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Author Topic: bees not hungry  (Read 4788 times)
AndersMNelson
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« on: December 13, 2006, 10:24:38 PM »

I never added supers to my hive this year, to ensure they have a good supply for the winter.  I gave them medicated syrup for the winter, but they haven't eaten it yet.  Should I worry about this?  Also, do I need to take off the hive top feeder for winter?
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pdmattox
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 10:56:53 PM »

I use hive top feeders here in florida.  If they aren't taking the syrup then they probaly don't need it.  I would leave it on so they have it if they need it. just my 2 cents.   
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Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 01:26:15 AM »

I never added supers to my hive this year, to ensure they have a good supply for the winter. 

The basic idea of beekeeping is ad super so much that brood area is not used for honey. That ensure that bee cluster for winter is strong.
To keep hive tight in summer is against all good beekeeping principles.
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AndersMNelson
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 08:23:11 AM »

It also had a lot to do with my being away at college.  I couldn't get a ride home to tend to my hive as frequently as desired.  Next year will be different.

Finsky,
I was under the impression the first deep hive body was mainly for brood, as the second was primarily for the bees' food storage.  The supers cannot be so if one extracts honey at the end of the season, right?.  Please clarify for me the "basic idea of beekeeping."
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2006, 11:54:10 PM »

The bees will use 2 deeps for brood and even a portion of a third if you have an active queen.  That is the optimum in the summer months.  For wintering it is normal to reduce the hive to 2 deeps (or the equivalent) and then force the hive to become honey bound with stores of honey and /or syrup.  With the hive honey bound there is little room for brood production--this is the way you want it.  The majority of the comb in the hive (80% or above) should be filled with stores for winter with the remainder being pollen stores and brood in that order.

The problem with leaving a super on (at least in colder climates) is that it creates extra space for the bees to keep warm making them use up the stores they have at a faster rate.  It is best if the hive is full of stores to leave the feeder off.  In warmer areas like the Southern USA the existance of the feeder seems not to be a problem as the temperatures usually don't get that low for that long to do any real damage.
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AndersMNelson
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 01:16:09 AM »

If it were more cold here, would the risk of leaving the feeder on be one of crystallization?  This is my first year, so I'm rather a novice.  Are there any good novels or informative books that I could read?  I read one, The Queen Must Die, which was interesting, but not very practical.  I love my bees, but I'm so afraid any problem I may have could jeopardize the hive.
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 08:56:25 AM »

If it were more cold here, would the risk of leaving the feeder on be one of crystallization?


The problem I had was the night temps. were down in the 20's.. then hit the 50's during the day.  This causes the feeder to leak pretty good.. since the temp. is warm.. it doesn't hurt the bee's so much.. but causes a robbing frenzy at the hive entrance where the syrup leaks out. 

There are a lot of good books..  you could do a search on this forum for books beeks have recommended. 

Online there is a lot of info..  a good place to start would be Michael Bush's website.. lots of information.. http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Any younger brother or sisters you could get to take care of your hives while you're at school? 

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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 09:28:04 AM »

Anders, there was some discussion awhile ago about good books for beginners.  I copied the list that I liked that I had put on the forum discussion. You may find that you can get hold of some of them or not.  There are lots of good books out there though.  Great day. Cindi

- Beekeeping for Dummies, by Howland Blackiston
-ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture, by A.I. Root, 1877 (a book my father had left for me, so many years ago, he kept bees when I was a young teenager, but I did not have interest at that point in my life)
- 500 Answers to Bee Questions, by A.I. Root Company, 1973
- Lanstroth on the Hive and the Honeybee, by L.L. Langstroth, printed 1853
- The Hive and the Honeybee, co-authors, by 17 people, extensively revised 1963
 - THE SPELL OF THE HONEYBEE, by W. Eric Kelsey, 1945

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
AndersMNelson
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 12:17:33 PM »

I have one of those polystyrene feeders, so I don't know how badly it would leak, if it would.  I'll just take it off anyway.  Thanks for the book list: I'm going to get one or two of those.
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 01:36:48 PM »

     I have a styrene Top Feeder that came with my beginner kit from BetterBee last year.  The only problem I have is to make sure any mold is out when I clean it and rinse it out well after bleaching it.  No leaking at all...only my own ability as a klutz is the real problem.

    When my bees refused food I just removed it and stored it for later.  Usually means something somewhere is available or like pdmattox said they probably don't need it.
     
