Author Topic: No Honey  (Read 2589 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 40 Acre Bees

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
  • Thanked: 12 times
  • Location: Chester Basin, Nova Scotia Canada
No Honey
« on: August 16, 2016, 03:47:54 pm »
 I really do not understand but none of our 5 hives looks like it is going to produce any honey.  The populations seem to be good, lots of bees, but they just don't want to draw any comb.  For our honey boxes we do shallow boxes with foundationless frames (with starter strip) but all they bees do is hang out in the honey super and relax.  They have plenty of stores in their upper deeps, but none for us.  We have had an exceptionally dry summer and that really is the only thing different from other years.    Could the dry weather be the culprit, since we only have 3 weeks or so before I would like to be harvesting.

Offline LazyBkpr

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6557
  • Thanked: 172 times
  • Gender: Male
  • www.outyard.net
    • The Outyard
  • Location: Richland Iowa
Re: No Honey
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 04:26:56 pm »
Some years the flow is better than others..   they need heat, and a good flow to produce comb. You could feed them to get them drawing comb, but that would defeat the purpose of filling supers with real honey.
Drinking RUM before noon makes you a PIRATE not an alcoholic!

Offline Perry

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 7373
  • Thanked: 386 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Brandt's Bees
  • Location: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Re: No Honey
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 05:35:45 pm »
It has been exceptionally dry this year. I am hearing that things are bad in Ontario as well with a lot of keeps starting early feeding of their bees. I am hopeful that the rain we got and the rain expected tomorrow may salvage what is bound to be a poor year harvest wise.
Bees simply will not draw comb without a decent flow.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
Forum Supporter

Offline Bakersdozen

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3701
  • Thanked: 315 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Olathe, Kansas
Re: No Honey
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2016, 08:16:05 am »
Sorry to hear wasn't any honey crop for you.  It takes a strong nectar flow for the bees to make comb.  Is this your first year keeping bees in this location?  If it isn't your first year, did you have a honey harvest before?  Which sources did you expect your bees to work and bring in excess? 

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9748
  • Thanked: 189 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: No Honey
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2016, 02:41:44 pm »
Story of my bees life the last 4 years with the California drought. Bees simply make enough honey for themselves to get thru the winter, not much for me.

Last year Apis made a comment that flowering plants still bloom but may not produce nectar. So it's slim pickens for the bees, and they have to work hard to get what they can.

Star Thistle is our last hope of nectar in our area. It's a nasty thorny weed and a farmers nightmare, but premium nectar for very delicious honey. But I take walks along the roadsides where tons of this weed grows, and there isn't a bee in sight. Frustrating

There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline tecumseh

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 854
  • Thanked: 70 times
  • Location: College Station, Tx.
Re: No Honey
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 04:05:44 pm »
little or no moisture at least here equates to nothing or very little coming in the front door.  if the season has been erratic (ie up and down) using starter strips (without feeding) will constrain cell building and nectar storage significantly.  you might be better advised if you wish to have 'natural comb' from starter strip is to have a set of robust comb building hives that you can feed constantly until the comb is fully constructed.   

Offline apisbees

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3723
  • Thanked: 331 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: No Honey
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2016, 06:13:05 pm »
Jen if you want honey You can not be screwing trying to make nucs. You also need to stop the bees from swarming.
Go through every week and cull all queen cells.
Increase queen pheromone in the hive by running 2 queen hives It will increase the bee population and suppress the swarm instinct.
You need an abundance of mature bees in the hive when the nectar flow hits to get a good honey crop. swarming takes that population out of the hive, generally a week befor they are needed.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline iddee

  • Administrator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5776
  • Thanked: 301 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Sophia, N. C.
Re: No Honey
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2016, 06:28:10 pm »
""Go through every week and cull all queen cells.""
Apis, did you actually mean to say that? That is the absolute best way I have ever known for a newbee to become queenless and lose his/her hive. Removing queen cells will NOT prevent swarming. It just leaves a hive with no way to make a queen when it does swarm.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Chip Euliss

