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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Queen fine, lots of open comb, very little honey - what's going on?

    I opened my two tbh's in an outyard, and they are a puzzle to me. I heard that the neighbor had to take down their hummingbird feeder because the bees were all over it, so I went and had a look. Plenty of bees, but small brood patches, lots of open comb - and little to no honey at all in either one! Saw both queens, saw eggs, but the brood just appears contained in smallish areas. It seems as if they don't have enough food to support a lot of brood.

    So I don't know what to make of that. It could be that there just isn't enough good forage. But that seems crazy. There are tons of blackberries, raspberries, and ditch wildflowers for miles. Goldenrod is taking off now too. My other thought is that they were just too weak as splits this spring, and never got strong enough to really take advantage of the flow, and are just eating too much of the stores - so can't feed a ton of brood. But they came with the old queens, and didn't have to raise one...

    I don't know. There is a little honey - but very little. Mostly very open, empty combs with small patches of brood. No crazy amount of drones. Very few. Doesn't appear to be a problem with the queens. No queen cells; empty cups.

    So I promptly mixed up some 2:1, thick syrup and put it on both. I'll be back this weekend, and it will be interesting to see how they take it. When I put it on, they seemed pretty excited - you know? They way they can appear "happy" about discovering something? We'll see.

    We fed them earlier - in June - and they really weren't interested. So I don't know what to think there.

    Maybe you have some ideas?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,728

    Default Re: Queen fine, lots of open comb, very little honey - what's going on?

    Just because a plant is flowering, it does not mean the flower has nectar. In July, after weeks of heat and no rain, all of the alfalfa fields where in bloom, but the flowers where all empty. Now that it has rained,the fields look the same, but the hives are putting on weight again.

    Crazy Roland

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Queen fine, lots of open comb, very little honey - what's going on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Just because a plant is flowering, it does not mean the flower has nectar. In July, after weeks of heat and no rain, all of the alfalfa fields where in bloom, but the flowers where all empty. Now that it has rained,the fields look the same, but the hives are putting on weight again.

    Crazy Roland
    Roland is right. There must be water in the ground for the flower to have nectar. I would feed if I were you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Queen fine, lots of open comb, very little honey - what's going on?

    So its just a dearth. Good to know. I have 11 hives in the city, and two in the country. None of the city hives are light like the two in the country. I have started feeding the two light hives, and they're taking it like crazy.

    thanks for the replies,

    Adam

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