Thanking you in advance for any advice.
Thanking you in advance for any advice.
The couple I work with are. Mostly after lunch though. Think it might be all the lasagna and stromboli's they eat for lunch.
Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.
I still do not know how to operatate this thread thing.
To start again.
I started my only hive from a package in early april. I never expected one drop of honey because I understood that they needed to build up comb. My only expection was they would store up most of the honey and pollen that they needed to get through the winter.
Everytime that i got into the hive there were more and more bees and comb was slow in building up.
I fed them off and on with syrup (honey bee healthy added) and mega bee even with honey supers on because i was not going to be harvesting and selling honey.
Here we are in october. One heavy brood box. One not. Three or four shallow honey supers maybe one third full each. but lots of empty comb
Yesterday I added a frame feeder full of granulated sugar and more . Is there any thing I need to know about feeding straight granulated sugar. Can they "drown or get stuck" in the powder?
I was thinking that I may add three more frame feeders to add to the brood boxes as the outside frames.
I also intend to winterize the hive with tar paper and an entrance reducer.
I am part of a good beekeeping association of another county because we don't have an association in our county. I have not acquired a mentor.
The county bee inspector was here about 6-8 weeks ago and said my hive was strong and healthy. There have been little honey added since then.
Are Italians lazy? I am not convince that Italians are for me. My second hive that I plan to add in the spring may be russian or a russian mix.
the few beekeepers I know really like them But I am not impressed.
I would appreciate any feed back.
Thanking you in advance
Seems this season wasn't all that great for just about everyone.
What you're experiencing is all a part of keeping bees; some years are great and others leave much to be desired. You just happen to start during a sorry year.
As they say, "there's always next year'.
Don't give up on them Italians yet.
If I may;
You say you have 3 or 4 partialy filled shallow suppers.
Sounds to me like they had too many supers added before each was about 80%
Are these shallows or Illinois mediums ?
Full or Illinois mediums are generally used as honey supers, altho some do use shallows. [ shallows make good comb honey ]
Keep Beekeeping LOCAL, what works for me may not work for you 500 miles away !
good point but does that mean that I should only add a few frames at a time? If I only added one or two frames at a time would that leave too much open space?
You add a full box of empty frames at a time, but you should wait until about 80% of the box is filled before adding the next.
Add a full super at a time, if foundation 10 frames if drawn you may want to go with 9(assuming you are using 10 frame equipment) however you would not want to add a second super until the first is 80% full at least in the first year.
Red Dirt Apiaries
As I understand it you have drawn comb but little honey. It's very late in the year but what I would do NOW is remove everything except the two deeps. I would pour on the 2:1 SYRUP hoping to get them to store enough to get the second one filled before the weather turns too cold. I would set the shallows aside for use next year unless there were some stores in them. If there are stores in the three shallows, I would consolidate all three into one and I would place it on top of the two deeps. I think you really gave them too much space and they spent their reserves on comb making rather then honey storage, but it's been an odd year. They need at least two full deeps for a chance to get through the winter. Granulated sugar is NOT for honey storage but for emergency feed. You're running out of time.
Just to be sure...When I say pour on the 2:1 syrup, I mean in the frame feeders (feed them as much as they will suck up. HoneybHealthy or Megabee are probably useful to encourage them to feed). Don't actually pour it on the frames. There is still time if they co-operate. Your area probably didn't have as much of a Fall Flow as you were led to believe, or maybe this year the weather just didn't co-operate. Next year start checking the hives for their winter stores on Labor day. Around here the bee stores actually start to decrease about the first of August and unless you start to feed new colonies in September you could face problems...
You can feed the honey in the shallows back to the bees. Like previously stated, consolidate the frames with honey and put them in one shallow on top of the inner cover and put the top cover over the shallow. They should move that honey to the upper deep. When they have moved that honey, remove the shallow. If your hives don't have 120 lbs of honey, feed them 2:1 syrup. I suspect that you will have to do this.
I had Italians my first year of keeping bees here in Massachusetts. I had one hive, brand new with no drawn comb whatsoever and one package of Italian bees.
They filled two deeps and two shallows by Sept. I would not classify that as lazy, but very industrious.
This has been a tough year in many areas. We had two months of cold rainy weather in June and July that really was hard on the bees.
what is tailgater?
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau, Mark B
Italians are not lazy but they tend to be short range foragers, making them prone to rob other hives. Feed them heavy syrup, consolidate the hive by placing all the medium frames of honey into one super and feed it back to them. Good luck.
In my opinion Italians seem to be much slower than Russians. Unfortunately I lost my Russian Hive to Mice last spring. My Russian hive had always produced lots of honey up to 40lbs or more, and the Italians only produced, just about half that. I did manage to get 20lbs from my Italians late in the summer but I just noticed the other day I had some robbing with a loss of one deep the upper one. It also appears that the number of bees has also dropped. The entrance is reduced now and it appears that the upper deep is empty of the honey it had. I started feeding but I'm not sure if the Italians will be able to last the winter here in Vermont. I'm putting in some older crystallized honey along with a pollen Pattie, hopefully this will help them make it. I'll do everything I can to save them but if I have to start from scratch again I'll start with the Russians if I can.
I am also a new beek, this year. My first hive was a package of Italians, my other two are swarms acquired local.
The package was hived in May, the first swarm two weeks later in May. the second swarm was hived in early Sep.
I robbed frames from the first swarm hive to give the second swarm a start.
At this time both swarm hives are strong and have sufficient reserves for winter. The Italians on the other hand are light. I am feeding all three right now to increase the reserves.
It looks to me like the Italians may be lazy... (and Yes I am Italian myself)
I think this sentence is confusing people. I'm guessing you meant to say you have 3-4 FRAMES partially filled in a single shallow box?Three or four shallow honey supers maybe one third full each. but lots of empty comb
I installed two 3# Italian packages in topbars in early May. They seemed really proficient at growing their colony. Both hives swarmed once, one possibly twice. I also made splits from each hive to form a third.
This is my first year, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but they seemed way better at raising brood than storing honey.
I also managed things badly, let them get crowded and didn't shut up the hives early enough in late summer to prevent robbing, so I think my hives are very light right now because they were robbed like crazy.
The split hive IS loaded with capped honey AND bees. I'm not sure on the genetics, though. I still have to read more on how that works after a queen mates with possible other strains...