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Author Topic: Bees not storing honey???  (Read 1196 times)
lonewolf308
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« on: August 07, 2012, 10:31:51 AM »

Started my hive in late May from a package everything seemed to be going well until about a month ago. Early July I had two 8 frame mediums full of every stage of life along with a couple frames of honey. I've been 50/50 wax foundation/starter strip with no problems. I was in a hurry so I added another medium with all Brushy Mnt super frames and plastic foundations (wax coated). Came back 3 weeks later and none of the plastic had been touched and the two frames of honey are gone. The girls are still producing babies no problem but I was hoping the addition of the third medium would allow the girls to bust loose and really store their honey. I guess they can't store without any room? I moved some frames around and reversed the 2nd and 3rd (plastic) mediums to promote them building comb I'll check again this weekend it'll be 2 weeks since the change. Any answers to why their not storing honey?? I will have starter strip frames on hand this weekend and will replace all plastic that hasn't been touched. Don't get to check on my girls every week like I use to since I moved I hate the waiting weeks to know what's up.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2012, 10:49:22 AM »

Is it possible that the nectar flow has slowed in your area and the bees have resorted to feeding the next generation of baby bees your honey? 

Do the frames where the honey used to be stored look like they’ve been robbed?  Maybe you had some robbing going on too if there is a dearth in your area.

They’ll eventually get to the plastic when there is enough bees in there to need more comb space.
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mikecva
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2012, 11:31:32 AM »

Where in Virginia are you located?  I am outside Leesburg in northern Virginia. We have not had good nectar flow up here since the second week in July (early for this area).
I also use plastic as I find it a little more forgiving of my handling during extraction.  I use a light spray of Pro Health on the frames and my bees seam to take to it.
I have had to feed 1:1 since the the third week in July along with a pollen paddy. The bees have gone through 2.5 gallons of all of the colonies.

From Mann Lake:
"Pro Health when used as a spray, stimulates bees to draw out new foundation faster"

-Mike
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lonewolf308
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2012, 12:39:35 PM »

The bees are located in Appomattox Va. This is my first year at bee keeping so I wouldn't know what robbing would look like, but the honey just disappeared everything looks normal. Also have no idea when the dearth is but I thought that myself. I stopped feeding them 3 weeks after installation because they had capped honey stores. Wasn't trying to get honey this year but didn't really want to feed them this fall looks like I may have to.
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 01:05:17 PM »

start feeding now.  they need it for the brood they are raising and they need the new bees for winter.  it takes time for them to cure what they store.  i don't know when your winter starts, but unless you are anticipating a strong fall flow in your area, you'll need the time to get them fed up.  + you can't let them sit dry until a fall flow starts.  at this point, i wouldn't worry about getting stuff drawn out except what's needed for storing to get them through winter.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2012, 02:58:06 PM »

Hi lonewolf, i'm here in concord but where are you if your not near the bees?

kathy's right start feeding now.  even a gallon a week should be good enough. 

Plastic frames....yeah.  I've tried them and the bees hated them.  They work great for a new package; what else do they have.  once they have a brood box worth they get picky.

There was a mini dearth a few weeks back that could have led to robbing (super dry).  Right now the flow is good enough.  we don't have an Autumn flow.  we have what we have right now.  AND since this year everything started early we are all thinking the end of the flow will be early too.  Which means active bees in a dearth before winter settles them into cluster; or feed, feed, feed.

If you feed with an undrawn box on you could still get them to draw it out.

What kind of feeder are you using?  Please don't say entrance...please!  they lead to robing.  Hive-top feeders work better.

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mikecva
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2012, 03:49:12 PM »

I use top feeders also (Dadant, M01454 WOODEN HIVE TOP FEEDER). No problems with it except I found the first year that I needed to remove part of the float (make narrower, by about 1/16 to 1/8") so it would not get bound up against the sides. There are other top feeders out there that are good but I referenced the one I use so you will have a reference.

To make 1:1 syrup: heat up (~180 deg.) 3 gallons of water (which comes to 25.02 lbs.) and add in 25 lbs. of granulated sugar. This will make about 4.5 gallons of syrup.

-Mike
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lonewolf308
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2012, 04:33:26 PM »

Thanks guys. I have a top feeder. The bees are at their mom's I've had to move due to work. I only get up every few weeks or so
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Jim 134
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2012, 12:15:39 PM »

lonewolf308..........
Is it possible that the nectar flow has slowed in your area and has at rain at all  jaw drop no rain no nectar

                                                                                                



                 BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley



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kingbee
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2012, 01:38:17 PM »

Last year beeks in my area reported the highest honey harvest of their lives.  In early June of this year my local bee club advised us beeks to start inspecting with an eye on stores and think about feeding (if needed).

That is the reality of beekeeping, its a feast or else a famine undertaking.  Every drop of honey has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is usually the bottom of flowers.  Too much rain washes the nectar out of the blooms of flowers (and honey dew off the leaves of trees) while rain also keeps the bees inside the hive consuming stores.  Too little rain on the other hand stresses the flowers that produce the nectar and they tend to skimp on nectar production.  Draught causes most perennial plants to abort flowering or else cut blooming short.  Most annual plants on the other hand bolt quickly to seed production.  The first strategy helps preserves the life of perennial plants (like trees) so they can flower and produce seeds another day, and the last strategy ensures at least some annual and biannual plants produce seeds that are available for the next year's growing season. 

You better think about feeding because you have less than 90 days (likely) before your first killing frost and 3 weeks (21 days) of that 90 days will be consumed by your first food induced brood rearing cycle.

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