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Honey Bound, Queen Cups and Flow Frames

Hello Everyone,

Hoping I can get some suggestions or ideas on how to deal with my current problems.

Shortly after receiving my Nuc I discovered chalkbrood in my bottom tray which continued to get worse every day. Would just put it down to weather as we had a very hot/cold/wet start to spring. It was mainly 2 frames that seemed to have the most when doing inspections so when ready to place the super on top I rotated 2 frames up into the middle of the super and removed 2 flow frames to make it fit (it wasn’t a clean fit with much more space but was careful with cross comb). Over the last couple of weeks and with weather being better my chalkbrood problem has basically gone which is great.

Have waited 21 days for all the remaining brood to hatch (now at day 28) and was going to put the 2 flow frames back in and get rid of the old dark comb. It’s been 11 days since the last inspection and from what I can tell we must have had a decent nectar flow because the top 2 frames I wanted to rotate out almost full. 11 days ago, it was mostly brood with a very small amount of nectar/pollen/bread. It also looks like there is more nectar then there should be down in the brood box. Today in the inspection there were 3 queen cups, 1 in the super, 2 in the brood box one with an egg.

They have not really taken to the flow frames, only really started to join the gaps on 1 side of 2 flow frames. I don’t really have excess comb to melt/smear across them but after today I did get a few bits here and there so thinking of giving them a couple days and ill open just the super up and take a frame or 2 out and smear what I can in there.

Suppose after writing this my questions are:

  1. Will they move the nectar from the brood box up into the super should they start to fill out the flow frames?

  2. How can I store these 2 frames of uncapped honey for a few days. I don’t want to harvest and want to shim the roof up a bit and place it under the roof so they can pull it back down into the super.

  3. Thoughts on attempting to render some of the 2 older frames down to give me some more wax to smear over the flow frames knowing they did have a bit of a chalkbrood problem.

  4. Any comments regarding the queen cups are welcome but I’m thinking if I can get them to take to the frames and they move more nectar up into the super I might be ok.

Thanks in advance.

Hi there @Cozi - if you see a queen cell that contains an egg, I’m not sure that providing proper space is going to change their mind about swarm preparation. How about making a split with that frame and the two brood frames from the Fsuper, and one of the honey frames in a nuc box? You’d need to add one more, which could be an empty or foundation-only frame so they have work to do to help them stay put.

Then you can move the two Flow frames back up, and just use any bits of burr comb you can gather to use as attractant - you don’t have to melt and coat the cells, just pushing the wax around on the surface does the trick :wink:

About shimming the roof, that’s what I do to feed - a frame won’t fit under my 1.5” shim though…an empty shallow or medium could work, and the frame would rest in there on an angle, but I reckon it would be cleaned in a day or less, and probably stored right below in your Flow frames :clap::clap:

You may render it in oven. Takes long time and electricity but works if there is no alternative.
You may take aluminium barbecue tray of suitable size. Push bottom down to create a bowl. Puncture a dozen holes in the centre (lowest part) with something like toothpick. Cover bottom of the tray with paper towel. Cut comb out of frames and crumple it to reduce volume. Put wax in the tray. Put tray on top of of some vessel (I use silicone baking form) for collection of melted wax. Put whole thing on baking tray it case there is some wax leakage. It is easier to clean tray than oven (don’t ask me how do I know). Put whole thing into oven. Set it on 100 degrees C. Wait until you don’t see any reduction in volume of material in the top tray (It may take 2-3 hours). It is not the best or economical method but produce good result and your wax will be disease free.

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I am not sure I understand? If by providing them proper space wont change their mind about swarming… isn’t a split doing the same thing? Providing them more space?

Was more worried that chalkbrood is a fungal problem and wanting to limit or potentially reduce the impact of pushing the old comb into the cells.

haha yeah I ran into this problem awhile ago when I moved the 2 frames up and already have something big enough to cover the 2 full frames I have. Good to know they will clear it out quick.

The problem I wanted to get around was the 2 frames I now have out of the hive and how to store. Also cautious of putting them in prior to them filling out the flow frames and taking more stores down into the brood box.

Thanks, will look into this method. Was going to do it in a paint strainer in some water, have an old pot lying around.

Yes - but splitting achieves the outcome of leaving the old hive and setting up in a new one. Adding space could be enough, it just depends how far into a swarm mindset the bees are already.

Yes, I agree with Eva. If they have got swarming into their heads it is difficult to stop it. You dont have much time as generally they will swarm when the first queen cell gets cappped, which is about a week after what you observed.
I would suggest you do an artificial swarm (pagden method), a split which basically fools the bees into thinking that they have actually swarmed.

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Right ok makes sense! Thank you.

Thanks for the suggestion, will start researching

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