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Author Topic: Hive Full of Empty Comb  (Read 2767 times)
jopo
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« on: November 07, 2009, 01:11:34 PM »

I just finished doing an early Fall check on my two hives and found one with lots of bees, but it has three supers of drawn comb with no honey, pollen or eggs.   I observed some bees returning to the hive with pollen, and they seem active, but it looks like they are on the road to collapse and starvation.  I also killed about eight hive beetles.

Should I feed them heavily until they rebound, or is it a lost cause?  

The other hive is loaded with bees, honey, pollen and eggs.  Could they be robbing the other hive?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 03:48:17 PM by jopo » Logged
Sean Kelly
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2009, 01:52:34 PM »

Feed Feed Feed!!!

Sean Kelly
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jopo
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2009, 04:55:27 PM »

Sugar water?  I have Beemax brood feed, but the bees have never seemed to taken to it dry or wet...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2009, 05:04:46 PM »

2:1 Lots of it.  It's Virginia and the weather is still nice here, so I assume there?
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jopo
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2009, 05:18:36 PM »

Just came in from putting on a 2:1 two quart jar of sugar water with a spash of spearamint and reduced the entrance to one inch.  I was thinking about hard candy too, but I'm unsure if it would be overkill right now.

The weather if 60s-low 70s in the day; 40s-50s in the evening ...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009, 08:32:37 PM »

When the warm weather gives you you can put some dry sugar on.  But for now I'd feed while the weather permits.
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Michael Bush
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timdalyiii
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2009, 05:25:13 PM »

I just saw the same thing today in my hive here in Camden County NJ.  I put 2:1 on.  I also had a honey super on top of the inner cover.  I thought they would move the honey down to the brood supers, but they didn't.

I also still have some honey that I extracted in July.  Can/Should I feed that back to them?
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G3farms
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2009, 06:10:04 PM »

feeding honey back to them is a very quick way to put food in the hive, it is already made and all they need to do is place it and cap over. Feeding sugar water requires them to reduce the syrup even furhter before capping, it takes more work hence more food so less is actually being stored.

While the weather is still warm i would feed feed feed and reduce the entrance (I personally like to go 1 to 2 inches).

G3
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those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

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jopo
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009, 08:01:42 PM »

Straight dry sugar over hard candy or 1:1 sugar water when the weather gives?
JP
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G3farms
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009, 09:53:06 PM »

2:1 syrup while the weather is still holding out, low to mid 50's and rising.

dry sugar when it turns too cold for the syrup.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
jopo
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2009, 10:44:31 AM »

Thanks!  How much dry sugar do you feed at a time?  Do you put on wax paper on the top bar, or by some other means?

JP
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Mason
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2009, 10:58:37 AM »

I have the same issue here in Georgia.  I have been feeding 2:1 and they are taking about a half gallon a week.

Will they eventually stop taking the syrup?  How do you feed dry sugar?  Will left over Halloween candy work?
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G3farms
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2009, 04:46:54 PM »

They will eventually stop taking it since there will be no place to store it.

For the dry sugar, just place newspaper on the top bars and leave room for them to come up to get it. Add a shim or spacer (think of a short hive body) to allow for the sugar and then put the covers back on.

I would feed syrup until it got too cold during the day for them to not work it, never got into the high 50's or low 60's. Remember they will not fly til it gets to 54 or 55 deg. F. Of course hive position will have some bearing on this, are they in full shade or full sun.

I have often wondered about different kinds of candy but most are made with corn syrup anymore instead of cane sugar, more than likely would attract yellow jackets.

G3
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 07:29:21 AM by G3farms » Logged

see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
jopo
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2009, 11:08:53 PM »

Well, that sounds a lot easier then preparing hard candy; I'll give it try.  Here's a hard candy recipe I used last year to keep a new hive from starving:

1. Heat one pint (1/2 liter) of water to boiling in a large pot on stove.  

2. Stir in as much sugar as can be dissolved.  This will be about 5 pounds (2 Kg).  More sugar is better.  

3. Boil, uncovered, stirring almost constantly until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F.  It takes awhile.

4. Pour into molds made of cardboard or a container lined with waxed paper or butcher paper.   The candy will harden as it cools.

a single block lasted most of the winter here in SE VA.

JP
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jopo
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2009, 06:09:36 PM »

The feeding seems to be sustaining the girls, but I have a super that is filled with empty comb.  Should I remove the extra super and freeze the comb?  Is freezing the comb necessary?
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2009, 06:14:46 PM »

remove it.  you can freeze it to kill off any wax moth or SHB that might be lurking.  i don't because mine is freezing in my barn at this moment.  after you freeze if for a couple of days, you can secure it in a plastic garbage bag and store it.
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jopo
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2009, 06:37:59 PM »

Thanks, KathyP!  Smiley   I wasn't sure about the duration for freezing them and space is an issue for me, but that makes great sense.

Hope your winter isn't as long and as cold as the trend seems to indicate.
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MacfromNS
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2009, 02:49:20 PM »

Well, that sounds a lot easier then preparing hard candy; I'll give it try.  Here's a hard candy recipe I used last year to keep a new hive from starving:

1. Heat one pint (1/2 liter) of water to boiling in a large pot on stove.  

2. Stir in as much sugar as can be dissolved.  This will be about 5 pounds (2 Kg).  More sugar is better.  

3. Boil, uncovered, stirring almost constantly until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F.  It takes awhile.

4. Pour into molds made of cardboard or a container lined with waxed paper or butcher paper.   The candy will harden as it cools.

a single block lasted most of the winter here in SE VA.

JP
How sticky is the candy? Do the bees stick to it? I was thinking of making a mold the same size as the frame.Would this work?
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wfuavenger
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2009, 05:19:59 PM »

you could have given the weak hive a boost by simply taking a full frame from your good hive and switched it with a frame from the needy hive. Gives them an instant population boost. Feed as well.
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jopo
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« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2009, 01:26:31 PM »

The candy is the consistency of firm jello.  So, I haven't seen any problems with bees getting stuck in it.

Just checked the hives again on a cool, crisp, clear day here.  So far, the weak hive seems to be hanging in there with feeding.  My strong hive has two medium supers filled with honey plus the brood box.

Is it too late to bring a super of capped honey from the strong hive to the weak?  The weak hive has one medium super plus the brood box.  There are very few frames of honey in weak hive...
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 01:15:28 AM by jopo » Logged
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