Hi all, my hive is thriving inspire of my rookie errors, honey production now going on in the brood chamber which is almost full of comb. I have added a super with some frames (foundationless) but wonder how to encourage the bees to build upstairs. They’ve just started to build burcomb on top of the super frames but don’t seem that interested in working above the excluder despite lemongrass oil and feeders up there. Any suggestions please?
The main way to encourage bees to move into the next box is to have population large enough to have a need in extra room. All combs must be fully built and fully populated (at least 80% of comb fully covered by bees).
The next is to use wax foundation. There is a current “fashion” to use frames without any foundation, but it creates problems for both bees and beekeepers. Bees need to produce more wax to build combs (~30% more) and beekeeper has a good chance to have uneven or cross-built combs. Unless there is no way to obtain good quality uncontaminated wax foundation or organic certification is required, frames with wax foundation is the best way to go in my opinion.
Also it is worth to put a hive mat on frames in supper to discourage them building burr comb.
P.S. Even organic certification bodies usually accept use of wax foundation in the first year.