Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
August 01, 2014, 12:27:29 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Bees Not Working Super  (Read 3618 times)
Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« on: June 23, 2008, 06:37:11 PM »

I have two hives that are healthy and doing well.  I installed them from packages about 60 days ago.  Both hives have drawn out two full deeps and both have plenty of brood of various stages, pollen, and honey stores.  Everything looks really great!  Both hives are taking 1:1 syrup at a pretty good rate (about 1.5 gallons per week).

Three weeks ago, I placed a medium super on both hives without a queen excluder.  The bees have not started to do anything in the third box.  No drawn foundation or anything.

Any ideas as to why they are ignoring the medium super?

Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
Moonshae
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 988


Location: Helmetta,NJ


« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 07:27:20 PM »

Hopefully you are not feeding while trying to get honey.

If there isn't a flow, the bees won't draw comb to store nectar, since there isn't enough nectar coming in to warrant storage space.
Logged

"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
Bill W.
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 310


Location: Moclips, WA


WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 07:39:28 PM »

Probably a combination of not enough pollen and nectar coming in to require more space and the queen not yet needing more room for brood.

If the deeps are nearly full, it probably won't be too long before they move up.  My experience so far has been that the queen first moves up and lays some brood, then back down as the lower brood hatches, and then the bees finally re-use the super for honey as the brood hatches out.
Logged

Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 07:18:29 AM »

Moonshae,

Since this is the first year, I'm just trying to get them to build up as much as possible going into the fall of the year. But I thought they would draw out the third box for honey storage or additional brood space.  That's the reason I'm not using a queen excluder.

But why do you say that I should not be feeding syrup if I'm trying to get honey?
Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
Moonshae
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 988


Location: Helmetta,NJ


« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2008, 07:59:14 AM »


But why do you say that I should not be feeding syrup if I'm trying to get honey?

The bees will store syrup in the cells and cap it right along with honey, so if you go to harvest it, you'll have an adulterated product. You can feed, but once the honey supers go on, you have to stop.
Logged

"The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer." - Egyptian Proverb, 2200 BC
Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 09:53:18 AM »

Since George Imirie lived in my general area, I have been reading some of his research relative to feeding.  From George's March 2001 Pink Pages:

WHEN SHOULD YOU FEED?
There is no special time. You feed bees whenever it is beneficial for the bees and helpful for the beekeeper! Obviously, feeding is necessary when the bees are short of winter stores, so you either feed in cold January or February or let the bees starve to death. Bees absolutely will NOT build comb unless there is a nectar flow in progress, so if you are trying to get foundation drawn into comb, you feed 1:1 sugar syrup as an artificial nectar regardless of whether the time is spring, summer, or fall. One of the most important times to feed is when starting new colonies and trying to build up their population strength, their comb, and their winter stores. Many beekeepers don't bother to feed new colonies in June, July, or August figuring that nature will provide nectar. In Central Maryland, there is rarely any nectar for bees available in July and August; and what about those rainy days when bees can't fly? In almost any part of the U. S., there are some warm months that have very little nectar flow, and new colonies will suffer if not fed during this time.

WHEN DO YOU STOP FEEDING?
It is inherently natural for a honey bee to want to get outside and fly to gather odoriferous natural nectar and pollen rather than being cooped up in a hive eating artificial nectar (sugar syrup) and/or old stored honey. Hence, you can stop feeding when the bees won't take feed anymore. However, this is NOT true in the case of new colonies started in April or May with nothing but foundation. Please note that bees WILL NOT BUILD COMB (draw foundation) in the absence of a nectar flow! Quite often, and particularly in Central Maryland with its nectar flow limited to only April, May, and maybe 10 days of June, if this new colony is not continuously fed sugar syrup (artificial nectar) from the day it was started until September, there will be very little foundation drawn, and maybe not enough to hold 50-60 pounds of winter stores needed to get to next spring!

