honey comb construction problem

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by arkiebee, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Hey guys - I need some advise. I mentioned this on one of my earlier posts, but I need your input. I put a top feeder on that swarm I caught back in the spring and the bees have built up into the middle of the top feeder instead of going out into the frames of the hive body. I have left it on all summer and have added syrup so I felt that if they couldn't go up they would be forced to build out and into the hive body. I would like to get into the hive body and see what's going on before fall sets in but that would mean I would have to tear the comb from the feeder. If you think I should go ahead and do this should I 1: set the feeder apart and let them and the other bees rob it and put a new feeder on for now or 2: should I set the feeder back on the hive and let the bees fix it after I check on them.. OR 3: should I just leave well enough alone for the winter and feed the heck out of these guys and not worry about what is going on underneath the feeder??? I do see a lot of activity from the bee entrance. I have kept the entrance reduced since it is a small hive because I was afraid my larger ones would rob them to death.

    Also - I still have a super on my hives and when I checked them last weekend they are still working honey since hardly any of it was capped. We have been fortunate enough to keep getting rains around here so there is still some out there for the bees. So what should I do with these late supers???

    So TWO questions for you experts! I so appreciate the great advise I have got from you before. This bee forum is a blessing to those of us who are new at this business! :D
     
  2. rast

    rast New Member

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    First off, I have never used a hive top feeder so you may get much better advise from others. I do know that the longer you leave it, the more disruptive it will be when you do go into it.
    "Let them and the others rob it." Rob is a bad word if there is not a flow on. I know that some don't have a problem with a community feeder. I depends on your bees and the "ferals" around you. If I leave anything like that out, the robbers are trying every hive and stored supers I have. Italians have the worst reputation for it.
    If the super is being filled, they are going to need it for winter. To me, leaving them their honey for the winter, is better for them and cheaper for me.
    And don't include me with the experts, please.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I don't use top feeder either...

    just casually it sounds to me like it is one of those 'you are damn if you do and damn if you don't' thingees. the difficult thing in these cases is the decision as to when to bite the bullet and do the dirty deed. I would have the tendency to "get 'er done now'" thinking that the sooner you can remendy the problem the faster the hive can get back repairing the damage.

    at this time of year I tend to leave unfinished supers on unless they are bone dry. they will be soon enough anyway.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would remove the top feeder, by twisting it before lifting very far, to break the comb loose from the box, if attached at the bottom. Then inspect the hive, make any adjustments, and replace the feeder as was. The comb in the feeder is unsightly to us, but is just fine for the bees.

    I would leave the supers as is for now. As cool weather approaches, the bees will consolidate the stores and you will know better then what is needed.
     
  5. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Thanks so much guys for your great advise. I'll do that. I just had no idea how to separate that without killing a lot of bees and really messing things up. I'll wait a while and then get into the hive and give them a good sugar shaking and put the feeder back on because I am sure I will have to feed these guys - oops - ladies during the winter and early spring. Next spring when things start to move again I will take it off and add another hive body because I hope by then they are ready to start building to a larger hive of bees.

    AND thanks for the advise on the supers. I really didn't want to take the honey from them and as the cool weather sets in I'll gladly let them store it down below. I guess I will just keep an eye on the supers, and when they are cleaned out remove them??

    This forum has been a blessing to people like me. THANK YOU for having it!!! AND it's so nice to be able to talk to REAL BEE people!
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    arkiebee sezs:
    REAL BEE people!

    tecumseh:
    now what are those?

    one might imagine someone with antennae and six appendages (I could sometime use the latter)????