Brood in my super

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by babnik, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. babnik

    babnik New Member

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    I'm a pretty new beekeeper, and I have a small problem. I recently put a super on one of my hives, and after a week or so, they hadn't touched it and I removed the queen excluder, and hey presto they started working it. Now I probably should have put the excluder at this point, but I didn't and now I have brood in my super. I guess the queen is up there. What are my options? I thought maybe
    1) just put another super (WITH EXCLUDER) on top, and put it down to experience. (perhaps moving honey frames from the brood super to new one)
    or 2) if I can find queen, put her in hive body, but if not just shake all bees from super into hive body. Thereby making sure queen is down there, and then put on excluder.
    or 3) put super UNDER, hive body and wait for queen to go up of her own accord.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    When they have enough honey to fill the super, they will move her down and there won't be brood in the super. Until then, they don't have enough for you to harvest.
     

  3. babnik

    babnik New Member

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    So when does the second super go on, and and do I add a queen excluder?
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Check the bottom hive body. When it nears full, then another super goes on.

    Queen excluders are controversial. Some beeks use them, some don't.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    If it were me (and as Iddee suggests, this is a personal preference) I would locate the queen, put her down below and then put on your excluder and then your honey super. With the brood that is above being a draw, the bees will easily pass through the excluder to attend to them and once they hatch out, the cells will be quickly filled with nectar. If you leave the super as is you may find that the queen will lay several more cycles in your honey super before they start backfilling.
    These are all personal choices and you will have to decide what works best for your style. I don't like to use excluders until the girls give me a reason to.
     
  6. babnik

    babnik New Member

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    I haven't been particularly successful in finding any queen so far so I'm not too hopeful of finding her now. The hive body was nearly full when I put the first super on. I understand that excluders are controversial, but how do beeks who don't use them, avoid what happened to me?
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    What a some keeps will do is simply swap the frames with brood in them for frames of honey from down in the brood nest. This can only be done if all your equipment is the same size and you are treatment free.
    I run different size honey supers to prevent this "swapping". If you ever use treatment in your brood nest, (whether your honey supers are on or not) those frames are probably contaminated with whatever treatment you apply and "swapping" them, and harvesting the honey for human consumption is a no-no. I run different sized supers to prevent this. It makes for more work and loss of interchangeability of equipment but it eases my mind anyways.
     
  8. babnik

    babnik New Member

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    Different size here too. I understand what you are saying about treatment, but can't the bees move honey from treated frames to untreated frames thus thwarting your attempts to keep treatments out of the human food chain?
     
  9. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Do you have more than one brood box for this hive? I'm not sure how large a brood area is required in the climate of France, but if the bees don't have enough room for their brood area, that might be one reason they are anxious to expand brood up into the honey super. A strong hive with a BIG population will make lots of honey. A large brood area for the queen to lay in leads to a big hive population. :)
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I suppose it's possible but then I only put supers on during a flow, I don't think bees are moving nectar around all that much when they are on a flow. Once there is a sufficient honey barrier that possibility all but disappears.
    Legally I have met the requirements of not having supers on during any treatment period (before or after) and I leave/trust the studies involved in determining those conditions. I go the additional step in running the different size supers for my own satisfaction.
     
  11. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  12. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    You can move the queen down from the super to the brood box without finding her.

    When you lift the inner cover, give the top of the frames in the super a good smoking. The queen (and bees) may be driven down into the brood box. Lift off the super. Place 3 (outside) frames from the brood box in a nuc or spare brood box. One by one, shake the bees off the super frames into the gap in the brood box --- place the shaken frames to one side. When you have shaken all the super frames, carefully replace the brood frames. Now add your excluder. Replace the super and fill with the shaken super frames. Inner cover comes next.

    This all sounds rather brutal but you should end up with the queen in the brood box. The nurse bees will quickly move up to the brood in the super. This operation should be done smartly to avoid chilling the brood --- don't go looking for the queen. When you decide to do this because you can't find the queen, you may spot her during the manipulation.

    If you are examining other hives at the same visit, I would suggest that you leave this particular hive to be last.

    Good luck.
     
  13. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    I had the same problem with my first hive. I had drawn comb in the brood boxes but nothing in the honey super, all new foundation. I too had a queen excluder in place and the bees would not cross it to draw comb in the honey super on the new foundation. A beekeeper of 50 years told me to turn the excluder side ways so there would be a gap on each end of the super the bees could enter without going through the excluder. He told me the queen normally stays in the middle of the box and more than likely won't find her way around the excluder. In my case it worked. I turned the excluder side ways across the super and in just a few days they were drawing comb on the new foundation. After they had 7 of the 10 frames drawn at least partially, I removed the excluder.

    When i harvested my first honey from that super it was all pure honey, no brood.

    Good luck.
     
  14. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Babnik,
    the problem with interchangeability of equipment is precisely why you should standardize ALL your hive components. If your using medium supers for honey, why not brood as well, 2 medium brood chambers while not as spacious as deeps, can accomplish same goals for brood rearing. With regards to brood in the honey super, as they hatch the bees will back fill the cells with honey assuming your having a good nectar flow. Finding the queen, look for eggs, or emerging brood she won't be far from one or the other. When you find her, put her frame in lower brood chamber, even if not correct size, excluder then honey super. Do you use 2 brood chambers. The bees will probably build comb on the bottom but when they do, as you find the time, remove the short frame put it in super above excluder, cleaning off bottom bar of comb.
    Barry
     
  15. babnik

    babnik New Member

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    All good advice. As to equipment, I have gone with what seems to be standard in these parts. I. E. Deep brood box, and shallow supers. We don't get very cold or long winters here. Bees can be active well into December and back up running by February. I like the idea of two shallow boxes for the brood nest though. Maybe I'll experiment with that.
     
  16. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Is there any specific reason for not using deep supers/ brood chamber or merely a weight issue. A good queen will need quite a few shallow supers to have adequite brood space, and storage space for feeding the brood typically in upper corners and a shallow band across the top. A decent nectar flow will rapidly fill a shallow frame, crowding the queen out of egg laying space is the surest way to generate swarms. If honey is what you want--swarms are not what you want. Unless your allowing that for your porpuse of expanding your bee yard. 2 deeps will provide enough of both brood space, and storage, and even is upper brood box fills with honey, you could leave it for the bees for overwintering, and spring build-up, harvesting whats in the supers above the excluder.
    Barry