Honeybound? Advice needed

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tyro, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I opened up some hives today (that I have not been able to get to for about a month). 5 of 6 were in good shape (5 to 6 frames of brood in the bottom deeps: top deeps full of honey or maybe a frame of brood with the rest honey) - so I am not concerned about these.

    The sixth hive was honeybound, I think. The bottom deep consisted of 4 frames of honey and 5(!) frames of pollen. The pollen frames were in the center of the hive (frames #3, 4, 5, 6, 7) with the honey frames on either side. The outermost frames were only half drawn.

    The top deep was 10 frames of solid honey. This hive has three supers on it as well. The lowest super is just about full, they are starting to draw out the upper.

    There was no brood in the hive. I did see a few scattered eggs interspersed throughout the pollen frames. The eggs were positioned as a queen lays (center of cell, single egg/cell only), so - I am fairly certain that I still have a queen (the bees acted as though they were queenright as well).

    To address this, I removed the four center frames of honey from the top deep and replaced them with new frames (undrawn foundation - it was all that I had) - in order to open up the brood nest. Was this the correct strategy? If not, what should I do?

    I intend to check that hive again in a week to see if the frames are being drawn out and if the queen starts laying in the cells.

    Thanks in advance for advice.

    Mike
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    its getting late enough in the year that the bees will not draw comb as well as they would in the spring. Its odd they have pack away that much pollen never seen it put in a hive like that usually it is on the outer side of the frames near the honey stores so they can make bee bread. If you think your honey bound, frames of foundation will not open the brood nest up until it is drawn and usually They will not draw unless there is a flow on and they need the space. I would consider extracting 3 or 4 frames of honey and place them into the brood nest or. swap out a frame of capped brood each from a couple of the booming hives with a frame of honey from the honey bound hive.
     

  3. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Well, actually, there is a monster sunflower and alfalfa flow that is just starting (3rd alfalfa -they have already cut twice). They are still drawing supers for me (I suppose it is the trade-off when you live in ND - HUGE honeyflows of agricultural crops pretty much continuously until late September....balanced by a REALLY LONG winter that lasts until May).

    However, I see your point also! I will plan on inspecting them in a week or so to see if they are drawing out the frames and if the queen is laying. I will also plan on pulling a few frames though and extracting them as well. I will put those back in the lower deep. This will give the queen interior space in both deeps.

    How does that sound for a plan?

    Mike
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    sounds good I should have looked at where you was from. Your up there where the nectar flow flows like the water does in our faucets :D
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    riverrat's advice seems about right. actually it seems to me you need to open up the brood nest at the very bottom of the stack. if you though (via activity) you had a flow still taking place some of the inserted (opening up the brood nest) frames could be foundation.... although you would want for all of them to be foundation.

    I would have likely removed several of the pollen frames and stored these for use come next spring and replaced these with four or five extracted frames... and likely moved the half drawn frames toward the center of the boxes.
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    All the above is good advice to get young bees for winter. You can have double the amount of honey stores to get through winter, but without young bees for a winter cluster the hive is doomed (especially as far north as you are). Like rat and tec. said, open up the brood nest and jump start the queen. Good luck. Jack
     
  7. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Update -

    Checked the hive today. Bees had 2 of the 4 new frames in the upper deep almost drawn out and were filling them with nectar.

    I checked the lower deep and the new space above must have stimulated the queen to begin laying again. There were 2 solid frames of new eggs and young larvae.

    Thanks to all for the advice.

    Mike