I checked my hive about a month ago and had 2 supers that were almost full and capped. The top one was about 3/4 full and mostly capped. I had a family emergency called out of town and just now getting to harvest my honey but the top super looks like someone has stolen most of the honey and the bottom has lost a lot. It looks like my bees are way down in number and the queen has started laying in the first super. It is about half full of brood. Any ideas about what happened in my absence. It was a big disappointment to not have as much honey as I thought I would have. Thanks
There are a few things that could have happen or came into play.
The weather my be too dry, hot, or wet for the bees to forge or plants to produce nectar.
Your region may not have a nectar flow at this time of year.
Without nectar coming in the queen will slow down or stop laying.
Or they may have been robbed out.
Or a combination of the above.
cmtipton........... Add your location to your profile. Just a rough idea is fine as it lets us know your region. [img]smile.gif[/img] Answers vary depending on your location.
MC hit the main possibilities. Are your entrances reduced?
I took a super off a weak hive which was 80% capped and put it on a strong hive to "finish"...
They finished it all right. When I checked it 5 days later, it was virtually empty [img]smile.gif[/img]
Sigh. I guess they needed it more than I did.
Anyways, chances are, your bees backfilled their brood bodies with it. There's also a possibility that your bees swarmed and took a bunch of honey with them leaving a weakend hive, short on workers but long on apetites, and they've been helping themselves to what's left. There may be a dearth- probably is, given the time of year but that depends on where you are located. Perhaps the reason the queen is laying upstairs is because the bottom boxes are full of honey and brood and she needed more room. Dunno!
Take another look and see what you find. Let us know.
Dulcius ex asperis
Oh yeah- if they were robbed out, most likely ALL the honey would be gone, or the robbing would still be going on. I could be wrong of course.
Dulcius ex asperis
I'm in east TN near the mountains and lately we have been very dry. It was very frustrating to find it all gone. As far as the queen laying in the uppers because the bottom is full, not! She is just laying spuradically all over there is plenty of space in the brood box and both supers. Thanks for all your help.
The fall was a bust for me in the valley, although a guy a little further west is doing good. Dry and hot at just the wrong times. My Japanees Cane/bamboo they usually feast on for weeks was never touched by them as far as I could tell. I was on vacation one week. Now I'm feeding alot and looks like I will likely feed during the winter yet again. Matters were made worse by making a couple summer splits. Check the stores before robbing any, they may need it.