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Author Topic: Help..No... Honey.....gurgle......ack...  (Read 5045 times)
Bee Boy
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« on: August 19, 2004, 12:31:42 PM »

About two months ago all of the deeps were full so I put on a super.  Well I checked it again today and still no honey, the frames aren't even drawn out! How the heck do I get them to draw out the frames and store honey? The golden rod flow is gonna happen any day now and I want that honey!
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2004, 02:00:25 PM »

If you have a queen excluder on, remove it.  Otherwise just wait.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2004, 02:25:07 PM »

Won't the queen lay eggs in there though?
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2004, 03:07:04 PM »

I have a hive having a similar experience.  I removed the excluder in late June or early July assuming that to be the problem also.  As of last nite, nothing but empty comb and undrawn comb in the supers.  A hive three feet away, that I caught as a swarm in May has drawn out the entire comb in two brood supers and I have taken 60 pounds of honey from it at this point.
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2004, 03:07:07 PM »

Maybe,  but you will never get the bees through an excluder if there is only foundation on the other side.

At least if the queen lays eggs up there, it will draw the bees up there to store honey as well.  When the brood hatches the bees will then store honey in the cells before the queen can lay in them again.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2004, 03:36:11 PM »

Its been discussed many times in the forum.  No flow, no wax, no extra honey.  Queen excluders are a negative factor and work better for specific things, but not so well if routinely slapped on every time we super.  Sometimes colonys become complacent.  I think the topbar guys are learnig first hand that a colony expands so far and sorta stops unless they super and challenge the bees to fill them.  You can bait them up when its warm with some brood, but even that doesn't always work.  When I experience something like this,  I think it's time to look at the queen.  If she's not causing the population to grow and occupy the super, if her offspring aren't racing back and forth loaded with nectar and pollen, then she's not the anchor you want in that colony.  Lazy queens make lazy colonys.  It happens.  When it does, it's nice to have a couple nucs around with a pinch hitter ready to go.  When I have a colony that is booming, or catch a swarm that is going gangbusters with no sign of slowing down.... thats the one I pull a frame of eggs from for the nuc to make a queen for me.  The added benefit is, she'll have the nuc busting at the seams in short order, and you can rotate sealed brood and keep strengthening your producing colonys.  If I'm not nervouse about em swarming, there aren't enough bees in there.
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Sting
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2004, 04:19:04 PM »

You are getting lots of good advice here Bee Boy.  I would only add that the new super could be installed directly over the brood chamber(s) by raising the filling or filled honey super over it.  Later, this makes harvesting easier as you only have to remove the top super, once it is full.  Another strategy would be to mix up or alternate the new foundation with the drawn comb which is being filled.  This has the added effect of producing nicely drawn comb that doesn't get too wide.  At any rate, I agree that queen excluders cause more problems than they solve.  The large producers don't use them.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2004, 04:36:16 PM »

If your going to mix foundation with already drawn comb, watch for them to overdraw the old comb and only partially draw the foundation.  You can end up with a every other comb 3 inches wide, and the new foundation hardly worked at all.  They have a mind of their own and frequently do things just to aggravate you!!  bahahahahahahahahah
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2004, 05:59:54 PM »

Wow! lots of advice! I think I get rid of the Queen excluder. I think the queen I have is doing ok, maybe there isn't a big nectar flow going on.... I'll load them up with some sugar water.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2004, 06:21:47 PM »

Quote from: Bee Boy
I think I get rid of the Queen excluder


Good idea.   As I have said before, unless one is trying to produce comb honey, queen excluders are more hassle then they are worth.
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lobstafari
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2004, 07:19:10 PM »

Just to add...Im going through the same thing.  Its my second year with my bees, but the first year Im trying to take honey.  I put on queen excluders out of paranoia and ignorance, and recently took them off...maybe a week or 2 ago. There is some drawn comb but more importantly (I think) a lot more bees up in the supers.  Good luck..fun to learn !!!
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SageBrush
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2004, 09:01:07 AM »

Only the mountain hives are doing well in my area. I don't know of any hives producing well near me right now. Back in July, some were doing well. My hives in Alabama are doing a little better than Alpharetta, at least the new foundation is coming along.  

Since July our new colonies have yet to start drawing out a full supper. The 1:1 syrup is now making it happen.  The fellows around here call it a "dirth" (spelling?). Not much nectar around.
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2004, 02:31:42 PM »

Dearth - A period in which there is a lack of nectar producing flowers.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2004, 01:12:52 PM »

Success! I checked today to see if they had made any progress on the honey storage program. They did! Almost all of the frames were drawn out and all had some quantity of uncapped honey! Thanks guys I wouldn't have any honey without your advice.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2004, 01:19:11 PM »

Good Job Bee Boy, hold tight and they will be capping it soom if it gets warm  where you are.
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buzz
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2004, 01:57:07 PM »

I had the same thing happening with my hive, and finaly decided to take off the excluder. Boy, what a difference. I had them draw out 6 frames a week after I took it off.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2004, 04:31:13 PM »

Guess I'll be saving like ten bucks a hive from on now...... queen excluders don't work for producing honey.
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Bee Boy
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