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Author Topic: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??  (Read 1397 times)

Offline challenger

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Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« on: May 08, 2009, 11:30:15 PM »
My 3 hives are one year old and I was only able to get about 6 frames of comb drawn last year for my medium depth honey supers. Our flow here started about 1-2 weeks ago and is now in full force. My bees are starting to fill the frames of comb nicely but also need to draw comb out on the foundation so I am wondering what this effort takes away from the honey production?
Also what does manipulating the honey frames do in regard to disrupting the honey production. I can see they ignore the undrawn frames unless I move them toward the center. Luckily I've been able to keep the queens from going into the supers by keeping the center frames that are full of nectar in the center and making sure there is plenty of room in the bottom 2 deeps for her to lay.
I suppose my question boils down to will I get a poor honey crop due to using undrawn foundation?
I am trying to produce/sell my honey to raise $ for The Chordoma Foundation and I am sitting here wondering if this year, which has already been touted as the best flow in 70 years, is going to be merely a year where my bees draw out foundation for next year?
I feel blessed to have my hives in good health for the flow but am, so far, disappointed in the quantity of drawn & filled frames. I told the founder of this organization I would be at their yearly meeting in Bethesda, MD in July if I got a good honey crop and that I could set up and sell honey right there and turn over the proceeds during the same weekend but I don't see it coming out to where I'll have the quantity to do so at this point. Maybe I am just too impatient/
Thanks-Howard
Beekeeping for Chordoma. All proceeds donated to cancer research

Offline utahbeekeeper

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2009, 11:39:27 PM »
Ya have to do it sometime, and bees won't draw comb at all absent a flow.  Don't worry . . . . if it is the best in 70 years, the bees will draw comb as fast as they need it.
Pleasant words are like an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.  Prov 16:24

Offline shawnwri

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2009, 11:42:48 PM »
If they don't have drawn comb, they don't have anywhere to store the honey.  I've gotten to old to trust my memory, but I'm sure you can do a search and find the was/honey equivelant ration.  1:7 is stuck in my mind for some reason, but they my just be the proper ratio for a dry martini. 

Offline Ross

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2009, 12:07:34 AM »
Lot's of numbers are kicked around, but the truth is, nobody really knows what it costs in honey to draw wax.  Bees produce wax.  It takes some energy to mold it into comb.  You need comb.  That's all you really know.
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Offline hankdog1

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009, 12:11:14 AM »
Just depends on how strong the hive is and how strong the flow is.  Some people will use the crush and strain method to extract honey.  Mind you nothing wrong with it bees just have to draw out new comb each time with takes energy.  If your having the kind of flow you say you are and the hive is nice and strong you probably won't notice a big difference if thier having to draw out foundation.  Just keep you patience about ya and you should do just fine i'm sure you'll have a crop of honey this year.
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Offline Highlandsfreedom

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2009, 09:36:55 AM »
does it matter with the sugar water ratio 1 to 1....2 to 1.... when supplementing new colonies to help draw out comb?
To bee or not to bee that is the question I wake up to answer that every morning...

Offline CBEE

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2009, 10:40:56 AM »
If you are having a very heavy flow you will be amazed at how fast they can draw comb out and pack nectar in it.. hope you got enough frames and supers :-D

Offline challenger

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2009, 02:29:06 PM »
I have 4 colonies that could produce honey. Two are needing to fill their second deep before I super them and I have 1 super on 2 more. I plan on supering the 2 that require they fill their hives first this week and also add a super to the 2 that have supers on them now. I want to try 8 frames for honey in a 10 frame medium as Ross Conrad says to do in Natural Beekeeping so I will have 4 extra frames of drawn comb with nectar to bring up to the second supers to encourage them to go up and use it. I may use a drawn fram from each to entice the hives that I put the first supers on by using a frame from the other two instead but I can't decide which is better-use 2 in the second supers or use one in the second supers and one in the first super on the hives that have no supers on them yet. I'm also wondering if opening the hives to remove and/or add supers will set them back. I've read a lot about when to add supers but I think the recommendations are for using drawn comb. If the side frames are still undrawn do I wait until they draw comb on it or do I move these frames more toward the center of the honey super?
Thanks-Howard
Beekeeping for Chordoma. All proceeds donated to cancer research

Offline troutstalker2

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2009, 07:32:33 PM »
 

  Huh?

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 03:13:01 AM »
I have 2 packages that are currently drawing about a 1/2 of a medium frame per day of comb using foundationless frames.  All they have to work from are thin stips of wood glued into the top bar groove.  They're taking about a pint of syrup per day and the rest is from forage.  Each hive had drawn comb with eggs 3 days after being installed.
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Offline challenger

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 07:23:19 AM »
Was it 2 packages and one queen or a single hive from 2 packages and a single queen? Why no foundation at all? Don't they make a lot of drone comb?
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Bees need to build comb AND make honey??
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 02:06:41 AM »
Was it 2 packages and one queen or a single hive from 2 packages and a single queen? Why no foundation at all? Don't they make a lot of drone comb?

2 packages and 1 queen.  With foundationless I don't get the contaminated wax that's been processed and reprocessed for decades and used as foundation.  The bees get virgin comb without any toxic chemicals that is why no foundation.  Bees make the type of comb they need.  If they need brood comb, they make that, if they need drone comb, they make that, if they need storage comb, they build that, and if they want to fill the gaps with fillin comb, they build that.  That takes care of the 4 sizes of combs you'll find in a bee hive.  I've found I don''t have anymore drone comb in a hive than I did when I used foundation. 
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!