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Author Topic: missing honey  (Read 2760 times)
Beth Kirkley
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« on: July 08, 2004, 09:36:13 AM »

Ok, a few weeks ago I checked the strong hive and saw that the queen was laying in 8 frames out of the two brood supers. The rest was honey, most of it capped. I was excited about the honey, but wished the queen could lay more.
So..... I bought an extractor. My hope was to extract the honey, give back the frames for the bees to clean up, and hope the queen got a chance to lay in some of those frames.

Well they did something I didn't know would happen in only a few weeks. It seems they ate the honey in most of the frames, and the queen layed eggs in there. Now things are switched - with only about 8 frames of honey that isn't capped.

Does this seem right? Can they do this? Or did I totally missread the frames? (That's a silly question - how would any of you know?) Smiley

I know what I saw before - lots of honey, and not very much brood. I'm so bummed out now. I plan to buy some frames for my honey supers and put them on this weekend. Isn't it late in the season though for getting much of a summer honey harvest? And is there anything I could have done to avoid this happening? I've kicked myself for not getting that honey when I saw it, but at the same time I'm thinking - well if they ate it, they must have needed the food. I would have really felt awful if the bees had died after I took the honey - and if I knew it was starvation.

Last thought...... is it possible they ate it because it's rained every day (usually in the late afternoon or evening)? Even one frame I'd seen before, one slam FULL of pollen, was basiclly empty.

Beth
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2004, 03:16:15 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley
Ok, a few weeks ago I checked the strong hive and saw that the queen was laying in 8 frames out of the two brood supers.



I suppose, that queen is raising upp, because there is warmer. In this case you must drop that brood super lower or you sheck the brood supers . It is said "turn supers".

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The rest was honey, most of it capped.


You have too little space in your hive.

Quote
... happen in only a few weeks. It seems they ate the honey in most of the frames, and the queen layed eggs in there. Now things are switched - with only about 8 frames of honey that isn't capped.


Queen needed more space and bees moved in another place capped honey. Bees are clever.



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I know what I saw before - lots of honey, and not very much brood.
 

Too  little space. Or you have lowest supers too cold and empty. Do you have too much ventilation?



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Isn't it late in the season though for getting much of a summer honey harvest?


Where you live? Northern hemisphere?

In Finland best honey season is just at the begining?


 .
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....is it possible they ate it because it's rained every day (usually in the late afternoon or evening)? Even one frame I'd seen before, one slam FULL of pollen, was basiclly empty. .



Yes, it is possible. If it rains whole month, they consume 10-15 kg honey and many frames  pollen.

I got dandelion honey quite much a month ago, but I suppose that 10 kg per hive have vanished to bees' mouths. They need it.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2004, 05:21:33 PM »

Thank you-
I'm in the southern US, and so it's about mid summer. Our hottest month is August, and it doesn't cool down much until late November or so. We have a really short winter - December to Febuary is about it. Last year my hive swarmed on March 17th - that's how nice it is. We also have flowers that will bloom all winter.
It has been raining alot! For a month or more it's rained every day (nearly) in the afternoon/early evening or late evening/night. When it rains, it really pours, not just mild sprinkles. We've even had 2 trees hit with lightening right in the front yard during this last month! These rains are major downpours to the point you think your house might float away. Smiley And it's happened every day, just about the time it's cool enough to think about mowing the lawn.

It's possible I've got too much ventilation. Most screened bottoms are on the ground, where as mine are on a stand a foot off the ground. I'll have to see about modifications.

And the queen had moved up. She had laid eggs in almost all of the frames in the upper brood box. (Here I was wishing my queen had more room to lay, and wanted her to have possibly 14 frames of brood, well I got my wish.) I forgot to count the frames, but if my memory is correct, I think she had the 14. I know she had 9 of 11 in the top brood box. I'll give them more honey supers this weekend.

Beth
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Finman
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2004, 10:59:32 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley
It has been raining alot! For a month or more it's rained every day (nearly) in the afternoon/early evening or late evening/night. When it rains, it really pours,


In Finland we have a few natural flowers at August. Our vegetation is preparing for winter.  10.8. is the end of honey season we say.

In many years I have met that if it is rainy in August, bees "destroy 15 kg per hive MY honey yield". Also they consume a half full super of pollen, say 10 kg pollen during autumn.  At the beging of September I give 20 kilos sugar per hive and they start their overwintering.

Our nature starts to bloom about first of May with willows.

We have snow cover  from December to April.

Just now we have beautiful summer. At night it was +6C and the day taemperatute is about 17-20C.

The water temperature of lakes is about 17C I guess.  Not good for swimming! At sea it is 12C I guess.

This picture is 1 km from my city home KT 51 LAUTTASAARI
http://www.tiehallinto.fi/alk/english/frames/kelikamerat-frame.html
There is head quarter of NOKIA behind the motorway curve.
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Agility Mom
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2004, 11:13:47 PM »

What a helpful thing to have the pictures of the roads and the condition of the road for traveling. Very interesting.
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Judy
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2004, 09:31:39 PM »

Beth Kirkley wrote:
Ok, a few weeks ago I checked the strong hive and saw that the queen was laying in 8 frames out of the two brood supers.
 
If your queen was laying in 8 frames then there was a lot of brood for the nurse bees to raise. I've been told that it takes about one cell of honey and one cell of pollen to raise a bee from an egg to an adult. This could be where your honey went to.

I've got a question for you. Have you treated your bees with any medication for mites or foulbrood? If so, then you shouldn't be planning on taking any of the honey from the brood boxes as it could be contaminated with the meds. You should only be extracting honey from supers that were put on your hive after all medications were removed from the hives.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2004, 11:29:07 PM »

Interesting point.  Although one must realize that bees move honey all the time.  Including from the brood chambers up into supers as they see the need to reorganize the hive.  Of course we all want to minimize any exposure to any chemicals and properly managing them is paramount. Certainly, knowingly eating or distributing honey that has been exposed to chemicals placed directly into the hive is a bad idea.  

This is what makes small cell beekeeping, bee regression, fgmo treatments, and topbar beekeeping so interesting,  I'm not sure there is a way to keep honey 100% free of chemicals, but not putting any directly into the hive is a great way to start.  I'm pulling for all those people working their tails off trying to unravel this puzzle, and save our bees.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2004, 04:18:28 PM »

Update

I've moved the stronger hive into the new design beehive. When I moved them I found they had 14 full frames of eggs and brood, then a couple frames with honey and a little brood. So they've really grown. The weaker hive has really grown too, but still hasn't started on the top bars in the honey super. I went ahead and took out the top bars and gave them regular foundation. The stronger hive has done well on the top bars, so I also gave them the regular foundation in a second super placed below the top bars.

Hopefully I'll still get a honey harvest this year. They ate most of the honey harvest they had built up.

Beth
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