Correct way to nadir brood box

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United a failing hive, (no Q, no eggs, nothing other than less bees) after failed artificial swarm.
That went as planned. Now the bees are filling brood frames with honey, and I have no way to extract them. Don't want to leave them to fill more, or overwinter on double brood.
Thinking I can nadir the broodless brood box so they move the honey up into super or brood box with the queen and brood.
If this is a good idea, should I put queen excluder between brood boxes to stop the queen laying in both?
If not a good idea, what else should/could I do.
Thanks
 
Doesn't your local association ( don't know where you are so cant suggest who to contact) have an extractor you could use, or perhaps another beekeeper you could ask?
Have you sorted the brood frames in the two boxes yet? consolidated?
 
Doesn't your local association ( don't know where you are so cant suggest who to contact) have an extractor you could use, or perhaps another beekeeper you could ask?
Have you sorted the brood frames in the two boxes yet? consolidated?
The brood box with queen is full of brood and honey, so can't swap any frames.
I have an extractor, but not for brood frames.
 
They are unlikely to move the honey up into a super - that's a lost cause if you are trying to get the honey into frames you can extract by just nadiring the brood box.

What you could try (and I really don't know if this will work but it's worth a try). Clear the bees out of the brood box you don't want them in and remove it. Put a drawn super on top of the remaining brood box, put a crown board with a small hole in it on top of the super (centre of a CD is ideal), put a completely empty (no frames) super on too of that and then the brood box you want them to take the honey down out of on top of that. They will usually take the honey down - if the honey is capped, scratch the cappings.

They may store some of it in the drawn super but the likelihood is that they will backfill the bottom brood box with stores. It's a faff but it's worth a try.

The easy option is to nadir the brood box with the honey in it and overwinter on double brood !
 
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United a failing hive, (no Q, no eggs, nothing other than less bees) after failed artificial swarm.
That went as planned. Now the bees are filling brood frames with honey, and I have no way to extract them. Don't want to leave them to fill more, or overwinter on double brood.
Thinking I can nadir the broodless brood box so they move the honey up into super or brood box with the queen and brood.
If this is a good idea, should I put queen excluder between brood boxes to stop the queen laying in both?
If not a good idea, what else should/could I do.
Thanks
What's your objection to double brood? Just leave the QE out, put insulation on top and let them sort themselves out. Come springtime the colony will be in the top box and you can recover the bottom box.
Bees are generally experts/know more about living in enclosed spaces than humans.
 
What's your objection to double brood? Just leave the QE out, put insulation on top and let them sort themselves out. Come springtime the colony will be in the top box and you can recover the bottom box.
Bees are generally experts/know more about living in enclosed spaces than humans.
No objection. Overthinking on my part. Thought area would be too large for overwintering if double brood.
That makes sense, and that's what I will do.

Thankyou
 
Easiest to leave them in two brood boxes. Job done.

However if you want to clear some old frames and get the bees to move honey from them into a super above, then you could set up the hive as follows:- This can be done in summer or spring with any frames you want to clear.

From bottom to top:-
Floor. Sealed. (Could be a piece of plywood if you didn't have a spare floor).
Brood box you want to be emptied
Queen excluder
Eke with small entrance (needs to be easy to defend at this time of year). Bees will find the new entrance quickly enough).
Brood box with queen, brood etc.
Queen excluder
Super
Crownboard
Roof.

Bees don't like food below so they will uncap it and move it up - it might be to the brood box or the super if there is not enough space in the brood box. (At this time of year bees will be keeping food close-by and back-filling as they prepare for winter).
 
Bees don't like food below so they will uncap it and move it up

It's just struck me that perhaps they do this because foragers drop their load into comb near the bottom of the nest and then house bees move it up above/around the brood, so it's effectively "natural behaviour".

No idea if that's a correct explanation though. It just struck me as a possibility as I was reading your words.

James
 
No objection. Overthinking on my part. Thought area would be too large for overwintering if double brood.
That makes sense, and that's what I will do.

Thankyou
It is easy to overthink things. Try and remember how the hive works. As winter approaches and brood becomes less the bees will start to fill the upper cells with honey. The food will be stored progressively from the top down with any brood underneath that. When the brood finally stops the bees will be at the bottom under the food, as winter gets a hold the bees will eat the food from the bottom up. That way, as the stores go down the bees are gently moving up towards the warmest part of the hive. The higher they get, the less food they need to heat it and the stores last longer. So ...... If you have two boxes, the chances are there will be brood in the bottom box early in winter but as stores get eaten and the bees move up, that box becomes empty and can be removed.
Hope this makes sense😅
 
If I can jump in...that makes perfect sense, except would you remove the bottom BB during the autumn or even winter or leave it until the spring so as not to disturb/chill the cluster by messing about with the hive?
 
Op amd Beemum.

I over winter on double broods and most over winter in the top box and to prove that bees do nothing invariably at least two or three of ten will choose the bottom box. Also being poly units they will ALL choose a corner to cluster in as the corners are the warmest places to be.

PH
 
If I can jump in...that makes perfect sense, except would you remove the bottom BB during the autumn or even winter or leave it until the spring so as not to disturb/chill the cluster by messing about with the hive?
I have done it in the winter by gently lifting the top box when they are clustered but first split it slightly and look between the boxes to make sure you are not breaking the cluster, if so then leave it alone, I usually do it in the early spring, if it is brood and a half then I do it before drones but late spring and move it above a queen excluder but depends on your weather. It is all a bit hit and miss and trying to work with the bees.
 
doesn't mean it isn't dumped in the nearest convenient cell during a flow to be moved up later.
Or hasn't anyone else noticed how often cells in the brood area get filled with unripe honey during a flow?
 
doesn't mean it isn't dumped in the nearest convenient cell during a flow to be moved up later.
Or hasn't anyone else noticed how often cells in the brood area get filled with unripe honey during a flow?
Yes. If there is a flow on looking into the brood can be quite alarming.
 
Perhaps my thoughts may not be so far off the mark then. I prefer it as an explanation because it avoids the unintentional anthropomorphism of suggesting that "bees don't like <something>", something I'm trying to train myself out of. The idea that their natural behaviour might be to move nectar and honey from below the brood nest above the brood because that's where they'll be using it feels a bit more consistent and complete rather than raising the question of what exactly we mean by using the word "like" when discussing bee behaviour.

James
 
Bees don't like food below so they will uncap it and move it up - it might be to the brood box or the super if there is not enough space in the brood box. (At this time of year bees will be keeping food close-by and back-filling as they prepare for winter).
Is that 100% guaranteed?

I’m thinking of placing a half-full super under a virtually empty (of stores) brood box.

Hoping that they’ll move the stores up into the brood box for winter.

Then I can remove the empty super.

Is there a good chance this will go to plan?
 

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