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 02:32:59 PM »

If you have all the same size boxes (which I would recommend) then a box is a box.  If you don't use an excluder (which I do not) then the bees use it for whatever they like.  The important things are that you don't let the brood nest get clogged with honey during swarm season and you keep enough room on the hive that the bees will have somewhere to store their honey without clogging the brood nest.

In the typical hive with two deeps, the two deeps are usually  the "brood boxes" and usually both have some brood in them during the main buildup.  If they don't I would encourage them to by moving some of the brood combs up a box.  By fall these brood boxes should get backfilled with honey.  The bees do this so they will have winter stores AND so the queen will stop laying because they filled the cells and she can't.
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2006, 04:32:13 PM »

Finsky,
I was under the impression the first deep hive body was mainly for brood, as the second was primarily for the bees' food storage.  The supers cannot be so if one extracts honey at the end of the season, right?.  Please clarify for me the "basic idea of beekeeping."


In summer I use 3 deeps for brood  +  4-6 mediums for honey. I extract honey accorging it comes  into hive.

In picture I carried 3 hives onto spended fireweed pastures. It took 3 weeks and all hives had capped frames from top to lowest box. I harvested from each hive 240 lbs capped honey in one time.  This was speacial year but good hives make this kind of surprises.  3 miles away on canola fields I got allmost nothing.

If I put 2-deep hive on canola pastures, it will be full in one week and hive will swarm.  So I put 6 box in hives when I carry them to canola: 2 box brood, one empty brood box lowest and 3-4 box for honey.  And I will inspect hives every week if weather  is good for yield.

If you have 3 capped box honey in the hive you need 3 more box for ripening of honey. Otherwise bees full brood area with nectar and hive is jammed.
I use lowest deep as reservoir. They put nectar there first to rippen and then they lift it up to warmer places of hive and cap it.

When I brough these hives to fireweed pastures, the uppermost 3 boxes had empty combs and lower had brood and unripen nectar. Soon I must add empty combs when they are capping ripe honey.


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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2006, 09:41:09 PM »

Finsky, you know I still find your honey yields beyond amazing.  It is quite incredible. Your statement below was something that I was not even aware of:

<If you have 3 capped box honey in the hive you need 3 more box for ripening of honey. Otherwise bees full brood area with nectar and hive is jammed.
I use lowest deep as reservoir. They put nectar there first to rippen and then they lift it up to warmer places of hive and cap it.>

What I mean is, I did not realize that the bees put nectar in cells to ripen and then move it to warmer places in the hives.  Funny eh?  Just never realized it.  I always thought that the bees put the nectar in the honey supers and just ripened it there.  Still don't quite get it though.

Are you saying that there is an empty box for nectar ripening BELOW the brood boxes?  If this is what you meant, how do you keep the queen from laying down in the nectar ripening box?  If this is what you meant, would not the bees have to carry the ripened nectar up through the brood boxes to the honey supers above???  Great day. Cindi

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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2006, 10:01:34 PM »

The point isn't the where, they will use what space they have, but the what.  They need space to spread out the nectar so it has a lot of surface area to evaporate.  Making honey requires a lot of surface area, which requires a lot of supers.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2006, 10:27:22 PM »

New understanding.  Wonderful!!!  Probably one of my problems last year, maybe did not provide enough room for honey, the queen became honeybound, and the obvious!!  No room for lots of brood?  Is this the gist of it?  What does she do if there is no room for eggs?  Probably swarm?  But I did not have any swarms occur:

Except, a rather nasty swarm that I had caught the year before.  It was so cranky!!!!  The moment you even went close to their humble home, the aura surrounding this hive was demonous!!!  They did not want you near for sure.  Anyways, I did work with them, (lots of protection) and they were very prolific the first year and first part of second year.  Then one day they decided that they would take off for better places.  I watched them go, I followed as best that I could, along with a bunch of kids and my sister.  We saw them go up in a great big old cottonwood and that was the end of them.  No way on the good green earth could I have reached that far, and personally did not want to -- I actually did not mind one little bit, but in my mind I wished them well.  It was not their fault that they were so crabby, it was nothing that I had done.  I had every intention of requeening this colony, but just never got around to it.  So good riddence to bad rubbish.  I was glad to see them leave in a way. 

