Using up stores already?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Ed K, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Are my bees using up too many stores too soon or will they replenish them in the fall?

    Here's the setup:

    I live in western PA. It's been hot and humid for a few weeks but no rain and the clover isn't blooming anymore.

    I have 2 new hives started this year from nucs.

    About 5 weeks ago I put my first super onto the hives which currently have two full size brood chambers below

    3 weeks ago I checked the supers and the bees hadn't drawn any cells on them. I checked the top brood box. It still had some outside frames that weren't drawn but the inner frames were heavy with uncapped honey with about 1/4 or 1/6 of the honey capped at the top. It seemed like there was too much honey in the top brood chamber (but I'm very inexperienced so whadda I know)

    Last night I checked again. The bees still have not drawn wax in the supers. The top brood box now has NO capped honey and very little uncapped honey. Some of the center frames have larve or sealed brood but not tons of it.

    What's going on here?

    Is that normal?

    What should I do?

    Will the bees replace those stores in the fall and draw wax in the supers too?

    Thanks

    Ed
     
  2. WayneH

    WayneH Active Member

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    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    KY
    Yup. I'd say that you guessed right. This dry spell that we've had here in KY has done the same to my bees.

    It isn't time to worry yet, there'll be a fall honey flow where the goldenrod and asters will produce enough to get them through the winter. If you're worried about the health of your hive though or want them to draw out some comb, feed them sugar water.
     

  3. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Indiana
    Ditto for me in Indiana. When I checked a few days ago, I saw lots of brood, a fair amount of pollen, but hardly a trace of honey. I'm hoping they are gearing up for a fall flow and to build up some winter stores. If there's not a good fall flow, we'll have to feed.
     
  4. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    Wayne,

    I'm not too worried if I don't get much honey as long as they get enough replenished to keep them through the winter. I don't really want to feed now if I can avoid it.

    I'll keep watching them in the fall.

    Do you reccomend that I keep the bare super on just incase the mood strikes them or should I keep it off to make sure they pack the brood chambers first?

    Thanks

    PS I've read a few books but it seems everytime i'm in the hive a question comes up that I didn't see addressed in the books.
     
  5. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Michigan
    Same thing is going on here in Michigan. My bees are storeing lots of pollen from Chicore & the early blooming goldenrod. the late golden rod is just starting to bloom and is usless as it is so dry there isn't any thing nectar wise there.
    We need rain bad to get things going. On Sept 1st if things still are looking as bad as they are now I will start feeding the 2:1 syrup mix. rather feed now than lose bees during the winter, my self.
    :D Al