Have had our hybrid 3 set up for about 3 months now, about a month ago we put an extra super on top containing wood frames which we are allowing bees to fill naturally. They are hard at it doing this.
We have noticed that the flow frames filled and capped to a certain point very quickly but now there seems to be a half moon shape in the middle of all 3 flow frames that have no nector at all . been like this for about 2 weeks now . the 4 frames alongside the flow frames are full and capped and the frames in the top super are about 3/4 done and full of nector with some capping. My question is could the bees be taking honey from the flow frames to fill the top super ?
The bees maybe consuming that honey or they could be leaving those drone sized cells empty for the queen to lay in.
You’ve described what bees do: They store honey so that later, they can eat it.
When you refer to the top super, do you mean top brood box? Or do you have 2 supers?
Others have discussed this pattern of storing honey, but I can’t remember the topic to post the link.
From memory, sometimes the bees think of the Flow Frames as normal brood box frames, and will leave that space for the queen to lay eggs instead of storing honey there.
If all the honey around the arc is capped, then you can harvest the honey.
Others have found sometimes that the bees will fill the middle cells and not the outside, but the same principle applies. If the honey is capped, then you can harvest the honey.
Basically bees will be bees and do random things. Sometimes they will fill all the spaces, and you just need to have more patience. Or they don’t fill all the spaces, but you can indeed harvest capped honey
They will also move honey around and eat it if they need to as well
We put a second super on top with the advice of our local bee keeper as he thought that the number of bees in the hive needed more room as they may swarm . The honey is all capped where it is in the flow frames . Seems like they might be leaving room for the queen . They may be waiting a while lol .
Thanks for your reply.
Hi there, yes we saw this more often in our hybrid. As Jeff mentioned I believe it is leaving room for brood. It is more noticeable on our hybrid so now we converted it to a full flow as per our other hive. With the Hybrid being 3 or 4 flow frames in the middle they are the ones more likely to be left with brood space like a standard frame. Some people I believe have modified the hybrid to have the flow frames not in the middle.
I have seen it occasionally on our full flow also but you can just move those frames to the outside.
Hi Faroe as you said patience is key. Harvesting with many empty cells needs to be done slowly opening the frames in small increments and not letting the outfeed tube fill more 75% otherwise it can back fill the empty cells and go into the hive. Checking the bottom trayor corflute slider reguarly for any excessive amounts of honey.
My strategy is a bit different to the advice you were given. I would take a split from the hive & open the brood up in the process. I see you already have 2 hives. A third hive wont go astray, plus I find it easier to manage a colony that has only 1 brood box with just 1 honey super.
That was my plan also but local bee keeper advised me to do this to help with the heat during the summer as well . 45 degrees here this coming week so hopefully his theory of giving them more room will work.
Thanks for your reply, any advice is well recieved .
Your original plan was good. The best strategies in heat would be to paint the hive white, provide an adequate entrance with no added ventilation. Provide water if there is none around, however they’ll usually find some. Shade would always be welcome.
My 1 brood / 1 super configuration always works well in heat. My roofs are all painted white with no added ventilation.