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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Shutesbury MA, USA
    Posts
    8

    Question 2nd year TBH with a couple questions

    Hi. I have a TBH from Matt Reed of Beethinking, installed my first package last May. I made some mistakes, but I guess I did enough things right. They swarmed in late July, the bees requeened themselves, and went into the Massachusetts winter with zero honey. I fed them 2:1 syrup in the fall until they stopped taking it, and later made a candy board and suspended it from one of the top bars. In March I got a couple pollen patties in there, also suspended from top bars near the ball of bees.

    It was finally warm enough on my day off yesterday to get in there and inspect. I have a queen, larvae and a little bit of capped brood, and the bees were hauling in pollen. My questions are these:

    There are about 15 bars with nice straight comb, many with capped and uncapped syrup. Should I just leave the syrup or get it out of there now? If I remove it, do I just scrap that comb?

    Should I get the pollen patties out of there now that they are bringing in pollen? The bees are still all over the patties.

    The hive has a solid bottom board, and on the hive floor in the area beneath the patties is a lot of grainy debris of sawdust consistency. I may have seen one beetle, but I'm not positive. Should I make an effort to clean that stuff out?

    I really appreciate any advice, this board has been very helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: 2nd year TBH with a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by orchardbees View Post
    Hi. I have a TBH from Matt Reed of Beethinking, installed my first package last May. I made some mistakes, but I guess I did enough things right. They swarmed in late July, the bees requeened themselves, and went into the Massachusetts winter with zero honey. I fed them 2:1 syrup in the fall until they stopped taking it, and later made a candy board and suspended it from one of the top bars. In March I got a couple pollen patties in there, also suspended from top bars near the ball of bees.
    I just checked the hive you purchased out on that website. Looks a little small to me (only 28, 15" wide combs), which may explain your late swarm last year...likely due to overcrowding (in my opinion). Sounds like you did pretty much everything right after that to keep the bees happy & fed, so congrats there!


    There are about 15 bars with nice straight comb, many with capped and uncapped syrup. Should I just leave the syrup or get it out of there now? If I remove it, do I just scrap that comb?
    Since you're probably not planning on selling the honey this year (I'm guessing here), removing the syrup stores is entirely optional. If you leave them, your bees can use them as an "insurance policy" in case they run low on honey stores during an unusually dry (nectar wise) spell; if you remove them, then your bees have more space for storing "real" honey. If it were my hive, and they seemed to be bringing in honey stores pretty fast, I'd pull 'em & freeze 'em...give them back to the bees some time when they run out of honey stores again.


    Should I get the pollen patties out of there now that they are bringing in pollen? The bees are still all over the patties.
    If they're bringing in real pollen & adding to the stores of it they have in the comb, I'd get the pollen substitute out of there...the pollen they harvest themselves is pretty much always healthier for the bees than any substitute we can come up with.


    The hive has a solid bottom board, and on the hive floor in the area beneath the patties is a lot of grainy debris of sawdust consistency. I may have seen one beetle, but I'm not positive. Should I make an effort to clean that stuff out?
    If you don't clean the bottom board up, the bees will keep it cleaned to their own liking. The only time I really worry all that much about debris on the bottom board is in an empty hive, or when I drop something down there that's likely a bit too big for the bees to haul up to the entrance & out


    ...Hope that helps a bit with your dillemnas
    Rob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,462

    Default Re: 2nd year TBH with a couple questions

    That was all good advice, the only thing I may change would be to let them eat up the syrup, in the spring build up they will burn through a lot of stores and nectar.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: 2nd year TBH with a couple questions

    Hmm, OP is in Mass, RiodeLobo's in Oregon, and I'm on the TX coast....yep, go with what RiodeLobo said there; he's in a FAR more similar climate to your than I am (our first nectar flow usually starts in Feb. here, so my girls are already thinkin' about swarming on me).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Shutesbury MA, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: 2nd year TBH with a couple questions

    Thanks to both Riodelobo and robherc for your advice! Conditions here in MA have been a far cry from what I imagine is going on in TX, as we haven't been able to consistently get up out of the 40's yet. I hope yesterday's weather holds for a bit. I'll leave the syrup in there for a while, and will leave the housecleaning to the bees.

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