Showing posts with label switching frames. Show all posts
Showing posts with label switching frames. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Apiary Diary: Encouraging Bees into the New Super

Diary Entry:
29 July, 4pm, 19.4C, a bit overcast, rain forecast but 2 hours later it's still dry.

Smoker fired up first time using egg-box pyramid technique.
Entrance smoked, lid popped and given a puff.
Lid lifted, bees calm and occupied. 
Set up of hive at time of inspection

Super 4 has been in for a couple of weeks but has seen no action at all. It is still just 10 frames of foundation.
Super 3 is approaching completion. F10 is empty and not yet drawn but F9 has construction on the inner side.
The photos below show F6 from super 3. It is a mix of capped and uncapped honey.

Frame 6, Super 3

Frame 6, Super 3 (detail)
Supers 4 & 3 are removed and placed carefully aside. Super 3 is heavy.
Super 2 is a deep and is extremely heavy with honey and bees. I decided to leave it in place as all indications imply that below it, all is well.

I'd quite like the bees to start drawing out comb on super 4. I'm not particularly impatient; I'm just a bit excited about wanting to see it happen.
There are several schools of thought about whether to and how to encourage bees into a new super.
I suspect that the best course of action is to let the bees decide to move up when they're good and ready, forcing them up by various methods may just mean that you get a pyramidal laying down of honey with the outer frames not being used.
However, because I've never tried this before, I thought I'd do it and see what happens.
I took F4 & F7 from the well-under-way super 3 and placed them in their same positions in super 4.
The equivalent blank foundation frames  F4 & F7 from super 4 I placed into the now free spaces in super 3. It's sorta like checkerboarding.
So super 3 now has 2 new frames of untouched foundation at positions F4 & F7 and the previously untouched super 4 now has frames F4 & F7 fully drawn out and replete with honey.

Switching Frames between Supers

In this way the bees might start drawing out the blanks F4 & F7 in S3.
Similarly, with a viable F4 & F7 now in S4, this may encourage them to expand that work to the neighbouring blank frames in S4. 
That's the theory anyway. 
We'll see if it's worked when next we inspect.

The amended supers 3 & 4 and the lid are replaced and secured with the hive strap.

I've also re-inserted a varroa tray. I took it out to help with air circulation when it was really hot a few weeks ago, and as there weren't any issues in the hive, I've been a bit slack in getting re-inserted.

Varroa Tray Re-inserted