Sunday, May 8, 2011

Home Remodeling...

Last weekend was the bee-full weekend. On Sunday I did some reworking of one of my home hives.

Going into the winter, I created a hive with a combine of some medium frames (of brood - from a nuc), and had a shallow honey super that they never finished off. So I left it on the hive over the winter. Here's the configuration going into winter:

The hive came through winter OK, and in spring the bees were in the shallow and medium super, and had started laying eggs.

When this happens, the easiest thing to do (and what I did) was to put a queen excluder under the medium super (making sure the queen was in the deep box). Then the babies would be born in the top two boxes, but the queen wouldn't repopulate it with brood. I also left an upper entrance since any drones born needed to be able to get out (they can't fit through the queen excluder).

Where I went wrong was that in March I started feeding sugar syrup (to stimulate brood rearing). The problem was that as the bees were born in the upper boxes, the bees started putting away the sugar syrup in the supers. I didn't want that, since I want to use those supers for honey collection.

So I asked some of my bee friends who have more experience what I could do. Most suggested I take off the supers and spin out the sugar syrup with an extractor, and let the bees put honey in the supers. The problem is that I don't have an extractor, and it's a hassle to borrow an extractor.

So I decided to take off the two supers, and set them outside and let the bees do the extracting! They will clean out the sugar syrup, and put it back in their hive.

So the fun began where I needed to take each of the frames of the 2 supers out, and brush off the bees back into the hive (I added an empty deep super first). Let me tell you, the bees were NOT happy being brushed from the supers back into their hives! Good thing I had my bees suit on. But I did it, and after a day or so they had calmed back down.

Here's what things looked like after I got done (the one on the left):

I'll let the bees clear out the sugar super, and then I'll put on some supers and hopefully catch some honey!

1 comment:

  1. Pretty funny about your statement about the bees response when brushing them off of those honey frames.

    I have had like experience, they will allow you to use the bee brush to remove them from a frame of sealed or partially sealed brood but it is definitely a different story when brushing them babies off of a honey frame.

    My last experience with that resulted in a flat out attack. lol



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