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NZBF Strong 2 FD Hive - management and extract questions

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I'd really appreciate advice from learned beekeepers please...

 

I have three questions (which I'll explain):

 

1) As the 2 Full Deep boxes are almost full, should I be looking to split the hive?

2) If so, Can I use 2 queen excluders to locate the queen?.

2) Should I extract or leave a specific frame?

 

Any other thoughts much appreciated...

 

Background:

This is my third bee keeping season, I started with a weak nuc April 17, and through walk away splits, I now have 3 strong hives one with two brood boxes, the other two are singles.

 

The first picture shows my strongest hive I have (ever had): 2 Full deep brood boxes and 2 x 3/4 supers. The top super is almost full and just needs some capping so I intend to remove and extract in the next week, and the under super is largely empty. It's the strongest hive that I've ever had, and I'm finding the hive management a bit of a challenge as the two full deeps are almost full of brood (8 frames), loads of pollen (6 frames), and the rest honey as full frames or bulging around brood. I'm nervous about the hive swarming, as there is very little space left. There are no swarm cells. with the high volume of bees, especially angry ones, I have been unable to locate the queen in the last 3 inspections.

 

1821331680_fullhivesmall.jpg.d21d06025e0afee45ba557362f88ada2.jpg

 

Q1) Should I be worried about swarming due to lack of space? (or is it too late in the season?), and therefore consider splitting?

 

Q2) If looking to split, to locate the queen, can I use two queen excluders, one above and below the top brood box?, and then check for eggs in Brood box 1, 2, to know where the queen is? or is there a better method?.

 

Q3) If I wanted to, can I extract this frame? / what is the impact of pollen in extracted frames?

 

902241517_CappedPollensmall.jpg.094654bec037f176548a3b89648d5333.jpg

 

2077925726_cappedpollen2small.jpg.65a37f338cb5371e9e98ddf2484958fd.jpg

 

This frame is from the top brood box. There is honey around the outside, but I'm most interested in what was previously the brood area. I hear that bees don't cap pollen, but hear that bees can put nectar on top of pollen in cells. My inclination is to leave the frame for the bees over winter. If I wanted to extract the frame, could I?. I guess I'm asking, what is the impact of pollen in honey?. 

 

Any comments, much appreciated (still on my learning journey ;)) 

 

As an aside, and for a laugh, in my last inspection, I gloved up (leather instead of nitrile milking gloves) as I knew there was a bit of honey for the bees to protect.  The hive was certainly on alert when I was removing frames to check for swarm cells, and I was feeling invincible, until.... I regretted my over confidence in wearing my ankle length socks when I was stung on my ankle below my suit and inside my long gumboots. two days later my ankle is still swollen. (it took me 2 minutes until I would find a bees free environment to remove the sting).

 

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Posted (edited)

Yes you can locate the queen that way , no problems . 
 

It is highly unlikely your hive will Swarm now , but not impossible .

 

Why do you want to split it ? If you don’t want more hives , don’t split . 
 

No problem with pollen in honey frames 

Edited by M4tt

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Thanks @M4tt
My only thought re splitting was so they didn’t swarm (and its fun to create new queens). I have enough hives so wont split. Look8mg forward to having a solid strong hive going into winter. 
cheers

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Posted (edited)

I would recommend leaving that honey frame in the brood box for winter feed unless you are planning on leaving a full honey super on for winter as feed honey. Also you could swap supers so the near empty one is at the top and let them keep going till they are both full as its now January and you will need to get a tutin test done on your honey you extract.

Edited by Dane Attwood

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Thanks @Dane Attwood for the comments,, much appreciated.  Especially the reader that I’ll need to leave enough honey on for 2 brood boxes vs my usual one.  I’m mindful of the Tutin test requirement thx, I get all honey tested through the bee club each year. Is it your experience that over supering vs under supering is best?, or is it a loads of different opinions area? My thoughts were that it’s a shorter distant for foragers from the entrance, and closer should the bees want to move some up from the brood boxes.

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