Why are Your Bees Not Using their Super?
Beekeeping is not an easy job to do. There are various challenges that you have to overcome month after month and it is a never-ending cycle. One of the many challenges that a beekeeper has to go through is to solve the problem of their bees not using the super. There is no one reason as to why the bees are not using the super, it can be either one or more than one reason behind it.
Probable reasons and possible solution to make your bees start using their super:
1. Nectar flow - Bees tend to make a new comb only when there is a strong nectar flow. If there is no strong nectar flow to create honey within the super, what is the point in making a comb that will be empty? It will simply be a waste of time. This is why, don’t put your super in the time of dearth and when you do, don’t expect the bees to fill it. There are no actual studies that guarantee any time of the month of the year when there will be a strong nectar flow. Since nature is in no one’s control, sometimes the flowers may start blooming late because of long winters or maybe the summer heat is too strong that it dries up the rest of the year because of less rain. So the best way to ensure that there is enough nectar flow just keeps watching your bees. If they are bringing pollen, making honey and building, then there is a nectar flow. Now would be the right time to insert supers.
2. Placement - If you feel that the nectar flow is strong and despite that your super is still empty, maybe the problem lies in its placement. Some beekeepers place the supers in the top and some in the bottom. Regardless of where you put them, make sure that you always move a frame of drawn comb with it. This will encourage the bees to go into the new box and motivate them to build. But even if this does not work, just remove the artificial comb and let the bees make their one.
3. Health - Nothing will work if the health of your bees is not good. It is not just the health of your bees, it is the health of the entire hive. If the health of the hive is not good, meaning it is somehow too low in population because of bees dying too much recently, and then there is no possibility of them to fill the super. Ensure that before you insert the supper, your bees are healthy. To check the health of your bees, you can simply pull out a frame of broods and check if adult bees are protecting the larvae or not. If they are, then it is a good sign, but if they are not, not so much of a good sign.
Keep a check on the above mentioned things on and off and take required steps to keep your for your bees and beehive healthy.