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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default question on possible problem for new keeper

    Hey all, I am very new to bee keeping and just got my first package this past spring. The hive seems to be doing great and is full of bees although we have been in a terrible drout this year. I have been feeding them all summer. For their hive I have oen deep brood chamber as well as a second deep brood chamber for them to store their food for the winter. Through the feeding which has been about a gallon of syrup water about every two days or so they have nearly filled the second deep hive body. I have not checked their brood chamber in about 2 months as to not disturb them too much but I decided to check it this past week.
    When I took the top hive body off and started to check the bottom hive body I found a couple things that bothered me.
    1. I noticed that they are using very little of the brood chamber for actual brood raising and have filled a couple of the frames up full of honey and are only using the center 4 or 5 frames for actual brood. Is this normal for this time of year as they are getting ready for winter or have I over fed them and they are using that for storage rather than the top chambers?

    2. The second thing I found is that with in the brood there are a lot of the cells that look about half full but rather than the white pupil growing as I thought it was suppose to be they are a yellowish/brown color. I tested the substance with a small stick and it seems rather stiff and not sticky like the honey or anything. Is this yellowish/brown a normal stage of development and they hive is healthy or do I have a problem that I need to address? I have trid to read up on it and the only thing I can find close is American Fouldbrood but as I said after checking the stuff int he chambers is not sticky. I have several pictures both of two full frames and a couple close ups of the frames is anyoen can look at them and tell me if they are healthy or if I have a problem I need to address. If there is a problem with the hive please let me know what method I need to take to correct it before winter hits. Here is the link to my pictures. http://www.flickr.com/photos/15508638@N03/ Sorry a couple of the pictures are a little blured but it is hard to hold the frames and take pitures in one of those suits and gloves. Thanks for any assistance. New bee keeper/ Lee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default

    Welcome Lee -

    It appears things are normal with your bees. They are cutting down on brood and filling those cells with pollen and honey. Looks like the substance you are seeing is pollen/bee bread. Others will chime in, but from my viewpoint, bees are fine in this department.

    Regards,
    Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,485

    Default

    Your doing good Lee, the bees will probably see you in spring!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Geneva,Florida, Seminole USA
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Everything looked great to me, very normal hive getting ready for winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Hey,
    Thanks for the information. Makes me feel a lot better now. Seems I picked a heck of a year to start with them with our weather but hopefully they will have enough storage to make it through the winter.
    One final question on this- once they get the top brood box full with all 9 frames of stores along with what they have in the bottom brood chamber will that be enough for them for the winter or should I continue to feed them and add another super to the top.
    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,485

    Default

    What do you mean final question?
    they never end, even for me,

    I feed up to a cetain weight, up here being as much as you can back fill before they dont take anymore. I feed about 5 gallons of surip per hive for fall feeding pep,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    555

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanier74 View Post
    Hey,
    Thanks for the information. Makes me feel a lot better now. Seems I picked a heck of a year to start with them with our weather but hopefully they will have enough storage to make it through the winter.
    One final question on this- once they get the top brood box full with all 9 frames of stores along with what they have in the bottom brood chamber will that be enough for them for the winter or should I continue to feed them and add another super to the top.
    Thanks

    I am new too. All 3 of my hives cut back on syrup consumption this week, and are packing some of the brood nest with pollen and syrup

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,650

    Thumbs down IMHO_You have overfed them out of house and home.

    Three gallons of syrup a week all summer? A second hive body filled with syrup? NC? do they need 100 lbs. of artificial stores in that climate? I disagree with those who said you did it right.
    I have kept bees for over 37 years and have never fed a new colony more than two gallons of feed, total.
    Bees are not like dogs or cats that you feed year around. The whole purpose of keeping bees is that they are self sufficient and make food for YOU.
    Last edited by odfrank; 10-21-2007 at 10:46 AM. Reason: addition

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,290

    Default

    Hopefully we'll hear from some beeks in NC to get their comments. It's my understanding that the drought this summer in your area has been awful and many are right now scrambling to get enough feed into their colonies to survive the winter. Sounds like you are way ahead of the game. It is very unusual to be feeding that much syrup to your colonies, but this has been an unusual summer.

    You will not need a third box in your climate, two will be more than sufficient. Looks like they are doing a nice job of packing in pollen for winter brood too.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Hi, Lee....Welcome to beesource.

    I am about 30 miles from you. I just sent you a PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Hey, again thanks for all the information. As for the bees being overfed, they have slowed considerablly this week on taking the syrup and I will probablly stop offering it now that they have nearly filled the second hive body. As for our weather, I am sure others in NC will agree that bees in our area have have a very hard time being able to hardly sustain themselves this year with our weather, both my pond and both creeks are dry and have been for over 2 months now and again I was very new and so I may have over fed them but they seem to be very healthy and full of bees so hopefully next year will be much better for us here.
    Either way I was happy to help them and am enjoying them and hope to increse my hives next year to 3 or 4 so I am sure I will have more questions.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,277

    Default

    For your first year, I'd say you've done pretty well. I do believe that you've probably over fed somewhat and you'll probably have a second deep mostly filled with feed next spring, which will be great for making an early split! I'd watch them closely early next spring to insure that they have room to expand.

    When new to beekeeping, its better to over feed than under feed. I've found (and other local beeks agree) that two deeps are probably not needed for our region. (I wish Idee would have posted his response for all of us east coasters to see, but that's OK.) I'm much closer to the ocean than you and hence probably have a warmer mean temp. I've been overwintering in single deeps the past two years with good success.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,838

    Default

    >When new to beekeeping, its better to over feed than under feed . . .

    A very good comment, but also keep odfrank's comments in the "back of your mind", they too, will come in handy some day.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    Astrobee, I sent him my phone number. A 45 minute call ensued. I can't type that much. If you want it, I'll send it to you.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Astrobee, Your suggestion on being prepared for an early split is great news as that is what I was hoping to do to gain one of my new hives for next year and after a 45 min. phone nconversation with iddee I also gained alot of information to help prepare me for that as well. I am looking forward to next spring to see what I can do with them.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    astrobee sezs:
    When new to beekeeping, its better to over feed than under feed. I've found (and other local beeks agree) that two deeps are probably not needed for our region.

    tecumseh replies:
    how often do you wonder when you hear a newbee complain about loosing a hive... cause 'some southern bee supplier' sold me sorry bees.. if the real cause was not lack of feed resources created thru a less than average year or a hive started just a bit too late? for certain there is an economic question when it comes down to how much to feed a hive. with package prices approaching a hundred dollar bill... I would suspect that just the direct replacement cost would buy a lot of sugar.

    in much of the south overwintering is quite common in story and a half (weight and not size is the important criterion).

    although I understand od frank's point of view... I would also suggest that od lives in a very special location which is unlikely duplicated as far as bee pasture in 98% of the us of a. so I would strongly suggest that no one use his 3 gallon maximum as a guiding rule of thumb. also as od suggested himself, he does have years and years of experience that tells him when to feed and when not to feed. it likely doesn't take 37 years to gain this instinct, but it is not acquired overnight either.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,277

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iddee View Post
    Astrobee, I sent him my phone number. A 45 minute call ensued. I can't type that much. If you want it, I'll send it to you.

    Iddee,

    I've followed your posts for a long time and really appreciate your insights and particularly since we're not all that far apart geographically. I was just hoping to squeeze that extra drop of goodness info out of this thread. Please don't go to the effort to write up your phone comments.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    I meant I would send you my phone number, not a complete essay.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Western N.C
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Hi Lee
    I have only been beekeeping a couple of years, but thought I would give you a reply.I am from up in Mcdowell County.First as you may know by now everyone has a different opinion.Everyone in my bee club preaches feed,feed,feed.I belive you should feed some but what is that supper that you leave on for the winter for?Last winter I fead my bees all winter.They filled the hive up with syrp.Come spring they swarmed twice.Probably because they didn't have any room.Something to think about.
    Beewhisper

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,485

    Default

    Three gallons of feed is nothing.
    During my two week summer dirth, I feed once, 2.5 gallons/hive, to keep my hives going from the dandilion to the clover. That extra punch of food sends them flying into the flow.
    Then, in the fall, I make that feed round twice, 5 gallon/hive. Gets them up to 180or so lbs/hive for winter. Up here I need that much, probably not down there. But thinking three gallons probably isnt overdoing it. Your not going to fill a deep with three gallons. I push 5 gallons into my singles.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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