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First time, first super, brood in the roof

I went to add my super and found that the bees had made hive in the top. I saw honey and brood. but not the queen. I put the excluder on and the super anyway. I hope that I didn’t mess up. Any advice?

I meant to say they had made comb in the top.

They built up in the roof for one of 2 reasons (or both reasons!) :smile: :

  1. They had run out of space in the brood box
  2. You left the hole in the inner cover open

You didn’t do anything wrong with your fix. I would just suggest that you seal off the hole in the inner cover and then clean up the comb in the roof. You can use a thin tile or insect screen if you want to keep the ventilation through the inner cover hole.

In a week or so, I would inspect your brood box for eggs and uncapped larvae to make sure that the queen survived the adventure. :blush:


I agree with the advice @Dawn_SD has given you. It can happen very quickly to a colony to outgrow the brood box and run out of space. Something that I watch is the amount of bearding after dark (bees hanging onto the outside of the hive at the entrance area) On a hot night it is normal to have that happening, I have it all year around here in sub tropical Australia. It takes good judgement and some experience to know if the bearding is too large which is then a sign of overcrowding and the need for another super to be added, or if you are competent enough to do a split of the colony to make another hive.
Bees like to work making comb from the top of their selected area, in this case the top of the roof. You having seen brood in the roof means the queen may still be in the super, roof area so when you do your inspection if there is no eggs/brood in the brood box you will have to look for the queen in the super and the roof, catch her and put her below the QX. If that happens the brood up there will still be looked after.
Finally a big welcome to the forum, you will find lots of reading and answers to any questions you want help with. If you have a thought or concern just ask, if you don’t know the the question isn’t stupid. A photo and what the photo is about and a bit of extra can be a big help for us.

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Okay now I’ve got a couple questions :slight_smile:

I’ve had the same issue, most of the time they don’t build in the roof, I’ve only experienced them putting stuff up in the roof once or twice and mainly because I had failed to go in and do a hive inspection beyond two weeks. If I’m diligent, I am always cleaning off the roof, from the underside. The two times I had not been so diligent about doing hype inspection, when I went in there was a good amount of comb in the roof. Only honey because of the Queen excluder in place.

1.So here’s my question, if I put the screen as I understand over the whole to allow ventilation through the hive, does this not give the Beatles a place to go hide and breed away from the bees?
2. Additionally, I would think you would always want to leave it open not close it off totally because the ventilation and I do understand that each claimant is a little different.

Just looking for additional thoughts

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Marty, I am curious what others’ answers will be about your questions too. I also get a kick out of your talk-to-text transcriptions :grin:
For some reason my bees have never bothered building inside the roof, but here comes a new season & new bee-ideas!

I am certainly glad you know my situation and somewhat understand :slight_smile: for many years I’ve had friends get a kick out of my handwriting. Notes letters before we had electronic email. I’m also glad at least in part, you’re able to read between the lines I’m hoping others can to. I did go in and try to edit my first message. But for the big part/picture I’m not sure what was wrong. Other than a few wrong words used. :slight_smile: All is good when someone points it out. I also laugh as well. All good

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Hiya Marty, it’s my understanding tha the hole in the inner cover isn’t so much for ventilation but for feeding and to keep bee space between the tops of the frames and the cover.
Here in Oz we don’t really use telescoping covers so I don’t know a great deal about them. Inner covers aren’t used with migratory lids either. So my question is do telescoping covers have vent holes? If not then how does the hole in the inner cover allow ventilation? Migratory covers do have vent holes but I find they get propolized anyway. If I were to make my own I wouldn’t bother with them.

Good point. For the most part people here around Dallas North Texas use flat roofs/covers. I do know they take little wedges and put under the roof to prop it up slightly to help with ventilation. That’s I guess where I was pulling my thoughts from.

Just ordered the FH2 and noticed they have a plug/To go on the inner cover piece. So I guess that sort of help frames the thought. Likely will cover mine up now.

Putting mesh over the hole allows you to change bucket or pail feeders without protection on. Nice to have your input back on the forum too Marty. :+1:


Hide yes, breed no. They need to lay their eggs near a food source - pollen and bee larvae. They can’t breed if they are stuck above the inner cover.

I actually put a thin tile over mine, so it is totally closed. Living in southern California, we do get pretty warm in the summer, but the bees ventilate fine and very rarely beard, so I don’t think they are overheating.