I had cut out some mature queen cells from another hive shortly before this swarm took off because I was going to attach them to a frame in a queenless colony I had.  (I would do it differently this year for sure though).  I had the queen cells in a little warm box, all tucked in.  When I went to open it, there was a queen walking around in the little box.  So I put her in a queen cage, stuffed a little marshmallow in the end and put it in the colony.  Good, they had their new queen.  The colony did well.  And I actually still find it hard to believe to this day, but this  colony actually over a period of time became far less cranky.  That was nice, I did not feel intimidated by them by the end of the summer and they produced excess honey.  But, that is a colony that I lost due to varroa destruction.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2006, 10:49:29 PM »

Finsky, you know I still find your honey yields beyond amazing.  It is quite incredible. Your statement below was something that I was not even aware of:


Are you saying that there is an empty box for nectar ripening BELOW the brood boxes?  If this is what you meant, how do you keep the queen from laying down in the nectar ripening box?  If this is what you meant, would not the bees have to carry the ripened nectar up through the brood boxes to the honey supers above???  Great day. Cindi


During heavy nectar flow I take wide open the main entrance and some upper entrances.  The lowest box will be cool and queen rise upp to lay. We have fine warm weeks and at once we may have a rainy week where temp. is 54F.  I am not there every day setuping ventilation.  When I add ventilation brood will disapear from lowest box. I late summer I put again entrance reduger on, lowest box will be warmer . But normally in autumn lowest box has no brood and when I put bees in winter condition I press bees to the lowest box and it has onlu polllen and some honey.

We should take all honey away after 10. August. It means that  take capped honey away, extract them, diminish the hive, keep hive warm that bees can raise alot winter bees. The lowest box will have most of pollen and bees use it in brood raising. Nature gives so much nectar that it keeps broon raising on but not surplus.  The hive will deminish from 6 box to -12 box during 3-4 weeks.

Professional play system otherwise.
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2006, 11:28:54 PM »


We should take all honey away after 10. August. It means that  take capped honey away, extract them, diminish the hive, keep hive warm that bees can raise alot winter bees. The lowest box will have most of pollen and bees use it in brood raising. Nature gives so much nectar that it keeps broon raising on but not surplus.  The hive will deminish from 6 box to -12 box during 3-4 weeks.
Professional play system otherwise.
.[/quote]

What said makes good sense for sure.  BUT, 10 August in my area is far too soon to take ALL the honey off and prepare for winter.  Even the beginnning of September we still have a very strong nectar flow.  The bees in our area can still process the nectar into honey still during September.  Many people are not taking off all their honey until the middle of September I hear.  I took off all my remaining honey around September 5, and bees were still bringing in LOTS of nectar (and pollen too).  We have a late nectar flow. The queen is still laying quite well come late September even.  When we feed the bees sugar syrup for winter build up, the advice is to no longer feed after October 6, otherwise the bees will not be able to process the sugar syrup in time to winter.  Last feeding, on October 6 and no more s.s. further beyond.  This is pretty strongly advised by beekeeping course leaders I have been taught lessons from. 

What you said about 6 boxes of bees down to -12 in three to four weeks did not make sense to me.  What does the  -12 mean, I understand the 6 boxes.  How can it be -12?Huh  Have a great day Finsky.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2006, 11:51:28 PM »



What said makes good sense for sure.  BUT, 10 August in my area is far too soon to take ALL the honey off and prepare for winter. 

Of course you make your tasks on local way . I live on the level of Alaska Anhorage. I just cleared the speed of changes what happens in hives.
On another hand I try to clear teh speed how hives develope ready to forage. If you have not more than a couple of boxes in mid summer, the reason is unselected queens.  They are not able to make more brood.

The basic of good yield is good queens and good origin of queens (which are good enough to local weather.)

I do not speed up brooding with syrup feedings. Still I have bigger hives as I se in your pictures.  And bees draw combs when nectar flow is strong. Outside nectar flow it is hard to get bees draw foundations.

.
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2006, 07:40:47 PM »

Cindi,
I think he meant that 6 boxes of bees condense down to 1-2 boxes.

-12 boxes would require an extra dimension that I don't think any of us have access to rolleyes

-rick
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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2006, 12:17:54 AM »

Rick, sometimes I cannot see the forest for the trees.  I have difficulty with certain things.  Now how you explained what Finsky meant, is perfectly understandable to me.  I am very much of the kind of person of WYSIWYG.  I can't read beyond the line mostly.  thanks for clarification.  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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