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 604
  • Thanked: 56 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Jamestown, ND
Re: No Honey
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2016, 07:09:44 pm »
I believe that the weather conditions (in concert with soil characteristics) that make plants produce nectar varies within season and by plant species.  Here, our spring "fruit bloom" is cool (65 F or less) but the bees work it hard and bring in lots of nectar.  Our primary honey plant here is sweet clover and it is worked by bees the hardest when it's in the mid-80's and humid in summer.  Both our spring and summer nectar sources respond well to moisture (to a point) with generally highest flow days corresponding to wetter soils and higher humidity.  In late-simmer to fall, we see plants like goldenrod and gum weed produce good nectar under drier conditions than in summer but a bonus rain improves flow; temperatures in fall are in the mid-80's like in summer but drier.  I'm amazed at how much nectar comes in this time of year (some years) when it's pretty dry.  My point is that the temporal sequence of flower blooms correspond to conditions (daylength, temperature, soil characteristics, etc.) that specific plant species prefer and the bees exploit them under changing weather conditions--if it's there, the bees will go to work.  This past spring, I moved my wintered hives to an outyard that had great wind protection.  I put a barrel of sugar syrup and a pollen feeder to give them a boost in case any needed food on warmer days.  To my surprise, I had LOTS of bees taking syrup and dry pollen sub from external feeders when it was 38 F!!  If you read the literature, there are many who make the case that bees only fly when it's 50 F or above.  I believe that bees exploit resources over a much wider temperature range, especially at lower temperatures, than generally recognized.  If the food is there, I've seen my bees exploit resources from 38 F and higher and it wasn't just a hive or two, or a specific race of bees and it was a frenzy.  Plant physiology probably provides better clues as to when your bees will be active than the bees themselves.

In Jen's example of star thistle, weather conditions must not be right for nectar flow where she lives, likely too dry for that plant to do it's thing.  Same deal here with our late summer/fall flowers.  We're wet so I'd guess we have a decent or better flow on right now.  I'll get out in a few more days to check my outyards.  Been attending to "domestic" chores since we got home from vacation but should be done soon.
Chip
The following users thanked this post: riverbee

Offline apisbees

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3723
  • Thanked: 331 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: No Honey
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2016, 10:35:55 pm »
Thanks Iddee should have said Swarm Cells.
In Jen's and the area that I am in It comes down to swarms leaving the hive just before the main honey flow that starts the middle of June.
If you cull cells before the queen has shut down egg laying she will continue laying. through May and June, inspecting the hive look for eggs and brood and if you see both then the bees have the resources to raise a new queen if needed. Go through the hive and remove all cells cups that have fed larva in them, Doing this every week will keep the queen laying and in the hive. If you leave it for 10 days then the queen will have stopped laying and will swarm. If you can get the bees to the main honey flow that starts the 2nd 3dr week of June and the bees get working the flowers with room to store it. this usually stops the bees from wanting to swarm.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9748
  • Thanked: 189 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: No Honey
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2016, 01:26:05 am »
But Apis, these are the same queens, all marked pink, that I installed from swarm cells during swarm season. That's when you were helping me thru all of that. I've been checking regularly since the main flow slowed down, and the same queens are still around. So in this case it's not swarming.

It has taken 4 out of the 6 nucs a long time to catch up to the booming 6 ones. I've been making sure that the nucs always have a frame of honey from last year in all of them.
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline apisbees

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3723
  • Thanked: 331 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: No Honey
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2016, 01:39:31 am »
In climates like ours and Nova Scotia this year If you do not catch the first main flow after the dandelion fruit tree bloom in 9 out of 10 years you will not bet a honey crop. With swarms or pulling nucs out of hives you loose the population that is needed to collect the nectar while it is available. Heat and dry weather shuts the flow off. I have seen flows only last a week some years.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2284
  • Thanked: 315 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: No Honey
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2016, 10:39:15 am »
No, or very little excess honey, is a common report this year in our area.

