A couple questions after recent inspection

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Cupcakus, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Cupcakus

    Cupcakus New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Inspected my hives today, these were new hives installed from packages in late April on all new equipment. I'm not feeding any more.

    Question 1: When the lower deep was about 70% drawn out, I moved the undrawn frames in, and the last drawn frame to the outside and then added the second deep. I did the same thing with the second deep, before I added the honey super. They have drawn the honey super about 60% in a few weeks and have almost 4 frames full of honey. I was really happy when I saw that... looks like first year honey for me after all. However when I got to the lower deeps I found that they have not continued to draw any comb down there at all, and their stores are lacking as a result, I would hate to have full honey supers (mediums) come winter, and the deeps have undrawn comb and not enough stores. Is this normal? Should I just hold off on a second honey super and let them finish building and storing in what they have? The queen is even laying in the outside frames instead of them building up the inside ones.

    Question 2: I have a really hard time not smashing a few girls when I put the boxes back together. They love to hang out on the edges of the boxes, and smoking, or brushing them back in doesn't work. The more I brush in, the more show up to see what's going in. In actuality I have found the bee brush to be somewhat not useful at all. Brushing them just seems to anger them and never achieves my goal. My wife gets really upset that I am smashing bees every time I put the hive back together. Any tips on this would be great? I have tried just putting the box down and then sliding it over the one below, but this seems to crush just as many bees and is becoming more difficult as the propolis gets more and more built up between them it's impossible to slide them together.

    Thanks.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You can try setting the upper deep on a slight diagonal and then just slowly twist it into alignment.
    No matter how hard you try, you are still going to hear that sickening crunch once in a while.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds more like burr comb between the two deeps instead of propolis?? i scrape it off of the frames ,smoke the bees down, set the top box on the back edge of the bottom box and slide it forward. Like perry said,some bees are going to get mashed no matter how hard you try. Jack
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    First question, YES, I would let them finish the bottom boxes before adding another. They normally draw comb from the top down. If the stores are in the super come winter, they will migrate up into the supers. If that be the case, don't have an excluder on there. It will leave the queen below to die.

    Second question, Smoke, plus patience, will move them back in. Smoke until they go. All but one or two. There will always be a few that get mashed.
     
  5. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a few thin slats of wood right next to the hive. I put two under the first box I take off and then another two as spacers for subsequent boxes. This keeps the girls from getting crushed when the boxes are coming off. When I put the boxes back on, I tilt them about 30 degrees forward and make contact on the leading edge away from me. Then I lower the box slowly, like closing a door. When the gap gets to be about bee sized, they seem to want to dive in there for some reason. At this stage I stop and wiggle the box up and down slightly. This kind of gives the bees in the gap a gentle squeeze, without hurting them. They back right out of there in a hurry. Then I lower all the way. Sometimes I still get one or two, but it works.
     
  6. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Pistolpete, that about describes what seems to work about the best for me. If the hive is really overflowing smoke them hard.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would add to Iddee's list a bee brush which you should issue to your wife with strict instruction to sweep every bee from the adjoining surfaces prior to putting the boxes back together. Your wife would be quite furious if she ever saw me work bees.... don't get me wrong I do not smash bees on purpose but thinking you will never smash any is pretty impractical if not impossible.