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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Marin County, California USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Bees eating all stored honey

    I have 4 hives in nor cal (sonoma county) and when i last checked them on sept. 20 12 they had at least one med super with at least 7 frames of honey on each, some had 2 or 3 supers.
    I checked them on 10-10-12 and every frame was empty. No dead bees, no brood and not much stores. There seems to be plenty of active bees but the hives are not producing anything.
    They are not going to make it through the winter in this shape.
    I have not taken any honey out this year.
    Not much rain this year in norcal.
    Stupid bees!
    Any one else in norcal have this going on?
    Thanks, o

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Bees eating all stored honey

    No brood....do you have a queen? If you are queenless, can you pick up a late queen from a local breeder? If you still have some nectar flow around, and feed, they should lay some winter bees, put up some honey and have a shot.

    A report like that locally (Pacific NW) would make me suspect you may have had a late swarm and/or robbing. I would also see what your mite count is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Bees eating all stored honey

    Here in MO during August, we went a month without rain. It has been a drought all summer, but in August everything turned brown. Then on Labor Day weekend we started getting rain.

    I checked my hive in late August and there was no brood, very little stores, and few bees. When the rains came, things greened up, bees started bringing in pollen, queen started laying again and my hive looks more like normal now in October. Bees need pollen to raise brood.

    Is there anything blooming in your area now?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Acampo, CA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees eating all stored honey

    My bees have actually been bringing in a little nectar of late. There are two small groves of eucalyptus in bloom right now that they go nuts over first thing in the morning. If it weren't for those trees, there wouldn't be much for them to go after.

    If my hives were in the position of little food stores at this time of the year, I'd be putting on the feeders and giving them sugar water before the really cool weather starts to set in.

    I hope this is a better winter for rain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Bees eating all stored honey

    Are you sure they didn't move the honey down into the hive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Marin County, California USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Bees eating all stored honey

    Quote Originally Posted by otto View Post
    I have 4 hives in nor cal (sonoma county) and when i last checked them on sept. 20 12 they had at least one med super with at least 7 frames of honey on each, some had 2 or 3 supers.
    I checked them on 10-10-12 and every frame was empty. No dead bees, no brood and not much stores. There seems to be plenty of active bees but the hives are not producing anything.
    They are not going to make it through the winter in this shape.
    I have not taken any honey out this year.
    Not much rain this year in norcal.
    Stupid bees!
    Any one else in norcal have this going on?
    Thanks, o
    hey yall,
    only one hive of the 4 had brood. i did not look for queens other than look for brood. they did not sound queenless.
    i took off the empty supers and left only 1 on each hive, (less area to heat/cool) should i have not done this?
    i will start feeding them sugar water and meggabee asap. i don't see any flowers on the ground or trees and everything is brown. the only flowers are in backyards in the area.
    as far as the bees moving the honey down, there is not much in the brood boxes. i looked for dead bees and caps in the bottom of the hive but it does not look as if they were robbed out? the hives seem to me to have enough bees and the entrances have a lot of bees moving in and out and they sound like all is cool. i took the hives apart box by box but other than no stores (pollen and honey) and only 1 hive w/ brood all seemed normal.
    i've had bees for 3 seasons and have left them alone and have taken only about 3 FRAMES of honey out of the strongest hive and this is what i get. last season we had 11 hives. i left them alone (only feed them in the winter) and now i have 4 that seem to be on the way out. the 1st year i messed w/ them too much and now i keep my hands off and the bees still die. stupid bees!
    thanks guy's for all the input! good luck this season, o

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Bees eating all stored honey

    Otto, is it possible the bees have heard you calling them stupid?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Marin County, California USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Bees eating all stored honey

    WW, stupid is the kindest thing i have called them this season. lol i think they are given too much credit. there are guy's at the beekeepers meetings that call them "girls and gal's" LOL!
    thanks, o

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