Chip, I wonder what you are referring to  when you cite "soil charactersitics."  I would imagine soil is always what it is in terms of composition, and dry or wet or somewhere in between.  I'd like to understand what you were referring to when you use the term "soil characteristics."  I suspect we are stuck with soil characteristics in our local areas, yes?

Apis, your strategy of inspecting and removing queen cells and queen cups is old school, but it works unless you miss one or two cells or you make a hive queenless inadvertently as iddee pointed out.  That is the swarm control I learned back in the 1970's.  Recently, I've been successful checkerboarding to preclude swarming and it has worked!

I quoted the post below from a thread on another, less friendly forum. It was written by an old guy calling himself "fusion power."  These questions and answers show us the next level in understanding and observing our bees during inspection, and in the subject in the original post of this thread, why a larger hive produces more honey than two or three small hives (re: Apis' remark about NUCs affecting honey production).   I hope you enjoy it, I did, and learned something too...

Quote
"What does the ratio 1:2:4 have to do with beekeeping? This is the ratio of eggs-larvae-sealed brood with 3 days as an egg, 6 days as a larvae, and 12 days as sealed brood. Any beekeeper inspecting a colony of bees automatically understands this ratio and knows that when it is broken something is wrong in the colony. For example, missing eggs from the ratio is typical of swarm preparation. Recognizing this ratio at a glance is a key beekeeper skill.

How many years elapsed between varroa being found in the U.S. in 1990 before feral survivor colonies began to expand? It was 12 years from the time varroa were first detected until reports started showing up of feral survivor swarms. Anything between 10 and 15 years would have been a good answer.

Why is a colony with 60,000 bees roughly 4 times as efficient at honey gathering as a colony with 30,000 bees? How would you explain this to a newbee beekeeper? Roughly 20,000 workers are required to maintain the brood nest. With 30,000 bees, 20,000 would be in the brood nest and 10,000 would be foragers. With 60,000 bees, 20,000 would be in the brood nest and 40,000 would be foragers. That accounts for the 4 times efficiency increase.

How many worker bees are needed to produce a good quality mated queen from a nuc? Given a ripe queen cell, 500 bees can produce a perfect queen. If the bees have to start from scratch building a queen cell, 2000 bees are required. This is supported by research done by Taber and Farrar.

In Breeding Super Bees, Steve Taber mentioned one queen breeder who consistently produced exceptionally good queens. What was his secret? Bonus points if you know the breeder's name. The secret was that he paid attention to quality at each step of rearing queens. He did not give too many cells to the starter, culled any undersized cells, culled any undersized virgins, ensured huge drone populations for mating, and shipped only the very best queens after evaluating them for a full month of laying.

How can you get a usurpation swarm as typically thrown by africanized bees to take up permanent residence in an empty hive? Hint, it is almost impossible to get a usurpation swarm to stay in an empty hive. A usurpation swarm will stay if you give it a single comb of mostly sealed brood."

Honey production occurs when you have a large bee population ready just before the availability of nectar and the honey flow. A small colony will use the flow to build it's population and draw comb, not make excess honey.  :)




Lee_Burough

Offline iddee

  • Administrator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5776
  • Thanked: 301 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Sophia, N. C.
Re: No Honey
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2016, 10:46:27 am »
Let's do a little math here. A 1 day old larva is in day 4 of queen development.That is the day it is decided to make a queen from it. So you go in today and remove all swarm cells. They begin producing more this afternoon, which will be development day 4. In one week, it will be day 11. A well capped and developing pupa. The queen has quit laying, as you say, by day 10. You remove the cells and the queen swarms on day 12 or 13. You have a dead hive.

