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Markypoo

NZBF Bees shifting pollen

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I placed a queen excluder on a hive around xmas time. Somehow I ended up with the queen on the wrong side so have brood all through the honey supers. She's marked so wasn't a supercedure or anything like that.

 I moved her downstairs today. Just a bit worried about brood space. It seemed to have a lot of pollen stored. Pretty much packed. I popped in two drawn frames with about 30% pollen I was keeping for an experiment. Will this be enough space and will the bees move the stored pollen above the excluder to create space? or should a put a few new frames in? I don't have any drawn ones but a couple with foundation.

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I'd put new frames in . I don't know if bees move pollen, I doubt it, but only remove it to feed to grubs. With a big stash like that , there will be far more than they immediately need and it will hinder the brood area. 

What you have observed is exactly what happens when there is no queen in the bottom box. They fill it with pollen 

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Being lazy by nature I leave any cleaning up that can be done by the bees to the bees. Old-time beekeepers (yes I know I'm getting pretty close ) often talked about hives being pollen bound but I only see this when something is wrong with the Queen. Storing pollen is natural and useful and they can go from surplus to deficit in a remarkably short time. Put the Queen back where she is supposed to be and they will make space for her to lay.

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@Markypoo when I put the queen above the excluder then shifted her back the bees above the excluder thought they were queenless and made lots of queen cells .

I retrospect iI should have swapped boxes around or taken brood back into lower box with queen .

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Yeah. Going to check for cells in a day or two.

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I think the leave them alone option is the best. My wife calls me a Beemolester.

 

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I hope you correct her and say its "insatiable curiosity" You will learn much from this. When we only have a few hives, we have to look in more frequently to get the same range of experience as those who do it day in day out.

That's my excuse anyway!! but I am gradually learning to see what happens when its left alone.....

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I would be inclined to let the bees sort themselves out and they will move/use pollen as they want to.

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it's only a sample size of one, but it might be of some interest.

i popped into an excluder-less hive a few days ago that several weeks ago had a pollen packed bottom box, brood through the next three boxes, then several honey/nectar/empty boxes above that. That bottom box is now a classic bottom brood box, outer frames on each side are honey, next frames honey/pollen, then the oval bottom of the brood nest with the middle four frames packed out with brood.

 

so, yeah, i'm in the let the bees sort it out camp so long as there is space for the queen and the bees in the meantime - how many boxes do you have below that queen excluder?

 

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I’ve just been through some hives that are 3 FD boxes .

They’ve had a QE between box 2 and 3.

Bottom Box is chocka with pollen and a small bit of brood , box two is 100% capped honey and box three is 6 middle frames capped .

Ive pulled the QE out and that is them set up for winter .

No sign of varroa in drones 

Staples go in in  three weeks time 

 

As they move up over winter , I’ll remove empty boxes then 

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I left mine too big last year. I ended up wishing I’d gone to 2x 3/4 boxes rather than 3. They got so damp with the extra space that I took a box off them late winter. There was a lot of mould, dampness and even slugs and snails in there. The site isn’t shaded but is in Auckland. I’m going to try for much smaller hives overwinter this time. The nuc that I left with just one 3/4 box did the best.

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