In late summer, which is mid August here, I give them the second BB so she has all the room she wants to fill out the winter brood nest and pack 2BB with stores for the winter.
Do you do this to gain an extra deep of honey for human consumption from comb used for both brood and stores? Or do you take off and save those stores to feed the same colony or other bees?

Then give them from mid August onward to get ready for winter?
I was just going to give the queen the run of 2BB and let her do as she may with it all year (except reversing the boxes in spring).
Tom

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2019, 10:15:20 pm »
For managing levels of stores allowed in the brood nest during the flow season.  Particularly on certain types of nectars/honey.  It is more work, takes proper timing and coordination. For most people, best to just run the 2BB full time.  At her peak, my queens can have 14 - 16 frames of brood going, and that is after I've pulled nucs and made splits.  1BB simply will not hold them in my conditions and management style.
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Offline incognito

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Re: Lazy bees? Rookie Question
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2019, 10:24:12 pm »
Got it.
I'm in suburbia. There are no fields by me like in your profile picture.

My girls need to be thrifty.


« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 10:35:11 pm by incognito »
Tom