Your method may work for a 20 year beek, but is not so hot for a novice. 
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9748
  • Thanked: 189 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: No Honey
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2016, 12:07:56 pm »
Iddee, see this is where I get into trouble with beekeeping... The Math... Uhhg.

Thanks for your math expainations, most of the time I get them  ;) 8)
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline Chip Euliss

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 604
  • Thanked: 56 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Jamestown, ND
Re: No Honey
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2016, 02:20:10 pm »
I used soil characteristics fairly generically so I'll explain--and it's a lot more complex than I suggest in the following sentences; my explanation is by no means complete.  Let me know if you have questions or if I'm not clear.  The source of geologic material that a local soil was produced from over millions of years is generally the same and if the terrain was basically flat, the characteristics of that soil would change very little over time unless it experiences lots of surface runoff that exports nutrients (in the soil naturally) that get dissolved in the water--same deal with ag nutrients.  Basic flatland with little runoff doesn't exist in many places.  More often, we have undulating or mixed landscapes where water runs off to export nutrients and small particles.  In areas where there is abundant rainfall and you have a positive water balance (gain more water from precip than you loose to evapotranspiration, and other losses), the nutrients get leached from the soil and the soil gets less fertile over time.  In areas with less precip, you can actually have a negative water balance (you loose more water on average than you gain from precip--this is the case here and much of the Northern Great Plains).  The benefit of a negative water balance area is that the soils are poorly leached at best so the soils maintain their fertility for a very LONG time.  For my area, it's significant that most of our precip falls during the growing season so crops, and even keeping bees, is possible BUT strong inter-annual events like the Dust Bowl of the 30's could shut both activities down during severe drought.

Adding to the complexity of "soil characteristics" is that because water doesn't move across most of our landscapes equally, it removes fine soil particles and nutrients from some places and deposits them somewhere else.  The result is a mosaic of soil characteristics spatially that affects our bees through their influence on plants.  Get a soil map sometime and look at the variation in soil types and characteristics for your area.  A NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service--have offices in all counties and are housed with Farm Service Agency [FSA].  If you have bees just in one location, it won't make any difference but if you have them in several areas, or have the option to move them, it is often helpful to explain some of the variations in honey crops, etc.  In my area, thanks to the melting glacier 12,000 years ago, I have bees in areas that have light soils (sandier due to erosion and less fertile) and heavy soils (much higher clay content due to reduced or no erosion and higher fertility).  When it's wet, bees in both locations do well but when it's drier, the bees near the heavier soils do better.  Clay hangs on to water better and dries out much slower than light sandy soils--keeps the plants secreting nectar longer.  Superimposed on all of this are natural climate cycles (drought to wetter periods) from year-to-year and within season.  Makes things interesting for beekeepers because, unlike farmers, we can move our bees down the road a few miles and generally do better if we know where the conditions are that complement any given weather pattern we may be experiencing.

If you drive from most anywhere in Minnesota to most anywhere in North Dakota, you can visually see when you go from a positive to a negative water balance area.  Here, the line is clear.  Don't look at shelter belts or other trees planted by humans--look just at the native trees.  Coming from MN you will see lots of trees because most of MN is in a moisture surplus area but when you get to the negative water balance in ND, the first thing you'll miss are the trees.  Simply not enough water to get them started and support them long enough to get their roots deep enough to survive when it dries due to drought.  Same deal in the arid western states that have grass/shrub plants down low and nice forests as you go up in elevation; the extra moisture that hits the ground up high pushes the water balance to positive and trees are a visual result.

