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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    BelAir MD U.S.A
    Posts
    30

    Default All The Honey Is Gone

    I have a first year hive that is full of bees and brood, but, no honey. the last time I looked in the hive was about 3 weeks ago. Not only did it have lots of honey towards the top of their brood combs ( 17 ) but they also had 4 nearly full bars of capped honey. Yesterday I saw lots of bees flying around my hives . I thought it was uncommon for the time of day. so when I looked in all I saw was alot of bees, lots of capped brood, but no honey at all. I need advice on this one. other than feeding what can I do?
    thanks Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Sebastopol, Ca.
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    Dan, I don't know what happened, nor am I familiar with your region and the nectar flow, length of pollen availability, but to keep them going I would feed them for sure. They will need food to keep on so do that immediately. Did you see bee parts on the inside or outside of the hive, as if there were robbing and fighting going on? Ants? Any other clues as to who or how? Were the combs there and just empty? Not much going on here. Any other observations you made? Sorry I can't be more helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    BelAir MD U.S.A
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    No I did not see any dead bees or anything like that. I canít see how a colony this size could be robbed blind like this, but, thatís my only guess. The nectar flow is all but over in my area. There are still some wild flowers and the golden rod left but no real flow to speak of the rest of the season. My hope was for them to survive the winter. Will they be able to survive on sugar syrup alone? Will they store syrup?

    any thoughts are welcome and appreciated

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    not unusual at all... they used it up as food.... VERY common this time of year.... hopefully they will replace it with the fall flow.
    Contrary to popular belife Summer is not all honey and roses... the summer honey flow is miserable in most parts of the country

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westport, CT
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    GMCharlie:

    I just got through checking my top bar hive and it was devoid of honey, as well. You, basically, wrote the post I was about to. Same thing- lots of bees and the expected amounts of eggs, larvae, and capped brood. Almost no honey except for a very little at the top of the brood combs. Whereas several weeks ago there were 4-5 honey-filled combs and lots of honey at the top of the brood combs.

    A Langstroth right next to it was low on honey stores also.

    I'll see if they can re-fill late summer and, if not, I'll be back here looking for advice re the winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    Tern,
    I'd check with other beekeepers near you, see what can be expected for late Summer or Autumn honeyflow. You may need to start supplemental feeding now, if you plan to overwinter your hive(s). If you wait too long - it can quickly become, too late.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westport, CT
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    Thanks re checking other beekeepers in the area. Will do.

  8. #8

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    For what its worth :

    Here in Southern Maine I've got a TBH in my "home yard" (along with about a dozen full Lang hives and 30+- nucs).

    TBH swarmed two Thursdays ago. I've left them alone since then until today - I checked them +- 1 week before they swarmed and cut out 12+ swarm cells. Obviously I missed ar least one start.

    They also had what I'd consider to be a ton of drone comb - 7 frames out of 23. As of today most of that drone brood has emerged and is honey storage. I did also notice DWV bees and "hairless black bees", another varroa vectored virus from my understanding.

    Found and marked the new laying queen today - the bees were happy and calm on the combs. I'll be treating for mites with Apilife Var starting tomorrow.
    -E.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Burlington NC
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    How will you use Apilife var in a TBH? Where will you place the wafers? I have a first year TBH that I may want to treat and feed but I am not sure how to do either.

    I have several hives very low on stores and when feeding some a few weeks ago they got robbed out. I have resorted to feeding some strong hives and moving frames of capped honey to the light and weak hives.

  10. #10

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    I modified my top bars prior to install by sanding them down and creating a groove (like a little canoe) between some of the bars.
    This allows the bees access to the 'roof area' where I can feed with a baggie feeder or treat with Apilife Var - when I don't want the bees to have access to that space I just put a piece of plastic "mesh" needlepoint base over the area with the grooves.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    saint augustine Florida
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    Quote Originally Posted by Maine_Beekeeper View Post
    I modified my top bars prior to install by sanding them down and creating a groove (like a little canoe) between some of the bars.
    This allows the bees access to the 'roof area' where I can feed with a baggie feeder or treat with Apilife Var - when I don't want the bees to have access to that space I just put a piece of plastic "mesh" needlepoint base over the area with the grooves.
    I've been trying to figure out a good way to feed, can you please post pictures of your hive or just one of the top bars with that groove in it?
    I was considering a partition board with a small hole in it allowing bees to feed on fondant in the open rear of the hive but your way seems better and still works if all the bars are occupied with no room left in the TBH.
    Thank you

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Sebastopol, Ca.
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    Make a follower board that does not reach the bottom but has enough space for a boardman feeder (the poochy out part) to insert at the base which, as stated, does not reach the bottom of the hive; 3/8" from the bottom, or at least the height of the feeder. Then put the feeder directly into the hive behind the follower board so the only thing that pooches into the hive is the metal, or plastic extension of the feeder and the bees can crawl into and drink.
    Oh, and you have to make a small cleat that goes next to the feeder so the bees won't get back there. Makes your hive less than 1 bar shorter since you can use 1x 12 which is only 3/4" thick.
    If I knew how to do photos, I would, so don't ask.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    saint augustine Florida
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: All The Honey Is Gone

    Thanks Len,
    That sounds like a plan...a lot easier that what I was thinking of....thank you...

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