Help - too much honey in hive!

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by bwwertz, May 20, 2011.

  1. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Hello, all! I just split my first hive (aquired June '10) at the end of April. Both hives are doing AMAZING, but now my upper deep is FULL (and I do mean FULL) of honey! The original hive I'll refer to as hive A, the split with a new & laying "home raised" Queen (YAHOO!) I'll refer to as hive B. In Hive B I'm running two deeps and nothing else yet. I am probably going to extract the upper deep on Sunday and then immediately replace the frames (and hope they start preparing it for brood), and then put a queen exlcluder and two medium supers on top of that. I really need advice though - as I'm not sure if this is best or not, but I want to build up my colony before the winter and I don't want them to swarm and it seems to be a STRONG colony.
    Any and all advice is GREATLY appreciated!
    Thank you!!!!!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If you have foundation in the supers, put one on, wait for them to start drawing comb, then add the excluder. Once they have 7 frames drawn out, then add the second. If they are already drawn comb, then you can add both at once.

    If you extract the top deep, bring 4 or 5 of the full frames from the bottom to the top box, placing them every other space. "checkerboarding" Full, empty, full, empty, etc. in both boxes.
     

  3. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Thanks, Iddee. I was actually wondering if I should reverse the deep supers to encourage them to use the second deep for brood as well, but I like the "checkerboarding" idea. I will definitely give that a go. I plan on extracting and then immediately putting the frames back for them to clean & prepare for brood (hint hint, girls), so it will be all drawn out. The medium supers I would add on top would be brand new everything. Are you saying I should wait a little while after extracting before I add the medium super(s)? I thought maybe if I added the medium after I extracted, then it would delay/distract/discourage them from filling the deeps right back up with too much honey again.
    thank you so much!
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    No, you can add one immediately. You never add more than one box of foundation at a time. You never add foundation only over an excluder. You have to let them get started on a foundation super before installing the excluder, then install it when they are working in the super. Two supers of foundation at once causes problems. Add one, when 3/4 full, add another.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I thought maybe if I added the medium after I extracted, then it would delay/distract/discourage them from filling the deeps right back up with too much honey again.

    tecumseh:
    humm....
     
  6. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    yes, I know, honey is definitely a good thing, but I wanted to get my two deep brood boxes going strong - as all brood. My Queen is just a few weeks old and is HIGHLY productive. I'm worried that because most of the bottom deep is all eggs since she just started laying a week ago - and the top deep is all honey - over 60% of every frame capped - that she won't have anywhere to lay for the next 2 weeks while the eggs are still developing.
    Iddee, why never foundation over an excluder?
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They have no reason to squeeze through the excluder until they know the next box is part of their home. They don't know it is part of their home. Once they have accepted the super and are using it, then they will go through the excluder when it is installed.
     
  8. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Ah ha! Great advice! Thank you! This is only my first year, I guess you can tell. =)
     
  9. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    not sure where your located in nc but if you got hives hauling in the nectar like that better buy a bunch of supers. On question thought have you been feeding them since you split them
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    We all had out first year at one time or other.

    RR, He's at Camp Lejeune marine base on the coast. Just down the road from forum members Redcrane and Beehandler, who are in Maysville.
     
  11. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    nothin bad intended was being serious about them packing in the honey. He must be in a good location. with good bees.
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Swamp land and brack water. Yes, good forage. I was just telling him he has good neighbors.
     
