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Author Topic: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames  (Read 434 times)

Offline Banjeezie

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I have a hive made up of 3 honey supers with medium frames as brood boxes.  I have had the bees for about 8 months or more and this is my first spring.  I was all ready to get a bunch of honey, but they do not want to move up into the new super!  I have replaced to frames from the bottom with empty ones and put the two full frames up top to try and get them to either move to top or build on empties.  So far two weeks and I do not see any progress of new comb.  My hive did split earlier this year about a month or two ago.  I am keeping my bees alive, but other than that I'm treading water and not getting anywhere.  When I went to inspect about a month ago I noticed ants going in at a rapid rate through the top cover.  I have fixed that problem, but now im wondering if they may be going in through bottom and robbing all the brood and honey?  Maybe that's why I see no new construction?  What to do What to do? Please help.
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Online bwallace23350

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 03:09:32 PM »
Wish I could help you so I am giving you a bump

Offline cao

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 10:18:24 PM »
My hive did split earlier this year about a month or two ago.
I assume you mean they swarmed.  If they did the new queen had to go and get mated.  Did she make it back?  Is there worker brood?  If she didn't could be one explanation for the hive not growing.

If there is a good queen laying, it still takes a while for the hive to get back to full strength.  They may have swarmed more than once.  How full of bees are your boxes?  They need to be covering all frames plus hanging from empty top bars to draw new comb.

The other thing I can think of is there a flow going on?  If no flow they don't need to draw comb when nothing is coming in.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 12:30:42 AM »
My hive did split earlier this year about a month or two ago.
I assume you mean they swarmed.  If they did the new queen had to go and get mated.  Did she make it back?  Is there worker brood?  If she didn't could be one explanation for the hive not growing.

If there is a good queen laying, it still takes a while for the hive to get back to full strength.  They may have swarmed more than once.  How full of bees are your boxes?  They need to be covering all frames plus hanging from empty top bars to draw new comb.

The other thing I can think of is there a flow going on?  If no flow they don't need to draw comb when nothing is coming in.

That was my thought. If they swarmed or if you took a big split off of it they may take time to build back up. It may be a simple issue of needing more bees. If you have a laying queen and the bees are packed in their current space, a couple of combs containing brood would entice them up.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Banjeezie

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 09:09:22 AM »
Sorry the correct term is swarmed.  I will look into the brood to make sure I have a laying queen.  There are not a WHOLE lot of bees on each frame and none hanging off of the empty frames.  I am pretty sure I witnessed the mating flights going on after the swarm.  They had Lots and lots of drones in and out of the hive. and Lots of bees swarming around and around the hive for a couple of days in a row...then it all calmed down so I figured the mating flight was done but I didn't know I needed to check to see if the queen made it back or anything. I will break down the hive to the brood and do a full inspection to make sure I have fresh brood.  Will report back after the weekend!  Thanks for the tips! :happy:
"Integrity is key."
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Offline Bush_84

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 09:14:04 AM »
If they swarmed you may not get honey this year.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Banjeezie

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2017, 10:43:08 AM »
Ok so the new queen is doing great! lots of fresh brood.  I did notice some new construction further down in the hive.  So how in the world do I prevent a swarm so that I may be able to get some honey from my bees at some point?  I was all excited that I kept them alive and well this long and that I will have my first spring harvest.  Also I am experiencing my comb detaching from the frames and staying connected to the wall and or neighboring frames comb.  basically I was unable to fully inspect the hive because on some frames the comb was simply falling off/apart/staying connected to wall.
"Integrity is key."
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 02:28:25 PM »
From --- The Practical Beekeeper:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
John 3:16

Offline tjc1

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 05:44:52 PM »
Ok so the new queen is doing great! lots of fresh brood.  I did notice some new construction further down in the hive.  So how in the world do I prevent a swarm so that I may be able to get some honey from my bees at some point?  I was all excited that I kept them alive and well this long and that I will have my first spring harvest.  Also I am experiencing my comb detaching from the frames and staying connected to the wall and or neighboring frames comb.  basically I was unable to fully inspect the hive because on some frames the comb was simply falling off/apart/staying connected to wall.

Odd that you have comb falling off of the frames.... Never heard of that in a normal hive setting.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2017, 01:04:59 PM »
Ok so the new queen is doing great! lots of fresh brood.  I did notice some new construction further down in the hive.  So how in the world do I prevent a swarm so that I may be able to get some honey from my bees at some point?  I was all excited that I kept them alive and well this long and that I will have my first spring harvest.  Also I am experiencing my comb detaching from the frames and staying connected to the wall and or neighboring frames comb.  basically I was unable to fully inspect the hive because on some frames the comb was simply falling off/apart/staying connected to wall.

Odd that you have comb falling off of the frames.... Never heard of that in a normal hive setting.

Foundation-less... pretty common if not handled correctly... especially in hot weather
John 3:16

Offline brookscj

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 11:47:14 PM »
Banjeezie,

I know we will all gladly help you as much as we can on the forum, but I would suggest that you find a local beekeeper who can take a look at your hive with you.  I know that this could cause a hot debate but you have made it harder on yourself by starting with foundation-less frames.  If you don't keep a close eye on your bees and inspect often, they can make a real mess in the hive just like what you described.  You will have to remove that bad comb and replace with new frames.  You should also make sure you keep your frames perpendicular to the ground when you handle them so the comb doesn't dislodge itself.  If you have some good drawn out frames that are nice and straight, place the new empty frames between them and this will help the bees to draw the new frames out straight.  Don't worry about harvesting honey.  Right now you need to get your hive nice and strong.  Once they get those three mediums filled out you can think about harvesting that fourth box.  They will likely need three mediums for brood and stores to make it through the winter in MS without help.  You should be in a good honey flow of Chinese tallow right now so if you get things straight you might have that fourth super before you know it!

As for ants, I have used Amdro bait granules in a container with holes the bees can't get through placed underneath or near the rear of the hive.
"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul."  Luther Burbank

Offline Bush_84

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2017, 01:48:49 PM »
One more thing...you do not witness mating flights. Queens fly quite a ways away from the hive and mate in drone congregation areas.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Banjeezie

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2017, 09:38:43 AM »
Thanks everyone you have helped a whole lot...I will try and update this post later when I have everything straight.  They only need to fill one or two more frames to have all three supers filled up. I will take your advice on taking the bad frames out and cleaning up the comb and placing new frames in between some nicely drawn out frames.  :smile:
"Integrity is key."
~Semper Fi~

Offline Captain776

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 11:01:10 AM »
I have tried all ways.
They did build out on full sheets of wax, but slowly.
Foundationless was substantial amount of Drone comb.

What seems to be working best? Starter Strip and I secured them in the top groove with melted wax and they took right off building.
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: New Beek, First Spring, No new Comb, Foundationless Frames
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 12:24:34 PM »
I have used:
Wax foundation, a pain to install but works pretty good. Creates large bees due to the large cell size. Works very well for honey supers/extraction.
Plasticell, works pretty well if you only install plastic in the entire super. Easy and fast to install. Creates large bees due to the large cell size. Works very well for honey supers/extraction.
Foundation less with a waxed strip of wood in the top groove. Bees easily accept it. Easy and fast to install. I put all of the wood strips together and paint all of the exposed (bottom) edges at one time. Works very well for honey supers/extraction if they connect the wax to the bottom board. Is great for comb honey the first year they build the comb. The second year they usually have it connected to the bottom board. The bees make what ever size comb they want. Great for brood boxes and is what I use in all of my swarm traps.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain