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Author Topic: all brood & no stored nectar - what's going on?  (Read 1616 times)
beekeepseattle
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« on: June 30, 2009, 03:10:15 PM »

Help!  We keep a couple of hives near Camano Island, WA.  Each hive has two brood boxes and two honey supers.  We inspected the hives a couple of weeks ago and then again this weekend.  The hives are still (or again) completely full up with brood, but there is no stored nectar at all, and, in addition, the bees seem a little lazy - not flying from dusk to dawn this year.  What's going on?  This is the first year this has happened to these hives.  Blackberries are in bloom here now, but there are an extraordinary amount of bumblebees this year, so perhaps the bumbles are competing with the honeys for nectar and the bumbles are winning?  Or perhaps there was a dearth of nectar after we discontinued the sugar water and the bees had to consume all of their nectar in order not to starve?  (Will the bees have time now to store enough nectar to successfully overwinter?)  Thank you for your thoughts!  
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 03:26:00 PM »

do you have an excluder on?  if so, take it off.  also sounds like you need another brood box.  when you add it, pull some of the brood frames from your other boxes and put them in the new.  give the bees some room to store around the brood area.  if these are first year hives, forget about honey for yourselves and get the stores around the brood or your hives will die over the winter.  if they store enough for winter, then you can put honey supers on.
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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
beekeepseattle
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 03:28:06 PM »

Thanks for your advice!  (Nope, no queen excluder.)
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bfriendly
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 02:09:50 PM »

WINDY!  Blackberry flow is almost half over and there has been plenty of sun, we got the rain just when we needed it after the earlier dry spell...  but it has been quite windy every day!

every year, timing etc is different.  I "think" that our hives finally have started to gain weight as of about 2 days ago, but most hives I put on 2 supers end of May...  many have not touched them.

Anyone else in the PNW care to chip in?
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riverrat
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 02:35:46 PM »

WOW them bees are learning impaired you better let me come and get them off your hands grin If they got that much brood they may bee eating it up as fast as they are bringing it in especiallly if the flow is not strong enough to provide a surplus. Once the brood hatches look out if you got a flow on better hae extra supers
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2009, 11:20:35 PM »

Help!  We keep a couple of hives near Camano Island, WA.  Each hive has two brood boxes and two honey supers.  We inspected the hives a couple of weeks ago and then again this weekend.  The hives are still (or again) completely full up with brood, but there is no stored nectar at all, and, in addition, the bees seem a little lazy - not flying from dusk to dawn this year.  What's going on?  This is the first year this has happened to these hives.  Blackberries are in bloom here now, but there are an extraordinary amount of bumblebees this year, so perhaps the bumbles are competing with the honeys for nectar and the bumbles are winning?  Or perhaps there was a dearth of nectar after we discontinued the sugar water and the bees had to consume all of their nectar in order not to starve?  (Will the bees have time now to store enough nectar to successfully overwinter?)  Thank you for your thoughts!  

Well, I know you're not hopelessly lost since you have hives near Camano Island.  Do you live in Stanwood, Silvana, Arlington, Warm Beach or there abouts?

As to your hives, some areas, locally, have experienced a short nectar dearth prior to the blackberries, especially those areas (2 mile radius) without strawberries or Raspberries, which bloom just prior to the blackberries.  My Russian and Carniolian hives did the same thing, suddenly laid wall to wall brood (16 or 16 frames --double stacked 8 frames) brood on both sides and very little stores.  Now with the blackberries starting to crank up they are really starting to bring in the goods, I expect medium supers of honey per hive, except for the split I did, as a result of the blackberries alone.  The brood build up was timed perfectly.


I am always willing to meet those close enough to do so, I can take you through my hives and maybe give you a few pointers if you're interested.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Wynoochee_newbee_guy
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2009, 04:31:03 PM »

had the same problem too. all brood no food. then black barries came on and foxglove and now it looks ok.
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2009, 07:24:14 PM »

i am kind of  in the same place.  checked a couple of weeks ago and they had stores and brood.  figured we were on the road to some honey for me.  checked just a couple today and massive amounts of brood with almost no stores.  right in the middle of blackberry flow?  i don't know what to make of it, but it looks like another bad honey year and it shouldn't be.  i am flat out of ideas  Cry
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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
greenismycolor
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 08:33:08 PM »

Ditto...lots of brood...no stores and no ideas
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Ross
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2009, 09:36:24 AM »

make nucs
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2009, 10:15:28 AM »

kind of late for that here unless i buy queens.  besides, i don't want more hives.  i want more honey smiley
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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
beekeepseattle
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2009, 07:04:31 PM »

Thanks, everyone.  Yes, I think you all were correct - it was due a dearth in nectar.  Our hives are now crazy BUSY and putting away as much nectar as possible!  There should at least be enough for them to overwinter, and we're still hoping we might get a couple of quarts for us  Smiley.  In retrospect, we pulled the sugar water too soon.  Oh well, this is an art, not a science!  Hope your hives are doing better now, too! 
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Wynoochee_newbee_guy
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2009, 07:10:02 PM »

So glad to hear your bees are doing well Good luck! grin
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Its All Fun And Games Till I lose an EYE!
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