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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    11

    Default Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    I have a hive body with frames in it, that is setting next to my active hives. All summer i have had bees coming and going from this single hive body. I opened it today and found it 70% full of honey comb and capped honey. There is no broad or queen. Why do i have bees filling the vacant hive? What can i do with this? Could i add a queen and start a new hive?

    Any thoughts let me know.
    Thanks joel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    One of your neighbors snuck over and pulled a prank on you...

    I wish my bees would have filled their hive with honey this year. The drought has created a bad dearth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    We had a drought bad. I had to feed bees most of summer. They have bounced back very well in the last month. No pranks being pulled. Just strage why hive has bees and honey in it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Bryant, AL
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    My mentor said that when hives (or bodies in this case) are as close as a foot that there can be some confusion. I have witnessed bees landing, being warded off by the guards, and then moving to the next box and going right in... It would seem to reason the bees on either side are so busy they are making mistakes. I am AMAZED it hasnt been robbed out however.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    I seriously doubt that it's just a hive for storage...I bet it's a swarm. There's nothing that makes sense at all about bees storing honey in a hive "next door." Most ridiculous post I've ever seen. Wish I was closer so I could show you the queen in there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    I've had some colonies, more than just once in awhile, build comb attached to the front or sometimes the side of their hives, and use it for honey/nectar/pollen storage. Though I've never had them use adjacent empty idle supers/hives -- but I've never left any empties that close, either.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    I started with 6 packages in April, 1 swarmed and I left that box sitting amongst the others all summer (in hopes another swarm might move in). I dumped the remaining bees in another hive, and never saw more than a few bees at a time inside the deep, and it was in the middle of all the other hives. No bees ever drew out the foundation either. I finally pulled the box, stored the frames, and used the deep to cover a feeder jar on one of the other hives. Bryan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    More detail. The hive body has a top cover and bottom board. It is a complete set up with just one hive body. I have five hives it is setting in the middle. All the hives are 3 feet apart. When i opened it up it was almost full of bees, and 70% full of honey. I did not look for a queen, because i found no new larve in the hive. This was a nuc that failed in the spring. The queen died or left. I really did not think there would be any activite in the hive, so i left it along until this week when i noticed the bees coming and going out of it.

    The two hives on either side of it were full and i just added supers to them. I have not watched to see if they are leave this hive and going it one of the others. Ill watch for this.

    Could i introduce a queen to this hive and make it work this late in the year?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Porto, Portugal
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    Are you really sure you have no brood/eggs? An idea for a quick test would be to move the hive a short distance away from the other hives and see if by the next night it's empty. That would confirm that it was all foragers and you have no queen/brood. I highly doubt it though. It makes much more sense that one of your other hives swarmed/absconded into it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    I saw no brood, but i only checkrd 3 frames. The ones in the middle the i skipped over one then checked the next on either side. No sign of anything but capped honey and necture.

    I,ll open it up tonight and look over each frame. Maybe i missed brood.

    I could post pictures , but there is not much to see. But someone may notice something i don,t.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    I have never tried this but can i open a hive at night and see if the bees are staying in the hive or leaving. Our temperture tonight will be above 70.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    I was told by my mentor that one trick to remember is that if you need to make honey (fill an order or something) you can remove the queen and queen cells. The hive will put a lot of energy into storing honey.

    Maybe the empty hive attracted a swarm and the swarming queen didn't survive long enough for you to see her. Any brood she had before dying matured but she wasn't replaced. I bet that if you leave the hive alone for a couple of more weeks all you will find is empty comb.

    Julian did say that after a couple of weeks either combine the queenless hive with another hive or add a queen and a couple of brood frames to save the queenless hive. Not sure if this is reliable advice but he has been doing this for a long time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees storing honey in a vacant hive???

    Well i went out and took every frame apart and did find brood. On the two outside frames.. This box mid summer was queen less and had nothing in it. It is amazing that they will fill a hive even when your not trying.

    Thanks for the help.

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