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Author Topic: Not a drop of food  (Read 2297 times)
ZuniBee
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« on: June 22, 2007, 05:22:27 PM »

I just got in from adding the slatted racks to my hives. I sure hope that helps with ventilation. However, since I had to take apart the entire hive I checked throughout. I have two hives without a drop of honey anywhere. They have eaten everything they had stored. There are a lot of bees in each hive and I noticed quite a few dead ones on the screen bottom board. Our weather has been terrible and I don't think there is anything for them to bring in. Flowers just started blooming this week so they must be eating everything they are bringing in. I plan to make some sugar water and feed them. I'm thinking they will eat it until they get natural flow and then stop. I don't want them to starve. The hive seemed so dry with very little larva and a lot of capped brood.

Hope we get some kind of flow soon!
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2007, 05:54:11 PM »

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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2007, 06:26:52 PM »

 
Quote
I plan to make some sugar water and feed them. I'm thinking they will eat it until they get natural flow and then stop. I don't want them to starve.

Jay,

Sounds like a good plan.   I almost lost two of my TBH last June this way.  We had a very wet Spring and everything was late blooming. Is was just luck that I checked on them and found no nectar and them pulling dead brood out.  The bottom of the hive was covered with dead brood.   Once there is a flow,  the will stop taking the syrup.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2007, 07:27:47 PM »

>Once there is a flow,  the will stop taking the syrup.

I don't know about that, but I would definitely feed them if the hive is empty of stores.  You will lose them very quickly.
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ZuniBee
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2007, 08:47:23 PM »

The last thing I was thinking about was checking stores. I checked for brood and looked for the queen... Today I noticed because the oval of brood was there but all around the oval was just empty comb.

I just got done adding syrup. I added some to the swarm we got on Monday. Talk about a feeding frenzy! The other hives are about 25 feet away but the instantly smelled the food and by the time I finished adding syrup to the other two hives there was a huge mass of buzzing bees at the new hive. I put an entrance reducer with the smallest hole and they seemed to start fading away.

How long should I feed them?

The slatted racks work wonders! I went from the entire front of the hives covered with a beard hanging down to zero on the front!
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 09:18:45 PM »

I'd feed them until they stop taking it, or they start crowding the brood storing it.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2007, 12:50:08 PM »

Jay, you were really lucky you checked for stores. I had half of one of my hives starve, I never once checked for food stores.  I thought that I had given them enough.  Feed until you know for sure there is lots of nectar coming in, or longer.  It blew my mind how quickly they ate all their food up.  We have had bad weather this year, like so many places.  Last year I stopped feeding around the beginning of May, this year, totally different story.  Good luck, I'm happy for you that you caught them obviously in the nick of time.  Have a wonderful day, love life.  Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2007, 10:17:52 PM »

I really hate to admit it but I am seriously considering feeding the hives I have.  The blooms are out there, but there doesn't seem to be anything in them than pollen--no nectar, nada.  It is just like a dearth.  I may Have to feed or loose my my bees. 

It just goes against the grain to have to feed due to necessity when we should be in the middle of a honey flow.  Know what I mean?
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2007, 09:00:20 AM »

Brian, I think that your weather is reasonably similar to mine.  We had that stretch of beautiful sunny hot weather for a couple of weeks.  Now for the past two weeks or so it has been pretty rainy, a little sun on some days now and then.  But we have now been into the blackberry flow for a couple of weeks, maybe somewhat shorter, hard to say, but the bees just have not been able to get out of the hives very much.  This much rain must surely diminish the amount of nectar that can even be gathered when the sun does peek through.  It goes for pollen too.  I think that I am going to have to give pollen patties for a duration.  It won't hurt I know and it will do them very good, they probably are really short on pollen too.

Bee C who lives a few kilometres from me has been feeding pollen patties all along since spring and his bees are still consuming them in enormous amounts.  That must say something about our weather and the bees' abilities to get from nature what they need.  Sad to think of it that way, but we cannot control Mother Nature.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2007, 10:18:24 AM »

cindy, i am about a week into blackberries.  finally the bees show some sign of building up but to little, to late.  i fed between raspberries and blackberries for about a week...not enough.  i should have fed longer.  last week i put pollen patties back on the hive also.  at this point, i just want them as strong as possible for winter....forget the honey  sad
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2007, 12:21:09 PM »

I'm having the same problem. Everything was looking good in March then we had a freeze that destroyed the Tulip Poplar bloom. I had to start feeding and did so through April and part of May. Then just in time for the blackberry bloom the drought hit here hard and they just kind of dried up and dropped off. I went in and checked all of my hives last week and only two out of ten had any stores to speek of and one was robbed completely dry. The funny thing is my nucs are doing better than established hives and they're the ones I was worried about. I'm back to feeding now and if we don't get more rain for the Sourwood to bloom this year is a bust and I need more sugar.
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Deb-Bee
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2007, 12:57:36 PM »

Brian:  This is your neighbor to the south.  We are having a similar situation here.  Lots of pollen in the hives - not much nectar.  The berries are blooming so we were expecting the bees to be in honey production by now - no such luck.  We have just a little in one of our three hives - nothing in the other two.  Also checked the deeps for stores and found lots of pollen - little honey.  We were so excited for our first honey year - now we are just hoping they get enough put away for themselves!

One of our hives swarmed this weekend.  Can't figure why.  Lots of room in the hive and they seemed to be doing well.  When we checked to see which hive they came from, we found a number of supersedure cells that weren't there 10-14 days ago so I'm thinking we will let the girls raise themselves a new queen.  Will probably add the swarm back to them as we don't want to establish another hive.  Maybe the lack of nectar stressed them into swarming?

In any case, my husband is buying some sugar today in case we have to start feeding a little....
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Patrick
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2007, 02:33:12 PM »

Up until about 3 weeks ago my package built up 10 frames on about 2 gallons of syrup.  Then they went three weeks with out touching the stuff. Now they are going thru a gallon every two days. Here is Southern California it is dry dry and July is when the robbing seems to start. I have bees all over my property sticking their noses into every pot pitcher and window looking for water. The birdbath is very popular it's like the beach on the 4th of July.

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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2007, 09:39:40 AM »

The more stories I hear on the forum, the more I believe that we are in for a very strange year with the bees.  CCD and now lots of bees requiring feeding because of drought and the opposite end, too much rainy, cold weather.  Oh well, plain and simply, love the life you're livin'.  Have a great day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Dane Bramage
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2007, 07:25:31 PM »

This season is nigh perfect here so far.  Maybe a bit cool in early Spring tho.  Seems like lately we've had 3 days of gorgeous sunshine w/70's & 80's & 25%-50% humidity followed by a day or two with a few showers, not constant - the bees still get out AND all the plants get adequate water.  I've not needed to water the lawn yet this year and things, everything (darn weeds!) are growing & blooming like crazy!
Check out the forecast (looks like it will be getting to that more typically dry summer weather) ~> http://www.accuweather.com/forecast-15day.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&zipcode=97124&metric=0

So, not bad here.  I hope the rest of the season shapes up for everyone!

Cheers,
Dane
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2007, 07:36:57 PM »

what a difference a few miles makes!  i am having a crappy year.  just put syrup on one hive in spite of the blooming blackberries.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Dane Bramage
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2007, 08:19:14 PM »

what a difference a few miles makes! 

Thats what I was thinking Kathy!  I was corresponding with another beek (1st year, like me) who has his hive located in a more suburban setting in nearby Beaverton who was also reporting a very slow build-up/frame-draw times before the blackberries started blooming (haven't checked with him lately).  It made me think of a "micro-climate" analogy as it relates to the bee's environment/foraging area.   Honestly, with the wetlands here I think I may have just dumb-lucked into bee Utopia for all conditions save consistent cold & rains - which can happen throughout the Spring (Summers are always, eventually gorgeous here without exception).  Seems I recall a couple years ago or so that we had 80's very early on in Spring/late-winter, which caused everything to bloom early-to-prematurely, followed by a consistent every-day type of rain for a couple of weeks.  That really hurt the spring bloom fruit yields (e.g. apples, pears, cherries, etc.,) and, I imagine, delayed the build up of many a hive.

At any rate, this year here = nice bits of rain and good sun making things bloom bloom bloom.  I hope the coming warm up (today is hot eh?) brings you a good flow!
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