Honey Bound

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Larus, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Larus

    Larus New Member

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    Can someone please explain:
    - What is meant by the term "honey-bound" when talking about a bee hive?
    - How does one recognize this condition and what harm can come from it?
    - How do you prevent it/ fix it?

    Thank you.
     
  2. fatbeeman

    fatbeeman New Member

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    when your checking your hive and see there's no more room for queen to lay in there's honey bound,or if you have supers all full.if not corrected they will swarm,========you loose lot of bees.
    Don :wave:
     

  3. charmd2

    charmd2 New Member

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    Honey bound means essentially that the entire brood nest is filled with honey leaving no room for the queen to lay. It happens during a flow when they don't have enough extra room. Aka supers.

    If you get honeybound the queen can not lay more eggs and the hive will prepare to swarm. Most beeks do not desire their hive to swarm because you loose a large amount of your bees and normally there goes your chance of a good harvest for yourself.

    Prevent it by adding on supers early if you have drawn comb. If you don't have drawn comb add on one at a time and watch for them to draw it out

    To fix you have to remove nectar filled combs out of the nest and put in different frames.

    If you miss the prime oppertunity you may need to do an emergency split to keep your bees from flying away in a swarm
     
  4. Larus

    Larus New Member

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    Thank you for the explanation.
    Follow-up question:
    - Suppose I correct the problem by adding an empty super, but I separate it by a queen excluder (because I want to harvest the honey from that super later on). Will the bees move honey and pollen from the brood boxes to the super and make more room for brood cells, or will they still feel honey-bound since the newly available space is inaccessible to the queen?
     
  5. charmd2

    charmd2 New Member

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    Excluders are a subject I have no experience with. Some beeks love them some hate them. I would think if they are already honey bound adding the super won't prevent a swarm. You would need to add empty frames to the brood nest as well. The idea is to stay on top of it and prevent getting bound in the first place.

    Now I have heard if you want to use an excluder you need to get the bees started on the super before adding the excluder to get them going through it.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    No, they won't move the honey to make room. If the super is foundation, they will seldom go up to it through an excluder. They must have free access to it until they start drawing in it and think it is part of their home. Then the excluder can be added. They will still swarm, tho, unless space is made in the broodnest.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    in regards to the first question and it relationship to swarming I think it is better to think of the process as two steps 1) being 'honey bond' and 2) 'back filling the brood nest'. generally the honey bond suggest the honey in the super just above the brood nest is capped. the bees view capped and uncapped in a different sense and they tend not to want to uncapped until absolutely necessary.. whereas they will readily use and move uncapped honey. If everything above is capped and they have no place to go with incoming nectar then they begin backfilling the brood nest and restricting the laying area for the queen. If the boxes are crowded this can lead pretty quickly to swarming. In my mind this situation is compounded if you only have one entry below.

    there are several solution to remedy the problem. perhaps the simple solution is to scratch (a capping scratcher or fork works just fine) a couple of the center frames (the more the better) of the honey bond super and reverse the boxes. the bees will not like having this much honey at the front door and they will then move it upwards in a pretty quick fashion. if you do not have a lot of pulled frames (which I kind of assume most new beekeeper do not???) you can place a box of foundation with no excluder above and get the foundation pulled pretty quickly.
     
  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I have put a frame of brood (or drawn comb) above the excluder in the middle of the super with foundation, to get them to come through it, and replace it with foundation when they start working in the super. Or leave it to extract later.This is one way i get them to make comb honey. Work's most of the time,but not always. Jack
     
  9. charmd2

    charmd2 New Member

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    Thanks for the information Tecumseh. I didn't realize if you scratched it they would move it that readily. Charla
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    you are quite welcome Charla. I will also add the process I described was most often used to get a box of foundation pulled when there was no flow.
     
  11. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I am declaring a 2nd year bottom deep to be honeybound. There is a little bit of travel space around the sides; but the top view of the rest looks like a globbed up mess. Seemed to happen in a hurry, too. I had them apart this spring for inspection.

    As usual, I am on the road this weekend and will have to do it mid-week. I realize a lot will depend on what I see when I can get the frames out.

    Q: As they have a 2nd deep for brood, is my main goal just to clean up a few frames in the bottom deep to give them passage to the second deep to lay/raise, and let them manage and move around their honey stores? Or should I clear out everything except for capped brood and Queen and ask them to start over? Or is there just no way to know until I get there? :dontknow:
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an ibeelearning snip..
    Or is there just no way to know until I get there?

    tecumseh:
    I would think the most current information is the most relevant and often times shapes exactly how I approach ANY problem. the ultimate goal of anyone who confronts a hive that is becoming honey bound is to prevent the brood nest from becoming back filled (imho...once the brood nest is back filled the hives will likely swarm no matter what you try to do). any number of remedies in this thread suggest how this may be done.... on occasions removing the capped honey and extracting this is the simplist thing to do and at other times placing empty comb (and sometimes foundation) in the brood nest (often times called-opening up the brood nest) is all that is required.