Your texts are easy to read and understand and you are obviously thinking thing through. So to give my opinion on your questions
1 Yes, beetles will try to hide in the roof of the hive and if your climate dictates you need it open then consider gluing a piece of fly screen mesh onto a wooden frame to cover the hole and that would stop any beetles from accessing the roof area. As Dawn says, they won’t lay eggs up there away from food.
2.Ventilation needs vary with different climates, here the hives benefit from extra ventilation, Winter here means wearing a pair of jeans and a long sleeved shirt for 6 weeks. In other climates there is months of snow and freezing weather and so the variants in advice. So your job is to sort out advice that fits your climate. For example I moved from a climate that needed a double brood box for warmth for the colony, up here the bees beard of a night to help cool the colony with single brood boxes… It is all about adjusting your bee keeping for your climate. My bees don’t wax the vent holes, they remain open.
The hole in the top cover is for feeding the bees inside of the hive to stop the urge for robbing, I won’t even use an entrance feeder, the risk is too high.

For example Skeggley has his bees propolize the vent holes, so that tells me he has a cooler climate to mine and the bees adjust the hive to suit them.


I modified my flow hive roof. I gave the roof 3 good coats of white paint, above & under the gables, as well as silicone to waterproof it.

I cut the ply out of the crown board, then siliconed the frame under the roof.

I use a vinyl bee mat, the same as I would when using migratory lids.

The bees will fill the frames first, before building up into the roof. When this happens, I know it’s time to add another super.

I believe that the bees will build up into the roof through the hole in the middle of the crown board before they finish building all of the frames out.

One BIG plus in doing what I did is the bees propolize the roof to the hive. This eliminates the need to tie the roof down or put weights on it.
The roof stayed put during recent prolonged severe squalls.

I also made the bottom board solid, as well as adjust the angle so that water drains away.


Make sure the queen didn’t get trapped above the excluder: I would do this immediately.


A job well done there mate. But I think you left out a frame. :grin:
I did a walk around of the banana colony this morning and lots of activity, I will have a look for the queen in a weeks time and I’s sure I got her.
Last Tuesday I almost lost Lysa, my off-sider and girl I was mentoring. She got a single bee sting to her scalp wgich I had out in under 10 seconds and hit her with an epee-pen when I saw she was not going well. Called for an ambulance and the ambulance and first responder dispatched. A first responder is a driver, fully qualified nurse and a doctor. I lost vital signs before it arrived, things were happening extremely fast. I had to go to CPR for another 5 minutes till the Dr arrived and injected adrenaline direct to her heart and hit her with the paddles to get her heart back into action. Scared the crap out of me but she was discharged late yesterday and got a text from her so I went to her home. It was very emotional for us both. She has adopted me as her ‘additional Dad’.
She was told that she is finished with bee keeping, another sting will kill her. Anaphylactic reaction is a bitch and so fast. About 5 minutes from the bee sting to loosing all vital signs. We were both fully suited apart from me being gloves off, we had finished out jobs and tidied up and had walk 100 meters away from the hives with no bees about noticeable…
I am picking up her 3 hives tonight to care for them for her.
Cheers :neutral_face:


Oh wow Pete, what an experience. It makes you realize how anaphylactic reactions can’t be taken lightly.

That spacing of the frames is the same spacing I use with 9 frames in 10 frame supers. That colony hasn’t got a queen, the shake method I did 2 days ago didn’t work. What I did earlier today was swap it’s position with a queen-rite hive of similar strength. I’ll see if the bees from the queen-rite hive will instigate the building of queen cells.

Take care Pete, cheers for now :slight_smile:

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That is the first time I have done any first aid beyond very minor issues. Splinter, cuts and the odd broken bone.
Off to Lysa’s to take the hives out to the Men’s Shed now. I took 2 boxes of stickies out to the hives this morning but found I couldn’t get out of the car so tonight I will just have to do it.
Catch up soon. Cheers

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Oh my god Peter, that’s a full-on story. Luckily you knew CPR. Reminds me to refresh myself tonight before bed. The epi-pen didn’t work? I thought that has adrenaline in it? Maybe not enough compared to what the doctor had.
Glad she’s okay. Had she ever been stung before? Did she know she reacts badly to bee stings?

Absolutely, and must say I am purty impressed with how well the software transcribes that Texan accent :cowboy_hat_face::wink:


Oh my heavens, Peter!! What a fright. I am so so glad it ended well!!

Sorry your dear ‘daughter’ cannot continue beekeeping, but I am sure she is gaining many other more important things from you as a ‘Dad’ :cherry_blossom:

Edit: I posted the joke response to Marty before actually reading thru your post :open_mouth: