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Thread: Propolis?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    698

    Default Propolis?

    Until recently my carniolans have never propolized anything inside the hive. I have had deep supers on top of deep brood boxes and the bees never moved up. A few days ago I found out that the bees actually wanted to move *down* and after putting supers below the brood boxes the bees drew out 2 full frames of comb in 3 days. Another thing that happened (coincidentally?) is that the inside of the brood box and a fair portion of the bottom super have been completely propolized. The whole season I have never had to use a hive tool to inspect frames or even remove a super (when the supers were on top of the brood box). Fall is definitely in the air but our days are still in the mid 90's so I don't know if the weather has stimulated the bees into doing this or if the sudden shift in usable space has prompted this behavior but I am truly puzzled by it. I'm not going to ask if this is normal behavior so much as what the heck is going on?!?!

    For reference, the brood boxes went from almost no propolis anywhere to looking like someone dipped the box, frames and all, into a vat of resin... in about 5 days. I'm not sure if I need to add this but almost every hive has 1 frame of capped brood with no empty cells followed by 2 more frames full of brood in various stages of development. There is actually honey being put up in all the empty spaces now where i'm pretty sure stocks of pollen used to be. These are all first year hives and the nectar flow from the alfalfa fields near my apiary has been fairly constant since early summer.

    I would really just like to know what, if anything, prompted the propolis frenzy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Propolis?

    I haven't kept notes about this or actually tried to measure the amount of propolis over the past 6 years, but it does seem like they are using more propolis this year. They place it on the top-bars by the ears. My bees are probably not true Carniolans anymore; most likely mutts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Propolis?

    Mine went nuts, they coated the top of the top bars, the end bars, the sides and front of the inside of the brood box, glued both supers together. It was an interesting development to say the least lol.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,997

    Default Re: Propolis?

    Propolizing tends to increase with the first hybrid. Perhaps your queen was replaced and open mated.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Propolis?

    I have introduced new queens into some of my hives [2-4 hives ] over those 5 years and they were always Carniolan. They were purchased from suppliers that were using some "selective breeding",.. for mite resistance. I don't know, maybe they were also, "inadvertently" selecting queens that produce bees that use a lot of propolis?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Propolis?

    They're all first year packages with beautiful black carniolan queens. I don't think much care was taken with her breeding though as it looks like the girls are about half carnies and the other half look like caucasians or maybe russians. I'm not too worried about their lineage so much as that the queens are actually pretty prolific layers. I've seen whole frames laid with brood with no empty cells other than what has just emerged. The propolis issue is a very recent development which is somewhat of a pain since i have to go find my hive tool now I know it got buried in the dirt by my kid somewhere, ill have to drag some magnets around to see if I can fish it out lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Propolis?

    Many tasks in the bee colony are low on the priority list. Propolizing is one of those that is low on the list, but when there is enough labor available to do the job they will. If the flow ended and there is no nectar to gather, the foragers may have converted to propolis. The other impetus is that winter is coming and they need to stop the cracks.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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