Sorry for the long explanation.
Chip
The following users thanked this post: riverbee, Lburou

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2284
  • Thanked: 315 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: No Honey
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2016, 03:23:54 pm »
Thanks for the explanation Chip, I think you communicated well.  :)
Lee_Burough
The following users thanked this post: Chip Euliss

Offline riverbee

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8924
  • Thanked: 410 times
  • Gender: Female
  • ***Forum Sponsor***
  • Location: El Paso Twp, Wisconsin
Re: No Honey
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2016, 01:12:48 am »
"I really do not understand but none of our 5 hives looks like it is going to produce any honey.  The populations seem to be good, lots of bees, but they just don't want to draw any comb.  For our honey boxes we do shallow boxes with foundationless frames (with starter strip) but all they bees do is hang out in the honey super and relax.  They have plenty of stores in their upper deeps, but none for us.  We have had an exceptionally dry summer and that really is the only thing different from other years.    Could the dry weather be the culprit, since we only have 3 weeks or so before I would like to be harvesting."

"little or no moisture at least here equates to nothing or very little coming in the front door.  if the season has been erratic (ie up and down) using starter strips (without feeding) will constrain cell building and nectar storage significantly.  you might be better advised if you wish to have 'natural comb' from starter strip is to have a set of robust comb building hives that you can feed constantly until the comb is fully constructed. " 

40 acre, what chip and tec said.  did you feed your hives to help them draw comb? 

i don't use foundation less, but i do know how hard it is to get bees to draw foundation and have used foundation less frames for comb honey. our weather for the past 5 or 6 years has been either drought or rain/flood. 

i feed my bees in spring and early summer if foundation needs to be drawn and i don't stop feeding until the foundation is fully drawn.  i don't depend on ANY flow.  if anyone up here in  my north country expects their bees to draw out a full set of 10 frames of foundation without feed, they are fooling themselves.  foundation will not get drawn.  a full set of foundation less frames to be drawn is even more so a great deal of work for the bees without feed and especially with little resources to do so.
i keep wild things in a box..........™
if you obey the rules, you miss all the fun.....katherine hepburn
Forum Sponsor

Offline 40 Acre Bees

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
  • Thanked: 12 times
  • Location: Chester Basin, Nova Scotia Canada
Re: No Honey
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2016, 09:11:46 am »
I did feed this spring, mainly because they were very weak going into the winter, and really didn't have all the comb drawn in the upper deeps.  We fed till there was a good flow on and removed the feed.   I did not feed when I added the honey supers which of course have no foundation.  The first two years they did a great job of building the comb and giving us some honey.  Maybe next year we will go with go with 50 % foundation and 50 % no foundation (for comb honey) and invest in a small extractor. :yes:

Offline LazyBkpr

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6557
  • Thanked: 172 times
  • Gender: Male
  • www.outyard.net
    • The Outyard
  • Location: Richland Iowa
Re: No Honey
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2016, 10:12:22 am »
Let's do a little math here. A 1 day old larva is in day 4 of queen development.That is the day it is decided to make a queen from it. So you go in today and remove all swarm cells. They begin producing more this afternoon, which will be development day 4. In one week, it will be day 11. A well capped and developing pupa. The queen has quit laying, as you say, by day 10. You remove the cells and the queen swarms on day 12 or 13. You have a dead hive.

Your method may work for a 20 year beek, but is not so hot for a novice.

    I was counting fingers and toes and other things but could only get to ten and a half...... thank you for doing it for me!!!  (Stop laughing I am missing half a finger!)  Day nine or ten the cells could be capped (Day 13 or 14 of development) and the hive is in swarm mode, and is difficult to stop. Even an AI at this time may not work.

    Pulling a nuc if you want a honey crop is not the best idea, depending on how you go about it.. AND More importantly, how good your flow is. As others have stated, knowing when your flow starts is important. A few years of watching WHEN your bees start filling supers gives you a good idea of when you can do the following.
   Doing an Artificial Swarm, and putting a caged queen in the hive, JUST as the flow is starting can give the bees a few short days where they have less brood, so they will store More nectar.  Pulling a light nuc, and letting the bees make their OWN queen just as the flow starts gives them several days with no brood to feed, and they can store an amazing amount of honey...
   All provided the hive is STRONG to begin with, there is a good flow, AND you have drawn comb for them to store nectar in.   Timing and flow are crucial.  The Nucs need to be fed so they do not forage as aggressively or as far away.  Remember that they will be trying to build up, and each hive you (or anyone else) have in the area increases the pressure on the available forage/flow.
   When I put a new super of undrawn comb on a hive, I will usually give them a couple quarts of syrup in jars with only three or four small holes, to get them started drawing those new frames.

