Friday, May 4, 2012

Managing a Honey Bound Hive

During the course of keeping bees, one of the main attractions is the ability to harvest honey. What happens though, when your bees have filled all of your frames, in the brood chamber, with nectar and your queen has nowhere to lay?

Honey Capped Frame

This is a common occurrence to have your brood chamber become "honey bound" during the main nectar flow. A typical hive body will have a brood cluster in the middle and the outside frames will contain honey. A honey bound hive happens when brood begins to emerge, it is replaced with nectar. With a heavy nectar flow coming in, the space for your queen to lay will become overrun with nectar.

A queen that has no space to lay will cause complications within you hive. If you notice that your hive has or is becoming honey bound, increasing the area for brood is necessary. A queen that does not have the space to lay can lead into a swarm.

Emerging Worker Bee

To help manage a honey bound hive, add an additional brood chamber on top of your hive. Switch out your outside frames that are filled with honey ( in the honey bound body) with empty frames (in your new brood chamber). This will create room for your queen to be able to lay and grow your hive.