Well there was another beekeeping meeting this week and as usual a lot of great points came up. Here’s some things to consider:
- No matter where you’ve started in the country by now you should have two brood boxes on your hive or three westerns (many people use all westerns for their hives).
- What happens when you put a box on too early? Bees may not pull out foundation on the outside frames. You should have 8 frames pulled before putting on another box.
- Bees that are stressed won’t make drones so drones AREN’T a bad thing.
- The queen will likely always move up so switching boxes so she’s always moving up can be a good thing. This means rotating the top and bottom hive boxes so she’s not forced to go down to a lower box to lay eggs when she’s filled in the top boxes.
- Queen excluders are only a tool, not something you should use all the time. When you first put a honey super on the queen might want to move up and lay and you don’t want that so often you will put on an excluder to keep her from being able to move into the honey super.
- Why don’t you want her laying in the honey supers? Casing from the larvae are left in cells when a queen lays and eggs hatch. These will make extracting harder.
- Many people call a queen excluder a honey excluder as often the bees will not move through it to the honey super.
- If you’re using all western size boxes you can use one frame from the brood body (making sure the queen is not on it) to force the bees up into the honey super. They will not leave the frame or larvae unattended and this will get them moving through the excluder.
- If you have a wooden-framed excluder you can notch the top of the wooden frame so field bees can come directly into the honey supers rather than working their way up through the brood boxes. Either way having a way for the field bees to enter the top honey super directly will save them time and likely result in more honey for you.