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A Place to Describe or Review Beekeeping Equipment or Products You Have Made or Purchased
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I ran into a post and picture by Randy Oliver (Scientific Beekeeping) about a double bottom board he uses to get wet supers cleaned by a single, active hive. I ran into scrap shelving board a couple blocks from home earlier this week and decided to put one together. The active hive goes on the front and the super(s) to be cleaned go on the back portion. They are divided by a piece of 2 by 4 across the side rails of the bottom board. This separates the 2 sets of boxes enough that outer covers can go on each and lets the bees walk from the front to the back under cover. I will probably try this with a hive next spring before the flow. I have several supers of newly drawn comb that have sugar water in them. The wax is so delicate that it gets destroyed if I put frames out for open clean up. I don't know if this will work any better than putting supers of wet frames on a hive above the inner cover, but I'm willing to give it a try.
I took my usual 10 medium frames of honey to the beginner beekeeping course so that class members could feel the weight of a honey super. I had 3 more medium frames of honey in the freezer. I went ahead and extracted them on Sunday. Yesterday I replaced the regular bottom board on an active hive with the double board and 10 wet frames. Bees are in the super with wet frames and I hope to check during Friday's warm period to see how much interest they are showing and how good a clean up job they are doing. If they take to their task, I will get the drawn frames with sugar water "nectar" in them and put them in place. Hopefully, my bees will behave like Randy Oliver's and clean the frames.
The bees did a nice job of cleaning out the extracted frames. I took those off and put on a super of the delicate new comb with lots of fairly thick but uncapped sugar water. The bees are in the "wet" super and I will be curious to see if/how long it takes for them to clean the comb and how delicate they will be with the wax.
Clean up slowed down with the maple bloom and other plants blooming, but with Sunday morning's 20F low, I'll be curious to see if that hurt the current nectar supply. If so, it should speed up clearing the comb of sugar water. Bees have definitely shown increased interest in the nectarometer in the last two days. I'm not sure if it is because of less nectar or more mouths to feed. Buds on a number of the holly type plants at the Arboretum appeared to be damaged, but others did not look too bad.