August 22nd: Queen Still In Deep Brood Box

Opened the hive and looked hard for the queen.  Never saw her.  The deep brood box has at least 4 frames of capped brood and a couple of frames of open eggs/larvae.  She is still definitely at work in that box.  The medium boxes above and below the deep had no brood in them.  The bees are starting to store nectar in them, the bottom medium more than the center medium.

Lots of brood, lots of bees, lots of nectar/honey.  Also saw some stored pollen.

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August 12th: Email from Michael Bush

Thanks again for responding to my email.  I’m sure that I cannot imagine how many emails you get every day.

I was given a 10-frame deep into which I placed my 5-frame NUC this spring.  The NUC also came with deep frames.

But, I want to eventually convert everything to 8-frame medium boxes.  So, all the boxes I have set on top of the deep are mediums.

My hope has been that the queen would eventually move up into the next box with medium frames in it, but she has stayed in the deep all summer (at least, so far).  And, they have just been storing nectar/honey in all three mediums I have placed on top of the deep.

Is there anything I can do to encourage the queen to move up one box into a medium so that I can remove that deep box at the end of the summer?  If I can get her up there, I’ll stick an excluder (in this case an “includer”) between the deep and the medium to keep her up in the medium but leave the deep as part of the hive until all the brood that was laid in there hatches.

Any ideas?

I hope that makes sense, I tried to be as succinct as possible.

Best Regards,

Scott Sailors

Michael Bush via gmail.com 

11:12 AM (20 hours ago)

Queens generally move down.  Bees build down.  If you want the bees to
move into the boxes with the brood nest you’ll have better luck on the
bottom.  If you want to speed the process, put some of the deeps in two
mediums with the rest filled out with mediums.  Then they only have to
expand sideways.  You can also put medium sin the deeps (both of these
will end up with some comb on the bottom of the bottom bar).  You can
also cut comb out and rubber band it into the medium frames.  Some
combination of all three may be best.

August 11th: Inspected Anna Ward’s Hive

Visited the hive of Anna Ward at her parents’ home and garden at 145 Chipeta Avenue in Poncha Springs. It was noon, and sunny, and 80 degrees.

Anna got the bees and the one deep hive box, from Grandpa’s Bees in Alamosa, about mid June. Hive box was old, in poor shape, and was not wide enough to allow any room to move frames in order to be able to get a grip on one and pull it out.

Anna said that she had seen the queen when she put the bees in the hive box.

Very little activity at the hive, maybe one bee entering each minute.

I removed the top and the bees immediately began stinging me. I was stung so many times on the right arm I don’t even know how many times I was stung. (I was wearing a veil, but only had on a short sleeve shirt and gloves. Was not using the smoker.) The bees even tried to crawl inside my gloves.  A few bees chased me for about two blocks.  By the next morning, my arm had swelled to about 150% its normal size, from my elbow to my knuckles.  The swelling lasted four days.

Back at the car, I put on a jacket and lit my smoker.

Returning to the hive, I smoked it a little and then inspected the frames. Without even pulling them, it was obvious that six of the ten had no drawn-out comb on them.

I pulled the four center frames and, other than a few capped drone cells, there was nothing happening.

The hive had very few bees in it and was obviously queenless. Unhappy bees.

August 1st: Added another Super

Checked the hive.  All three boxes.  Didn’t see the queen.  All brood activity is still in the original, bottom, deep box.  Only about two frames of brood this time.

They’re putting nectar and honey in the second box (below the queen excluder where I was hoping the queen would move up so that I can eventually get rid of that deep box).  And the top box, above the excluder is probably 60% full of nectar and honey.  It was quite heavy.

I added another super on top of it with one foundationless frame that was about 2/3 drawn-out and nine 100% beeswax frames.

Shot a video which I hope to add to this post.