Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Schoharie, NY
    Posts
    16

    Default Question about brood area in hive

    I did a hive inspection this morning and noticed that my hives brood area seems to be less full of larvae. There were still some larvae and a bunch of capped brood but seemed like there were more empty cells. Some areas looked like they were being filled with honey. They also have stored a decent amount of honey since last insoection. My question is do the bees naturally cut down on brood area before fall and focus on honey storage, or should I be worried about the queen? I looked for her but have never been able to spot her, I try not to spend too much time hunting her down. Thanks for any advice.

    Ken

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,574

    Default Re: Question about brood area in hive

    The bees will cut back on brood in a dearth and with the approach of winter, and if they are backfilling the brood nest they are either getting ready to swarm (fairly unlikely at this time of year unless you are feeding too much) or slowing down for winter.

    Check to make sure they have a good supply of pollen at the bottom of the brood nest, as they will be using that during the goldenrod flow or a bit later to make winter bees. If it appears that there isn't a large amount of pollen in the hive, won't hurt to put half a protein patty on.

    Otherwise, if the hive is up to weight for the winter, I'd leave them alone. Feed them up to weight next month if they are short, but sounds to me as if they are in good shape now.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Question about brood area in hive

    If this is your first year with bees, and your bees have not completed all the combs your hive(s) can hold, a 5:3 sugar/water would help. My two hives still have lots of comb to make, so I'm keeping them supplied with a continuous supply of sugar water hoping that when the next flow starts soon they will have lots of comb to put it in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Question about brood area in hive

    The brood area of a hive is a three-dimensional area that tends to be in the center of the hive space. It can also be anchored at one end. In any case, when the hive is storing-away bars of "pure honey" those bars will always tend to be at one end or the other, or both.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Question about brood area in hive

    Quote Originally Posted by mrobinson View Post
    The brood area of a hive is a three-dimensional area that tends to be in the center of the hive space. It can also be anchored at one end. In any case, when the hive is storing-away bars of "pure honey" those bars will always tend to be at one end or the other, or both.
    Does that mean that "pure honey" might be at the end of a brood chamber that's in the middle of the hive or at one or other end of the hive itself? If at an end of the hive, did they then not move the brood chamber itself away from the hive's center to an end?

    Does it tend to be in the center of the hive space if the entrance(s) are in the center and at the end if the entrance is at the end, such as a top entrance at the end.
    I've read that if they don't start their winter cluster at one "end" they might run out of honey during the winter because they won't turn around and go back. I've also read that if they don't choose an end to start storing honey while getting ready for winter that the beekeeper should move them to an end... How would that be done best, e.g., what kind(s) of bars/combs with (honey or brood) would go nearest the front entrance? It seems dangerous to choose since the beekeeper would not know which way they had planned to move, left or right?
    I'm fairly sure that if they move everything near the entrance themselves that I should probably leave it alone, but what if they don't and I don't know it until they form a cluster in the middle at the beginning of winter?
    What if someone only has center-of-hive entrances, the bees choose that to be location of their brood chamber but the beekeeper moves the cluster to an end of the hive so the bees have the whole hive's length to move to for winter feeding, should the beekeeper add front holes for winter so they will have a front entrance/exit? And if the beekeeper only has front entrances, would it be a good idea to add a center entrance and close up the front one for the middle of winter?

    ETA My hives have a front, top entrance, and starting there I have 17 1 3/8" bars for the brood chamber and 14 1 1/2" bars after those for the honey storage. Is it likely that they will move the brood chamber to the center during summer to include some of the bars meant for honey?
    BTW This is my first year with tbh's, and so far I have always found my queens on combs near the front entrance.
    Last edited by Hoosier; 08-24-2012 at 03:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Question about brood area in hive

    Check carefully at one end of the hive or the other. In one of our hives the hive started building on one end, and AFAIK the brood nest is still there. Sometimes it migrates to the center. You should find pure-honey bars at the end if you are going to find them anywhere.

    As for winter, "I don't know yet." We do not have terribly harsh winters here and this is my first season with hTBHs. Our plan, though, when heat conservation may begin to be a weather-related issue, is to keep the hives tightly closed and perhaps to reinsert one or two of the corks. They've put everything in that hive exactly where they wanted it, and we have harvested sparingly. We're not going to move anything, or to do anything as that would disrupt heat retention.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Question about brood area in hive

    Quote Originally Posted by mrobinson View Post
    Check carefully at one end of the hive or the other. In one of our hives the hive started building on one end, and AFAIK the brood nest is still there. Sometimes it migrates to the center. You should find pure-honey bars at the end if you are going to find them anywhere.

    As for winter, "I don't know yet." We do not have terribly harsh winters here and this is my first season with hTBHs. Our plan, though, when heat conservation may begin to be a weather-related issue, is to keep the hives tightly closed and perhaps to reinsert one or two of the corks. They've put everything in that hive exactly where they wanted it, and we have harvested sparingly. We're not going to move anything, or to do anything as that would disrupt heat retention.
    Thanks, and here's hoping I'll find them in a cluster by the front entrance on the first cold night. That way I might be able to get through the winter not being so worried that I'll do something stupid to "help" like I've done so many other times when I tried to "help" them and came close to wiping them all out.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads