Queen location

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Timber, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Timber

    Timber Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2003
    NE Ohio
    A hive that I've requeen early last summer looked a little weak. We are now about two whole weeks out of snow thaw, some flowers, good pollen gathering sunny 65 to 70 degree days so I'm transferring hives to a DE hive kit. I notice not big cluster yet, but she's active laying eggs over four frames a little spotty for what I'm a custom too maybe I'm too eagerness yet. The problem if there is one, she is in the top brood box the bottom untouched brood comb from last year. There's a half eaten shallow honey super on top from winter feeding.

    Couple of questions, would she move up into the honey supper instead of the lower brood box? Do you think I should switch the two brood boxes around? As I'm leaving the honey supper on for feeding till honeyflow starts. Is it a custom to replace it with a fresh supper after honeyflow starts?

  2. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 23, 2003
    If you've got a queen excluder under that super of honey, you can kill the queen. The bees tend to cluster up in it, and the queen can't get there, so she stays below. Cold and alone.

    If you've put the super there with nothing to seperate them from it, then yes, she'll lay eggs in it.

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    I have heard that some queens will move down and some will not.

    I believe it is standard operating procedure to reverse boxes when the lower one is empty.
  4. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2003
    North Salem, NY
    I would second the opinion on reversing the hive bodies. I would then put that super over the inner cover so they move that honey down into the brood chamber. You don't want to harvest from supers that are on while you are feeding. You will be harvesting a mixture of honey and sugar syrup, which would defeat the whole purpose of keeping bees in the first place! Maybe if you just started feeding, you can extract now, but not if the feeder has been on more than a few days. You can always extract the honey/syrup in the super, and then dilute this and feed it back to the bees.

  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    Timber, have you actually seen the queen?

    It may be that you lost the queen and have a laying female worker. This would explain the spread out spotty laying. I had that happen to me once or twice.

    Just a thought.

  6. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 4, 2002
    West Central Minnesota
    Timber- if it is early in the season for you the queen may not have ramped up to speed yet with her egg laying. I'd reverse the two deeps since queens "generally" tend to move upwards rather than down, and then check back in another week or two to see how she is laying.

    If you put the shallow above the inner cover, you might also take your hive tool and scratch open some of the capped cells- this will encourage the bees to move the honey down into the brood chamber faster. I like to start out on a honeyflow with all empty supers, but don't know if it would hurt to leave a partially-filled one on, IF it is good quality honey to begin with. If it was fall honey from asters or some other less-than-desireable table honey I would get it out of the super before the honeyflow starts.

    Good luck