I know that everyone has their own ideas relative to feeding and feeders.  But with this many decades of scientific research in beekeeping, George has some good points.
Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
catfishbill
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 134

Location: coldwater,ms


« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2008, 10:44:33 AM »

we are having the same thing going on in my area,my hives have two deep brood boxes filled up but are not working the supers.at first i thought it was the excluder,but i turned them sideways last week but that did not do anything either.my mentor checked yesterday and some bees were working some button bush around some water and some are still on late sumac but not much else going on.looks like they are getting just enough nector to get buy till cotton and beans start to bloom.i hope that starts them putting up some honey.
bill
Logged
Bill W.
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 310


Location: Moclips, WA


WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 12:06:20 PM »

If you don't plan to harvest honey this year (which is probably a good idea for a first year hive) there is no reason not to keep feeding them.  Either they will take the syrup or they won't.
Logged

Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2008, 02:20:13 PM »

Bill W.,

They are taking syrup just fine.........about 1.5 gallons per week.  I just don't know why they are not doing anything in the medium super.  There are quite a few bees lounging in this super but the only thing that they have done is chew the foundation next to the frame end bars.
Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
Bill W.
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 310


Location: Moclips, WA


WWW
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2008, 02:36:27 PM »

If it really bothers you, you could swap positions between the upper brood box and the super.  They'll probably start working it sooner if they have to crawl through it to get to the upper brood box.  Or, you could put a shim under the edge of the super, making a top entrance, which will also put more bees up at the top.

But, I'll bet they get around to it pretty soon regardless.  If there is one thing I have learned so far, it is that the bees do what the bees feel is best and all you can do is try to gently encourage them to do what you want.
Logged

eri
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 309

Location: rural Orange County, central piedmont area, NC


« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2008, 04:04:45 PM »

TwoBees, I am near you, in Chapel Hill. I hived a package on April 20. The bees had filled probably 80% of two deeps, so 12 days ago I added a medium super. I inspected today and I saw what you are seeing. I was disappointed there was no comb in the super, just a few bees hanging out. And for the first time today I got pinged by some guard bees flying up from the open top! I've had the top propped open a bit with a stick for the last month so I assume there are some guards up there watching the top entrance.

I figured it couldn't hurt to put the super back on; who knows, maybe they will begin to use it, we should have at least a small goldenrod flow late summer and the corn is beginning to tassel on the farms around me. Just as I was about to put the top back on a row of half a dozen bees assembled on top of the super frames with their little butts in the air fanning like crazy -- even my wary friend watching from afar could see them. If was a fun inspection, and different from the others I've done.

They had slowed down on the sugar syrup a few weeks ago but now are taking a quart a day. The top brood box was so heavy I couldn't begin to lift it, but I saw lots of capped and uncapped honey on the all the outside frames (except one, which had only one side of comb) and what looked like newly vacated cells on the middle frame bottoms with honey on the top and sides. From what most everyone has said, it seems all this is normal, and the local beeks warned that the bees might be a bit testy now since there is no nectar flow.

Best of luck to you!
Logged

On Pleasure
Kahlil Gibran
....
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2008, 07:02:41 PM »

Did you get package bees from Jack Tapp on April 20.  I did!
Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
eri
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 309

Location: rural Orange County, central piedmont area, NC


« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2008, 07:09:35 PM »

Yes, got them that cool, cloudy, April morning at Busy Bee. I was so excited! Did you get the installation demo from the woman with the bruised and swollen lip (bee sting)? I guess that sight could have scared off newbees but actually it gave me so much confidence that I started the install without protective gear (I suited up after I got stung below the eye).

Our hives ARE twins!
Logged

On Pleasure
Kahlil Gibran
....
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6391


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2008, 07:17:47 PM »

Since George Imirie lived in my general area, I have been reading some of his research relative to feeding.  From George's March 2001 Pink Pages:

WHEN SHOULD YOU FEED?
There is no special time. You feed bees whenever it is beneficial for the bees and helpful for the beekeeper! Obviously, feeding is necessary when the bees are short of winter stores, so you either feed in cold January or February or let the bees starve to death. Bees absolutely will NOT build comb unless there is a nectar flow in progress, so if you are trying to get foundation drawn into comb, you feed 1:1 sugar syrup as an artificial nectar regardless of whether the time is spring, summer, or fall. One of the most important times to feed is when starting new colonies and trying to build up their population strength, their comb, and their winter stores. Many beekeepers don't bother to feed new colonies in June, July, or August figuring that nature will provide nectar. In Central Maryland, there is rarely any nectar for bees available in July and August; and what about those rainy days when bees can't fly? In almost any part of the U. S., there are some warm months that have very little nectar flow, and new colonies will suffer if not fed during this time.

WHEN DO YOU STOP FEEDING?
It is inherently natural for a honey bee to want to get outside and fly to gather odoriferous natural nectar and pollen rather than being cooped up in a hive eating artificial nectar (sugar syrup) and/or old stored honey. Hence, you can stop feeding when the bees won't take feed anymore. However, this is NOT true in the case of new colonies started in April or May with nothing but foundation. Please note that bees WILL NOT BUILD COMB (draw foundation) in the absence of a nectar flow! Quite often, and particularly in Central Maryland with its nectar flow limited to only April, May, and maybe 10 days of June, if this new colony is not continuously fed sugar syrup (artificial nectar) from the day it was started until September, there will be very little foundation drawn, and maybe not enough to hold 50-60 pounds of winter stores needed to get to next spring!

I know that everyone has their own ideas relative to feeding and feeders.  But with this many decades of scientific research in beekeeping, George has some good points.

What George is talking about is the brood chamber, not honey supers.  You will need to deep brood chambers for winter at most.  It is OK to feed new package to get two brood chamber worth of foundation to be drawn.  I would not continue to feed once you put on honey supers, and you shouldn't be putting on honey supers until there is a flow and they need them.   If you are using wax foundation and there isn't a flow,  there is a good chance they will end up chewing the foundation up.

The reason they aren't using them is that they don't need them,  And once they do, you have fed enough.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2008, 07:59:52 AM »

Eri,

Betsy is the lady that gave the demos.  She is really good at queen rearing.  Jack says that she does a much better job at raising their Minnesota Hygienic queens.  Busy Bee sells queens all over the US.  She gave a talk about queen rearing at the Wake County Beek Meeting in February.

I'm trying to raise as large of a colony as possible this year which is why I am still feeding them.  The reason I put a medium super on top of the other two brood chambers is because I don't have any more deeps.  I purposely did not use an excluder is to make sure that the queen had enough room for laying.

I plan to split the hives next spring if they make it through the winter!
Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
eri
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 309

Location: rural Orange County, central piedmont area, NC


« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2008, 08:33:42 AM »

I too, am trying to build up the population and split in the spring so I plan to continue to feed. I plan to buy/build some more mediums and switch to all mediums next year. I also put only 2 frames of foundation in the medium with the rest top bar. If they chew the foundation, that's OK, I have 8 more pieces and if the box is empty in October I can use it for a feeder.
Logged

On Pleasure
Kahlil Gibran
....
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2008, 12:50:04 PM »

Thanks, Robo!  I'll just leave the medium super on the hive in case they need it later.

I think everything has bloomed out in my area.  Later this summer, we should get some nectar flow from aster, ragweed, and everyone's favorite sneeze..........golden rod!
Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
JanL
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2

Location: marshall, Michigan


« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2008, 08:43:23 PM »

I just noticed that one of my two hives is suddenly empty.  The first hive was started with already built up foundation on 5 frames and is doing fine, although they are not working the super.  I understand from reading the latest posts that this may be normal for a beginning hive (Michigan) and perhaps I should feed more.  Does this explain, perhaps, the empty second hive that was started from a nuc?  Perhaps I should have fed more?  thanks for advice.  Jan
Logged
Two Bees
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 614


Location: Central NC


« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2008, 05:12:22 PM »

Jan L.,

There has to be a strong nectar flow for new packages or nucs to draw out comb.  I don't know if you have a nectar flow in MI at this point but in NC, flows have pretty much ceased.  As a result, I am feeding 1:1 sugar syrup to keep my bees building comb.  I plan to feed them as long as they want it since I am not interesting in having them produce honey this year.
Logged

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
JanL
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2

Location: marshall, Michigan


« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2008, 08:45:46 PM »

Two Bees.....I think you are correct here.  I will start to feed them since it seems obvious I cannot and should not get honey this year...thanks
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.402 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page July 31, 2014, 11:31:42 PM
anything