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I am a new beekeeper and as such all my gear is brand new.

I have purchased a couple of NUCs and caught a swarm so that part is all in place. I have now got 3 queen right hives and they are progressing well and are now occupying 2 brood boxes. Each has about 6 plus frames of brood and about 6 to 8 frames of uncapped honey with plenty of pollen.

I am running full depth brood box and 3/4 depth boxes for honey supers.

 

My problem now is how do I get the girls to move up into the honey boxes as they only have bare foundation.

I do not have any drawn foundation this year for them to move into. Only a handfull of bees have moved into the honey box and there is no sign of drawing out the foundation. I have not put on any queen excluders at this stage as I thought it best to get the girls working in the new area rather than put any restrictions on them.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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You could try shifting one frame of honey up from the brood box to 'lure' them, but they'll go up when they need the room Trevor. A few days of warm weather and a clover flow should to the trick.

 

Thanks ChrisNZ

 

Trouble is I only have honey in FD and my honey super is 3/4. Is it OK to leave a space in the FD brood box on the outside and then move that FD honey frame into the 3/4 and let it hang down into the brood box.

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I would say you are perfectly set up for the nectar flow Trev with a little patience the girls should start moving up to supers as space in brood boxes becomes cramped,I personally would use a metal queen excluder.

 

Thanks. Always concerned that I don't screw up to much and have the girls begger off. or something similar.

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When you do get some frames with honey, a trick that I heard was that you add the empty supers below the full box. I read that this causes the bees to think they have more space to fill up. But I haven't tried this yet, so be keen if anyone has tried that.

 

Thanks...Gary

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When you do get some frames with honey, a trick that I heard was that you add the empty supers below the full box. I read that this causes the bees to think they have more space to fill up. But I haven't tried this yet, so be keen if anyone has tried that.

 

Thanks...Gary

 

My hives are in town so there is alway plenty of nectar around. The girls are certainly busy. Maybe I am just a bit over keen.

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I've been in that situation for two seasons - I split my hives in spring amd I have never had enough drawn frames to put on all of them yet. In my experience, they move up in their own good time and then they draw it out amazngly quickly. When they start filling it, better get another super ready to go. I just bung them on top but I might try underneath on a couple and see what happens.

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I've been in that situation for two seasons - I split my hives in spring amd I have never had enough drawn frames to put on all of them yet. In my experience, they move up in their own good time and then they draw it out amazngly quickly. When they start filling it, better get another super ready to go. I just bung them on top but I might try underneath on a couple and see what happens.

 

Thanks Janice. I suppose I am being just concerned about not doing thinggs right.

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I'm only in my second season, so I don't feel too confident yet about what's ''right'', but my hives came through winter OK so either I did something right or was lucky. I did an Agribusiness course last year which helped a lot, but there seem to be as many opinions on most things as there are beekeepers!

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I'm only in my second season, so I don't feel too confident yet about what's ''right'', but my hives came through winter OK so either I did something right or was lucky. I did an Agribusiness course last year which helped a lot, but there seem to be as many opinions on most things as there are beekeepers!

 

Yes I agree about all th opinions. If you get six beekeepers together you will get 12 different opinions on any subject. This sounds a lot like orchid growing, but we all end up ok. The big diffenece here is the learning curve is extremely steep. One you get the bees it is all on with not to much relief and apparent pit falls everywhere.

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I keep the fullest super closest to the brood box so they fill it up first. Then I can take it off and extract it, and put it back on the top. That way I can extract one at a time. You can also move the frames sides to middle to encourage them to fill the box evenly.

If you want to lure them up, Trevor, to get round the different lengths of the frames, you could put a short frame in the edge of your brood box, and let them draw it out then move it up. They won't mind having a gap at the bottom, or a space in the honey super. Especially if the weather is hot. They might fill the gap under the short frame with comb, but you can just cut it off. But I agree with Janice - they'll move up when they think they've run out of space.

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I keep the fullest super closest to the brood box so they fill it up first. Then I can take it off and extract it, and put it back on the top. That way I can extract one at a time. You can also move the frames sides to middle to encourage them to fill the box evenly.

If you want to lure them up, Trevor, to get round the different lengths of the frames, you could put a short frame in the edge of your brood box, and let them draw it out then move it up. They won't mind having a gap at the bottom, or a space in the honey super. Especially if the weather is hot. They might fill the gap under the short frame with comb, but you can just cut it off. But I agree with Janice - they'll move up when they think they've run out of space.

Many thanks Jacco.

 

Every bit of advice helps. Now all we need is some warm weather. Any idea there. I was hopeing global warming would help but it looks colder to me.

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When you do get some frames with honey, a trick that I heard was that you add the empty supers below the full box. I read that this causes the bees to think they have more space to fill up. But I haven't tried this yet, so be keen if anyone has tried that.

 

Thanks...Gary

I might give that one a try. I've got a super to go onto each of my hives as soon as this rain clears.

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If bees are reluctant to move up to a super with just foundation there are more options to consider:

pop a small piece of brace comb on the top bar of the brood box so its squashed by the super frame; this will allow an easy walk upstairs - good if the super has been made with an incorrect bee space (!)

Put a super frame in the brood box for a few days until it is being drawn out. Then put it in the super.

Feed thin syrup. Not enough so that it's stored and will dilute the honey but they'll go up to get it and use it to draw wax. Once the wax has started, the feeding can stop.

 

Generally they'll move up when there's a good flow on.

Once you've got a few frames that have been started then you're OK.

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