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Thread: No stored honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    lake jackson, texas, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default No stored honey

    I have three double deep hives that are loaded with bees, brood, and pollen but no honey. They are foraging everyday but they have not stored one ounce of honey. They have to be brining in nectar to rear all the brood but I guess they use it up as fast as they get it. Should I feed these hives syrup or let them keep doing what they are doing. They are healthy and the queen is laying frames full of eggs so other than the lack of honey all seems well. Strange thing is weve had good rains and lots of wildflower and yaupon holly for build up and last year was a drought and had more honey than this year. The only saving grace I have is the Chinese tallow tree, if it doesn't come through then it's gonna be a long summer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,332

    Default Re: No stored honey

    They are burning it up raising brood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    lake jackson, texas, USA
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    168

    Default Re: No stored honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    They are burning it up raising brood.
    Ok, so do I need to intervene and feed them or let them keep doing what they do?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,332

    Default Re: No stored honey

    The bees are doing the buildup for the flow. It's possible that their timing is off this year, but I don't see what you're going to do that would help.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    lake jackson, texas, USA
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    168

    Default Re: No stored honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The bees are doing the buildup for the flow. It's possible that their timing is off this year, but I don't see what you're going to do that would help.
    Ok thanks, just making sure. I dont want this season to go to waste.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,346

    Default Re: No stored honey

    You don't mention supers, but I'm assuming that they are in place and that's where you are expecting to see nectar coming in. Whether it's drawn comb or foundation, I would feed and write off that first super as un-marketable honey. With a dropout in field nectar, they could be in deep trouble in a hurry. They have plenty bees to move the feed, if necessary.
    Walt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    lake jackson, texas, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: No stored honey

    Well, now I have two different opinions from two respectable beekeepers. I guess I have to decide which one is best for my bees. I'll figure something out in the morning.

    Thanks so much for the input!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: No stored honey

    LET THE BEES DO WHAT THEY DO...You do not decide if a season goes to waste..the bees decide. Bees bank nectar when they have more then can be used..they will store it for a later time when no flow is on.. Your bees are fine and they are using the nectar to feed themselves and to ferment the pollen into bee bread, the bread is used to then feed the larvae.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: No stored honey

    I've been reading about the "honey reserve" written about by Walt and am wondering why these hives would keep rearing brood without one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: No stored honey

    After the apple and cherry flows in my area, I expected my hives to be packed, like they were when the Willow trees bloomed. Last I checked... no dice. Supers were empty, but there was a ton of brood raising going on. I think their timing was off because of the early Spring. Now the main flow is over and I have got them back on feed. How it goes some years.

    Thinking seriously of re-queening with Carnies for next year to take advantage of their rapid build-up.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    lake jackson, texas, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: No stored honey

    I've got one more shot with the chinese tallow tree, if it doesn't come thru my bees will be on the bottle. I'm starting to see some bees checking them out so it's getting close.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: No stored honey

    You mention two deeps and no honey. I suspect you have supers above the deep. If you're using queen excluders, that was exactly my experience one year. An old codger told me to place the super without the excluder until the girls start working it. After that, they walk past the excluder as if it doesn't exist. One year I got lazy and put the excluder on with the empty super. The deeps below were packed to the gills, but just like the codger said, they saw it as a barrier, didn't go there no matter how little room they had below and it was empty.

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