Bees are not moving up

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by jajtiii, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. jajtiii

    jajtiii New Member

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    More then likely, I am once again fretting about something that I should just leave alone, but I cannot help myself.

    1. Started last May with two hives. One immediately took off and the other floundered
    2. I spent most of the Summer trying to 'fix' what I thought I had done wrong with the Weak hive (feeding all kinds of things, home made robber screens, new bottom boards, you name it...), until late Fall when the Bees tried to supercede the Queen (who I now refer to as Wench, since she was the source of my angst, it would appear). I stopped them from doing this (based on advice from a local beekeeper that said Drones would be in scarce supply and that it would be best to let them supercede this Spring.
    3. Being worried about my weak hive with a weak queen, I kept a top feeder on them all Winter, which they enjoyed on many occasions (some folks seem to get wierd about syrup in the Winter, but my bees seemed to love it)
    4. Becoming paranoid with the bleak Winter, I read about a Mountain Camp method and put sugar on both the Weak and the Strong hive.

    I feel like I am having a hard time getting to the dang point, but I figure that I might as well give all of the info at hand, to allow for the best feedback here. When I purchased my Nuc's, I brought my hives to the gent around 2 pm one afternoon. We swapped out five Nuc frames for my foundation and left my hive in his yard. After it became dark, I returned and we put hardware cloth over the entrance and I transported my bees back to my home. At this point, I made my first error. Figuring that I should 'let them be' a bit, I didn't open them for 2 or 3 weeks. Well, the act of transporting them in the back of my car jostled the frames. Letting them 'go at it' for 3 weeks allowed them to build comb all over the place, effectively fusing the frames in a jumble and making it very difficult to inspect all Summer. So, I have been waiting for my bees to move into the Upper deep so that I can clean up the mess down below before I do a reversal.

    5. When I checked my hives last weekend, I had hoped to see them both in the upper deeps. But, they have not laid a single egg up there. In fact, all of the honey remains capped! I am worried that all of my feeding has basically removed the need to move up into the upper deeps (which I need them to do).

    I have stopped feeding them and am hoping they will get hungry and start eating the honey above and laying up there. Is this the correct course of action?

    The bottom line is that I want them to move up into the upper Deep so that I can clean up the bottom Deep to make hive inspections easier.
     
  2. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Correct course of action?

    No......and yes. It is the wrong course of action..... but certainly stop feeding them.

    They will not just eat the deep super at this point. They will start bringing in more and more nectar as the spring progresses.

    You need to take the second full deep off (store, extract, etc.) or go in and manipulate (remove some) the frames and open up the area with empty comb or foundation, and allow the queen to lay.

    You actually laid out a good example of over-feeding, which is not a good thing. You want a hive to go into winter with 75 pounds of stores. But you also want those stores somewhat gone come spring so the queen has ample space. And at this point, your bees will not be eating more than they will be bringing in. So it's not going to get better. The queen will become more and more honey bound. So you need to do it for them.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    yea the idea ain't to have a honey bound hive come early spring time. as is, the hives has a high possibility of swarming extremely early.

    you need to open up the nest in some manner. Bjorn has given you one approach. this may??? be an example where reversing and throwing the brood nest upward might be a good idea. if the hive has good numbers (population) you might consider placing the honey bound super on the bottom board. scratch (<important detail done with a fork or capping scratcher) the capping on the one or two frames at the center of the honey bound super. place another super above the box with the brood... empty comb would be best, but if foundation is all you have then use that.

    the bees will not much like that much honey at the front door and will begin to move it upward. this somewhat imitates a honey flow. it might even assist you in getting some foundation pulled a bit early for your season.
     
  4. jajtiii

    jajtiii New Member

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    I truly appreciate the feedback. It all ran to the same theme and I will swap out some of the side frames right now, with the middle full frames.

    The real lesson for me, which has been beaten into me by my bees over and over again (but I have a very thick skull) is to stop worrying so much over every tiny thing. I am fairly certain that every time that I open the hive, they collectively whisper 'uh oh'...
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    not that I generally encourage folks to over inspect, but you do need to get in their often enough to the apprehension of inspection. it is most certainly a balance thing.

    it requires a thick skull to be a beekeeper.

    good luck.
     
  6. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    My most productive years have been the years where I'm to busy to do anything but the basics.... This should be my best year yet. :thumbsup: