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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Good Hope, GA
    Posts
    12

    Default Disappearing syrup

    I started the year with two packages. Upon the inspection of the first hive, I found the queen and all was well. The second hive, i never could find her until about a month later I discovered i thought I had a laying worker. I observed cells filled with multiple eggs. The advice I was given was to stack the two hives together, facing different directions and separated by a screened bottom board so the pheromones from hive one's queen would stop the laying queen. after a few days and with dwindling numbers in hive two, I separated them again and swapped a frame of brood with eggs into hive two hoping they would produce a queen. About a month later, I had saw no signs of a replacement queen so I decided the best thing was to combine the two hives using newspaper to separate them until they became acclimated. They have been together for about a month now and seem to have a large population. A week ago, they had one deep filled, a second deep a little over half filled and a shallow super that they began chewing on. I don't have a queen excluder. I filled my hive top feeder with about 3 gallons of 1:1 because they seemed to need some help and in the hopes of them drawing out some comb.

    I did a quick check today, a week later, and find the feeder completely empty and no drawn comb in the super. The upper deep still wasn't fully drawn either and not a lot of honey on the frames. I also noticed that the lower, outside frame was almost solid with capped brood. I noticed they were bringing in pollen and that there seems to be a lot of bees to me. I just don't know where all that syrup has went... about 6 gallons in two weeks. I was hoping the syrup would make them draw out the super in time for the 50 acres of cotton thats just starting to bloom about a 1/2 mile through the woods from me.

    I'm sure I'm doing something wrong... I have two deeps with two shallow supers with a brushy mountain farms wood, two chamber hive top feeder. I had used the feeder with an inner cover in the spring when i was feeding them and had it on with the first fill a couple weeks ago. Last week when i filled it, I removed the inner cover and used a couple tiny twigs to prop the telescoping cover up a bit for ventilation. This hive faces east, and sits just east of a group of cottonwood trees and gets shady at about 6 pm. It has no shade to the east and has about 500 acres of plated pines a couple hundred feet to the north and west. They sit about 100 feet from a spring fed pond and spring fed creek. We have 135 acres of fields of bermuda/fescue/ and mixed planted clovers along with our share of weeds. I'm wondering if I should move the hive to get it a couple more hours of direct sunlight. Any ideas? It just seems that they are eating all the syrup and not making much other use of it. They don't have much stored, but how much should i expect to feed every week to get them built up? Thanks for any ideas or suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Disappearing syrup

    They've got too many empty frames to work with. Remove some of the boxes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Good Hope, GA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Disappearing syrup

    Ok, will do. I actually just added the two supers a few weeks ago when I started feeding hoping they would draw them out. There's just a few frames empty in the second deep so should I just remove one or take off both and wait for them to start putting wax on the too bars in the second deep to add a super? Thanks

  4. #4

    Default Re: Disappearing syrup

    Bees aren't likely to produce comb in the absence of a natural nectar flow. Our nectar flow has been awful this year and by the end of May had ended entirely in my area. With a nectar flow sugar syrup helps them to produce comb. Without a nectar flow it doesn't. I started about 100 hives from nucs this spring. Usually, by now I have two deeps drawn and at least one filled with honey. Not this year. I'm feeding all just to keep them from starving in the summer dearth. And I will surely have to feed them through the winter as well.
    Just plain bad luck.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Good Hope, GA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Disappearing syrup

    Thanks again. beemandan, you're just down the road... we live just the other side of Lane Creek Plantation. The rain on these cotton fields and them starting to bloom will surely get something going. I just wish I had bought more than two packages... In the mean time I guess I can build plenty of boxes and assemble plenty of frames and keep on mixing sugar water. Would it help to go ahead and mix it 2:1 now as well?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Disappearing syrup

    In my case, I'm mixing my syrup around 2:1.
    First, if there's any truth to the often claimed 1:1 stimulates brood rearing....I don't want to do that. The last thing I want to do in this dearth is create more consumers.
    Second, my purpose is to get carbohydrates into the hives as efficiently as possible. In my case each feeding is a trip to the beeyards. I only seem to be able to manage to see them all on a two week cycle.....and still not fall hopelessly far behind on everything else.
    I'd also say that 2:1 doesn't spoil as quickly as 1:1 but that's a moot point. I put in a bit over half a gallon each feeding and it is gone in less than 24 hours.
    Remember, feeding in a dearth can trigger a robbing event. I try not to spill any. I move quickly through the beeyards. I feed inside the hives. And still there is a good bit of 'testing'...but so far it hasn't escalated.
    Good luck.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,348

    Default Re: Disappearing syrup

    You want them cramped. Move all the frames with brood and push them down into the bottom box. You could also put a not built frame between two frames with brood and they will build it out, keep moving them until they are all built. But, keep them cramped and they will work harder.

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