  13. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Iddee & RR, I'm a "she." =) And yes, I have great neighbors! I actually got all of my hives/frames, etc. and my bees from Beehandler! He's been an excellent mentor through all this. My father kept bees when we lived in VA and I was about 6-9yrs old. We moved to Germany when I was 9 and I only just recently had the means to keep bees for myself (live on about 2 acres in Stella, about 30 min. from marine base Camp Lejuene). We split the hive so I could have one hive and my Dad could have the other. (And I must admit, I wanted to see if I could do it.) =) Boy, was I over the moon when I split the hive successfully and found out I had a queen and now a mated and laying queen! =) :yahoo:
    I would love to one day have more hive and maybe even raise queens, but not sure if I'd be able to "market" them successfully, and need a lot more money to start that venture. Sometimes I do tend to get in way over my head. ;)
    My Dad doesn't remember too much from when he kept bees, but I remember falling in love with it even at that age. I'm a voracious reader and have read every page of the Beekeeping for Dummies and a few others. Always looking for more to read though if you all have any suggestions. It's a go for extracting tomorrow, so I'll keep you all posted. We're doing it the "old fashioned" and "cash-strapped" way and not using any bee-go or fume board. Hoping to extract the frames with our 2 deep frame extractor and then "checkerboard" it when I put the frames back - like Iddee suggested. :beg:
    My girls are very hard working and gentle. I love them! I did feed them for a brief time after the split, RR, but they started filling up the supers so fast, Beehandler suggested I remove the syrup, and they've done just fine - actually thriving as well as or even better than the unsplit hive (which I read sometimes happens). Of course I'm looking forward to the honey reward, but I just love going out there and working them and trying to figure out different ways to do things and help them thrive.
    Thanks for all the words of wisdom!!! Glad I found this site! :Dancing:
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    OK, she.

    Doesn't matter to the bees who keeps them. Tia is as good as they come. Very competent and achieved "Master Beekeeper" in a near record time. Glad you found us and hope you like it here well enough to stay. Are you a CC club member?
     
  15. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    technically yes, but I haven't been to a meeting in a while. =( Tried to make their last picnic that was joint with Onslow county and didn't make it. =( I tend to be a bit of a hermit. lol.
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You have a lot of great beeks in that area. Try spending time with them. They can teach you more than a hundred books, and much more enjoyable.

    Of course, reading and writing on the forum here is also a good way to learn and have fun.
     
  17. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    Well...........we extracted today! It went pretty well all things considered. I learned that I don't have to have a fume board to get the girls out. I learned how to use an uncapping fork (that's what it's called, right?). I also learned a few other lessons regarding our extractor. From 6 deep frames, we got about 3 pounds of honey. Not all of the honey was capped, but when I went through the hive - my Queen is in overdrive compared to hive A (see my first post). I did the checkerboarding to the extent that I could with 6/20 deep frames. Also added my medium super minus the queen excluder. Now for some questions........
    Is it "bad" that my Queen seems to be paying no attention to the highly publicized "brood pattern" and just laying an egg in any and every cell she can? It seems to me - since the hive was queenless for about a month - that's not a bad thing - that things are going to be sort of "outta whack" from where the others were storing honey, pollen, nectar while they were waiting on their new Queen Mum.
    Other question - is it gonna mess my girls up too badly that I pretty much rearranged their entire hive today and probably stressed them to the max!? No stings to be had by me or my Dad though. They're still incredibly gentle and tolerant in my opinion. Maybe I should change my name to Beecharmer. :lol:
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    3 lbs. sounds a bit light for 6 frames. Was there a problem. Maybe not drawn out fully?

    The rearranging won't hurt them. They will have it like they want it by tomorrow night. A new queen may lay sporadically for a while. She should get into a solid pattern in a week or two.

    Maybe they just like the gentle touch of a female beek. :D
     
  19. bwwertz

    bwwertz New Member

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    lol, thank you, Iddee. :D The frames were drawn out all the way, but not all of it was completely full and capped. Also, the first two frames my Dad had his try with the uncapping fork and sorta scratched at the surface, then I seemed to spin it too fast in the extractor and really mangled up the comb. I'm hoping they can clean it all up and "put it back together again," but I am worried. I want to go back out tomorrow and see how everything is going, but I know I need to give them a break.
    It was a lot of trial and error with the uncapping fork and the extractor. By frames 4-6 we had a pretty good rhythm to it. :Dancing:
    Hopefully they'll clean it, repair it, and she can lay nothing but brood from now on in the deeps. :beg:
    What does it mean when they don't lay in a good brood pattern? I was pretty thrilled to see that she was taking advantage of every ready cell in the upper and lower deeps. Although it also does always worry me that they'll run out of room. I like to study and learn and study and learn. I get pretty frustrated not knowing the answers to things sometimes. lol.
    I think I was genetically predisposed to my beekness. LOL! And even more exciting is I think my 4 year old son is taking a liking to it as well! =)
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Did you put a medium on top so they can start working in it? If so, they will make room for her to lay.