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Author Topic: Not enough honey?  (Read 1559 times)
MagicRay
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« on: August 24, 2005, 05:04:18 PM »

Hiya.  I started my hive in late April and it seems to be doing well.  The bees are numerous and active.  No evidence of varroa.  Two deeps were full in July and a honey super was placed in mid-July.  It has been five weeks and there is still nothing in the honey super.  In the brood chambers, there does not seem to be a lot of honey and I am worried they won't have enough for the winter.  What can I do at this point in time?  Thanks.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2005, 05:24:17 PM »

There are a few things you can try.

1a.  If there is no honey in the super (and I am assuming there is no drawn comb as well), you can place a few frames of brood in the super to bait them.  This will possibly get them to build comb in that area.  Keep in mind though, there is no sure fire way to get bees to draw comb.  They will build it as they see fit.

1b.  If there is no honey (and there is already drawn comb) just hold off.  The fall flow isn't over yet.

2.  Once the weather starts cooling off a little more, the queen is going to stop laying and brood will emerge.  (You'll have to check me on this, but I think she is supposed to stop laying at around 55 degrees).  This is a good time to start feeding the bees syrup.  They will fill all the empty space they can.

From what I read in Beekeeping for Dummies, Northern climates need about 60-70 pounds for wintering.  More of course is better.

I hope that helps.
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Chad S
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2005, 10:53:05 AM »

At some point you may want to consider taking your honey super off and hoping for better luck next year.  You would be better off letting them pack the upper deep with honey than getting half a super of honey in a month.  Let them pack the upper deep with honey when the brood has hatched, and you won't have to deal with feeding etc.

Chad
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MagicRay
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2005, 01:17:12 PM »

Hiya! I think I have good news.  I have been feeding my hive as much as I could and I just took a peek inside the honey super and every frame has a lot of comb drawn.  I shall take a closer look this weekend to see if anything has been capped.  Is this what I should expect soon?  At what point should I consider removing the honey super or leaving it on for the winter?

-Raymond
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2005, 01:22:16 PM »

I was able to get one medium more drawn out of both my hives.  WHOO HOO!  If you have 2 deeps, you can either keep a medium off or on, I am going to keep mine on since I have a ton of bees in each hive.   Size and climate will dictate.  If you don't have a lot of bees, then less space is better.  It's easier for the bees to keep warm with little space.  Most people will tell you about 2 deeps is plenty.
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MagicRay
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2005, 01:36:33 PM »

I have two deeps and one shallow.  The shallow is the one I saw with the new comb.  Last time I checked a couple of weeks ago, the deeps felt light (far less than 60 lbs combined) and the frames had much more brood and noticeably small amount of capped honey.  I probably should leave the shallow on regardless so that there is more honey for them.  Does that sound right?  There seems to be a lot of bees.

-Raymond
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2005, 07:35:15 PM »

I would probably feed them the shallow back over the inner cover, then remove it.  Otherwise, the shallow will be the brood nest next spring.  While thats not a disaster, it can be a problem if you need to swap around brood frames etc next spring.

Here on the Wasatch, after extracting in late July, I give them back the supers over the inner cover to clean up, and protect for me.  The evening temps start dropping in Sept, and they start pulling everything down into the brood nest. (In the 40's the last few mornings)  I give them a heft, and try to equalize, determine feeding requirements.  In any case, I cut them down to 2 deeps.  I pull the cleaned out supers when we get freezing temps, and store them for next year.  It has worked well, and they are going gangbusters when the fruit bloom starts.  I usually make up some fondant, just in case, but the winters haven't been too bad lately.
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