 
   Jen, as short as your flow season seems to be.. waiting to make nucs until after the flow might be best..   Your winters are not LONG AND HARSH, so making nucs later, and overwintering them, then selling them the following spring as overwintered nucs might be the best way for you to go if you want to harvest the most honey.   
Drinking RUM before noon makes you a PIRATE not an alcoholic!

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9748
  • Thanked: 189 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: No Honey
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2016, 03:23:02 pm »
Scott "Jen, as short as your flow season seems to be.. waiting to make nucs until after the flow might be best..   Your winters are not LONG AND HARSH, so making nucs later, and overwintering them, then selling them the following spring as overwintered nucs might be the best way for you to go if you want to harvest the most honey."

   You may have something there Scott, I knew from the teachings of Apis, that I wasn't going to get much a honey crop this year. I'm prepared for that, and in turn I've learned a lot about the 6 nucs that I made out of swarm queen cells. It was a long drawn out process this spring and summer to get the nucs queen established, lost a couple, just dwindled. However, I have found nucs to be a lot of fun and so easy to take care of once they are up and running.

    Also, this is the first year we had enough rain in the winter to really help with a flow. It was a short flow tho, maybe 2 weeks, and we are now back into drought conditions. So even our dependable Star Thistle obviously isn't offering much nectar.

If we ever recover from this dought for more than 2-3 years it will most likely be a whole other story honey wise.   
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline LazyBkpr

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6557
  • Thanked: 172 times
  • Gender: Male
  • www.outyard.net
    • The Outyard
  • Location: Richland Iowa
Re: No Honey
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2016, 07:34:09 pm »
Dont forget, that nucs give you MORE excuses to get into the hives. They take more management, so your itchy fingers have something to do more often!
Drinking RUM before noon makes you a PIRATE not an alcoholic!

Offline riverbee

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8924
  • Thanked: 410 times
  • Gender: Female
  • ***Forum Sponsor***
  • Location: El Paso Twp, Wisconsin
Re: No Honey
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2016, 11:27:00 pm »
"I did feed this spring, mainly because they were very weak going into the winter, and really didn't have all the comb drawn in the upper deeps.  We fed till there was a good flow on and removed the feed.   I did not feed when I added the honey supers which of course have no foundation.  The first two years they did a great job of building the comb and giving us some honey.  Maybe next year we will go with go with 50 % foundation and 50 % no foundation (for comb honey) and invest in a small extractor. :yes:"

thanks 40 acre. a couple comments, just the way i do it.  feed the bees until ALL comb is drawn, don't depend on or pull the feed when a good flow is on and foundation is not drawn.  also, i have placed honey supers of foundation on and have fed the bees to get them to draw out. this takes a little timing/checking.  when the foundation in the first super is drawn, pull the feed off.  don't rely on flows to get the foundation drawn whether it be in the brood box or honey supers.   ;)
i keep wild things in a box..........™
if you obey the rules, you miss all the fun.....katherine hepburn
Forum Sponsor

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9748
  • Thanked: 189 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: No Honey
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2016, 12:55:09 am »
Scott "Dont forget, that nucs give you MORE excuses to get into the hives. They take more management, so your itchy fingers have something to do more often!"

Aaaah You know me so well  :D I had 7 nucs, perfect for weekly inspections, one at a time. Monday evening check Nuc 1. Tuesday evening check Nuc 2. It's so pleasant in the early evening, bees are calm. Takes about 15 minutes. I think this is one of my top coolest things on my bee list now.
There Is Peace In The Queendom