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Why won't my bees draw out the supers?

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Ewok 

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I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

I've got 3 14X12 hives that are all the same - they have drawn out all the BB foundation & filled so much of it with nectar & honey that the queens are running out of space to lay.

Each has a super of 10 frames of foundation & there are bees in the supers, but they refuse to draw it out & store the honey there.

It looks as thought there is a lot of nectar coming in at the moment so they are filling the BB with nectar/honey.

The feed holes in the crown boards are currently covered, would removing the covers & improving the ventilation help at all?

Would putting one of the super frames into the BB & then when drawn out return it to the super help?


Confused

Mike
 

MuswellMetro 

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you could try taking the Queen excluder off for a few days until they start to draw..then after afew days shake all bee off to make sure the queen is below, then put QE back

also waht type of QE do you have

the plastic and galvernised slotted ones are not too beefrenidly
 

Ewok 

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I use the wood framed wire QEs. I did try the new plastic 'wire section' one from Thornes which is ment to be more bee friendly with no improvement.

The bees are going into the supers no problem & covering about half of the frames, just not drawing it out????
 

Peter Cox 

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Remove the honey excluders.
And then adding a drawn frame of comb to the super will help.
I've abandoned using excluders as they just appear to be a deterrent to the bees doing much with's above them
 

Ewok 

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Remove the honey excluders.
And then adding a drawn frame of comb to the super will help.
I've abandoned using excluders as they just appear to be a deterrent to the bees doing much with's above them
Thanks, unfortunately this is my first season & I don't have any drawn comb or that would have been the first thing I would have tried. I'll try taking the QEs out.
 

Poly Hive 

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As a direct measure I agree remove the Q ex.

Where did the super foundation come from?

I ask as mine is from Kemble and I am working comb honey only so am offering every colony needing supering a super (poly) of foundation on the widest width, (Manley) so what I am saying is I am constantly challenging the bees with the worst case situation and am having no problems.

I have not had to remove an excluder yet.

Draw your own conclusions.

PH
 

MuswellMetro 

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As a direct measure I agree remove the Q ex.

Where did the super foundation come from?

I ask as mine is from Kemble and I am working comb honey only so am offering every colony needing supering a super (poly) of foundation on the widest width, (Manley) so what I am saying is I am constantly challenging the bees with the worst case situation and am having no problems.

I have not had to remove an excluder yet.

Draw your own conclusions.

PH
yes. i use Kemble of hastings, no problem, but have had beginers with Bees that would not draw brood foundation from one of the suppliers...a big one, even with the Seasonal Bee Inspectors supervision of his hive...anyway off to play with the Girls, then spend 6 hours in my Beesuit in 30 degree heat and our observation hive at a fete....should loose some weight or get heatstroke
 
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admin 

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Is it the June gap causing the problem.
Does it look like you have a flow on ?
 

Poly Hive 

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Is there such a thing as a "July gap"?

Up here it is the driest year seemingly for 80 years but the plants in general I have to say are looking very good indeed, the blossom in Spring was magnificent and everything since has bloomed profusely.

I have a very good flow on and today is another day of heat humidity and no wind to dry out the nectaries.

Life is good. :)

PH
 

OXFORDBEE 

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More than 1, numbers seem to go up and down.
Is it the June gap causing the problem.
Does it look like you have a flow on ?
Not much of a June gap here this year due to the late start to the season. The bees seem to have moved from the spring to main nectar flows with a gap of about 1.5 weeks.

Noticibly things seem to have quietened down over the last few days as the soil is starting to dry out. There is still a steady continuous flow though.
 

Ewok 

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As a direct measure I agree remove the Q ex.

Where did the super foundation come from?

I ask as mine is from Kemble and I am working comb honey only so am offering every colony needing supering a super (poly) of foundation on the widest width, (Manley) so what I am saying is I am constantly challenging the bees with the worst case situation and am having no problems.

I have not had to remove an excluder yet.

Draw your own conclusions.

PH
Both my brood box and super foundation is from the same supplier -yup you know the one- they draw it out in the brood box OK. just not in the super?
 

OXFORDBEE 

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More than 1, numbers seem to go up and down.
How strong are your hives?

Are they chock full of bees so they can move into the supers?
 

Ewok 

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Is it the June gap causing the problem.
Does it look like you have a flow on ?
No, or very little pollen coming in at the moment but it looks as though there's plenty of nectar coming in & they are filling the brood box with it. Plenty of blackberry round our way.
I did have a single national frame in each for drone culling, but since I over-did the oxalic acid we don't have any Varoa so I've replaced the national frames with a 14X12 of new foundation, that should stop them swarming for a while!
 

oliver90owner 

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Poly Hive,

You say we can draw our own conclusions. I have on this one.

Fresh 'KBS' foundation in a super on a recent swarm colony. Still not drawn after two weeks and queen cells are capped and she has likely gone in 6 weeks from installation. No queen excluder fitted.

This same foundation, that did not fit my frames (frames were square enough for another supplier's foundation to fit without trimming), and that barely reached the bottom bars (and so some has been lost due to buckling). This foundation was supplied by the one and same supplier you are raving about? I, for one, need a more convincing argument than I have so far recieved.

Regards, RAB
 
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I'm a first year keeper too - and mine are doing the same thing! Just did the first week check - queen seems happy and busy. They have stored on 4 sides of 3 brood frames - but in the super they are just joining all of the frames together with bridges! Unless they have too finish placing stores in the BB before moving up??
 

oliver90owner 

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Queens59,

Swarm? Nuc? How big is the colony? Into a brood with a super of foundation all in one week? Frame spacings?

I might guess: too much, too soon and too wide apart, but I am not keen on guessing, so maybe a little more info please.

RAB
 

milkermel 

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K folks! Im just getting into my second year my first hive was from the umentioned bigge and last year I had the same problem, presumed it was because i started late, then I took on a swarm in October in someonelses hive which drew out 7 frames in 4 weeks on premium fresh foundation, I overwintered them ok and this year they drew like mad whilst my original hive on budget stuff was very slow to expand. I managed to miss QC and ended up with 2 new hives!!! From the Master 'Hivemaker' so had to get more foundation, Whilst my hives had nothing being laid I managed to swap a few foundations etc around found that although it was slow by putting 2 super frames into brood box 3 frames in on both sides my girls eventually got the message!! with two frames drawn in each hive I have now put them up into the super and they seem happy to draw the rest out. I wasnt expecting any honey this year because of my swarming but at the rate mine are going I may see some now!

So in short If you can get a couple of your super frames down into brood box then it might get them to draw. but make sure you get them out before your queen lays in them!
 
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OK Oliver90owner...here goes...
Nuc. from my local bee-keepers assoc., placed in a brood box (after 24 hours in the nuc. box in place).
The supplier said - 'they are getting overfull very quickly - if it was me I'd put a super on too - it can't do any harm'. So I did
Spacing wide- as recommended by my BKA mentor using plastic spacers.
Hope this helps!
 

Poly Hive 

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Well Rab it's like this.

I have used Me Kemble for over 20 years and was put on to him by a bee farmer.

I obviously cannot comment on your issues but can say with utter certainty and no I am not on a kick back, I like his kit. I have never had an issue with quality or fit and this from Langstroth and National brood, super and Cut comb. Even when I was running on a commercial basis and using several hundred sheets a year there were no issues.

So there you go Rab. In fact I have just had nucs happily draw out Langstroth foundation which is at least 10 years old, and no I didn't use a hair dryer on it. Just thought to try it.

PH
 

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