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Bees will not build super comb

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arthur61 

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Hi, hope someone can help,

i have returned to beekeeping this year after many years break, and have 3 hives, 2 of them langstroth and one national, all the bees look healthy and the frames are full of brood, but they will not build any comb on the brand new foundation in the supers.

all the brood frames are heaving with capped honey and one of them is completely full but the bees have made no attempt to put anything in the supers, ive tried enticing them up using sugar syrup, which they came up to take and went back down again

any ideas???
 

Poly Hive 

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Is there an excluder on if so take it off for a day or three.

PH
 

MuswellMetro 

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spray the super frames with sugar water (1:1) with a drop of lemon grass oil...or sugar water and some of THEIR honey ( scrap some off with you hive tool)

this should mean the foundation get Bee pheromones on it as they wil clean the sugar off and they will draw it...could also be it is old foundation that has dried/glazed..could try just lightly running a hair dyer over it just to re coat the surface
 

Rosti 

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A long shot given you have come back to the hobby but are your supers on 11 Manley frames since it's undrawn foundation? I have found that greater spacing especially 9's tends to deter the girls from drawing out.
 

Poly Hive 

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Mine are happily drawing out Manleys. All foundation as they are all CC.

I suspect stale foundation, no flow, too weak colonies?

PH
 

arthur61 

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Il try taking off the excluder, i had thaught of that but was abit worried about the queen laying eggs in the frames? the foundation was all new from thornes just before i put it in, its less than a month old but il definatly try the hair dryer trick, how much honey would be needed to mix in with the sugar water to give a strong enough effect of pheramone
 

m100 

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There is some really dodgy super foundation doing the rounds this year. Old and stale from a supplier that apparently knows better than a master beekeeper with 20 odd years experience.

But I can assure you Thornes or KBS foundation is ok (even if Thornes is still cut a bit oversize on the width)
 

Midland Beek 

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I would say to anyone putting on a super of foundation ... leave out the queen excluder for a while, like even a couple of weeks. So what if you get some brood upstairs?
 

milkermel 

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Thanks arthur! Ive been having simalar problems, but blank foundation from last year that has been in frames over winter and QE in! so as i have a new queen not yet laying - yet. . . . (probably will be when i inspect later!) think i will try some of the thing suggested!

As a new beek, just presumed they werent ready to go up, but after swarms and full brood box, guess it might be something else!
 

arthur61 

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finally the girls in my nationals are building away very busy and now beginning to fill with honey, but the langstroth hives with manley super frames still dont want to work and i sprayed them all with sugar syrup, with added honey and took the excluders out ?
 

Poly Hive 

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How has your weather been? I ask as this last week has been pretty cool here.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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was abit worried about the queen laying eggs in the frames

I was ging to write that she won't be laying until they start to draw, at which time you can replace the Q/E.

arthur61,

I, too, am in the very south of the county. The rape has gone over this past couple of weeks so the flow has diminished. They may well still be feeding lots of brood and now have not got any surplus, so won't need the extra comb as yet.

My strong colonies on 14 x 12s are drawing comb steadily, but ones which were late starters this spring are not so keen to draw any more at present. A medium swarm a month ago has completely drawn and filled a 14 x 12 box and will, in the last week (I hope), have drawn most or all of a super. I will not be checking until the weekend on that particular one. Some now have empty comb to go at, after a bit of extraction.

I will pm you.

Regards, RAB
 

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