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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    12

    Default New Beekeeper with questions

    Hello All,
    This is a follow up to my previous post at:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240284

    To recap - my bees swarmed three days after housing them, I re captered them, but I think a lot of them left again. I was worried that my queen was gone, but I pretty sure she is there, because there is plenty of larvae.

    Anyway, I only have comb on eleven bars, and not all of the comb is very large. I also see pollen, and nectar.

    My question is, I don't see alot of progress, is this normal?

    Our spring was cold and rainey, if that matters.

    Ideas are appreciated.

    Thanks

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: New Beekeeper with questions

    Hello,

    I have a hive that is going along very slowly. They only have about 8 bars with comb and its only about half way built. The other hive I installed on the same day is currently boiling over with bees. No room for any new bars and all combs are fully drawn out.

    Not sure why that is. However, I have decided that the weaker hive needs fed to get it strong enough to survive this winter. I have only done this for a couple of days and I am seeing progress. The bees are using the sugar water to build more comb. Still slow going, but they are building again.

    Added info: I had been feeding the bees in this slow hive. However, they stopped taking syrup when our honey flow started. However, they just sat there not doing much other than collecting enough nectar and pollen to keep what they had filled up with honey, pollen, and brood. It was like "relax, we have all summer to get this done". However, they need to get going or they will not make it.
    Last edited by FindlayBee; 07-17-2010 at 09:17 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New Beekeeper with questions

    ( I am going to try to be as nice and genrally pc as possible with my response.)

    Are you feeding them?

    If you took a huge predator like say a bengal tiger and let it lose in your back yard in Utah where there are zillions of little prey like skunk and cats and woodchuck and squirrel and whatever would you say to yourself, "this bengal tiger, moved here from wherever can certainly find its own prey here and feed itself"

    Answer to that is no, if you took a wild animal out of its habitat you would at least feed until it learned its new surroundings (I hope)

    Feed our bees (1-1 sugar syrup) so they can build their comb and feed their young.)

    that will speed things up a lot

    best,
    -E.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: New Beekeeper with questions

    Actually, I have to disagree with you on the animal and prey bit.

    Animals move all the time from one area to another to follow the food and water sources.

    It's not their familiarity with the geography that allows them to find food but their instincts and senses, such as smell, sound, etc...

    Feral bees that abscond from hives that have become uninhabitable for whatever reasons don't always gorge before leaving the hive, yet they can re-establish themselves in a new location, re-orient and forage successfully enough to get started a new.

    Not to say it mightn't be difficult or that the colony won't experience some losses, but it is possible for them to be relocated and survive without having food put into the hive for them.

    Does it make it "easier" for them. I have no doubt it does. Does coming by things easier always make it better though? That's another whole argument in perspective again.

    I'll stop where I am now. lol.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New Beekeeper with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by FindlayBee View Post
    Hello,

    Not sure why that is. However, I have decided that the weaker hive needs fed to get it strong enough to survive this winter. I have only done this for a couple of days and I am seeing progress. The bees are using the sugar water to build more comb. Still slow going, but they are building again.

    Added info: I had been feeding the bees in this slow hive. However, they stopped taking syrup when our honey flow started. However, they just sat there not doing much other than collecting enough nectar and pollen to keep what they had filled up with honey, pollen, and brood. It was like "relax, we have all summer to get this done". However, they need to get going or they will not make it.
    I started to feed again, and when I checked last week, I had two more bars with comb! I see what my feeder looks like this weekend and proceed from there. Thanks for the advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,994

    Default Re: New Beekeeper with questions

    They can only do what they can do, if it was a small swarm they can only build as much comb as they can cover.

    If the poor performance continues, it might be worth checking for varroa, a sugar shake test is a good non harmful way to do it.

    As to moving bees to new areas, my experience is a moved hive will be gathering pollen & nectar within a day of being moved, or sometimes within hours.

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