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Thread: Is this normal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Is this normal?

    My husband and I are new to beekeeping, installing our first bees into 2 Warre hives on April 8th. They both filled the top box in about 2 weeks and moved down to the lower box. They filled the lower boxes about half way within another week or so. We added a third box to the bottom and noticed both top boxes were completely capped (as far as we could see anyway). Last week they started hanging down in large clusters in the lowest (3rd) boxes. The middle box is still about halfway filled in on one hive and just about completely filled in the other hive. However I noticed they have uncapped and drained the top box. I thought they would be stocking up this time of year, not draining. Is this normal or something to worry about?

    Also, our hives are at a friends property in a location he chose, we were happy to use what ever was offered. They do not get early morning sun, nor evening sun. But a good amount throughout the day. They seem to be doing well and are very active so we weren't too concerned. We recently were offered a new location a block away in full sun. Should we move them or leave them be? They seem happy.

    Thank you!

    Edited to add: My husband thinks we ought to add a 4th box since they are hanging down in the 3rd. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Kingsville, OH
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    959

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    By Capped what are you referring, Honey or Brood?? Brood will be a darker color, honey caps at almost white.
    If it is capped brood that is normal for them to be uncapped. This happens after the larva emerges. If it is honey that is now uncapped, I would feed them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Murray KY, USA
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    263

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Ben is correct. The first top boxes would have been full of brood first. Now that they hatched out, they will be moving down with their brood and they will start filling the top box with nectar.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    20130502_074016_resized.jpg

    The comb attached to the viewing windows had capped honey. Very pale honey. They were going threw 2 quarts of syrup a day and then stopped once they started finding their own food source. All the comb attached to the windows is empty on both hives now. Should we start feeding again?

    Thank you for such fast responses =)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    hinesville ga usa
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    333

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by The haunted chicken View Post
    20130502_074016_resized.jpg

    The comb attached to the viewing windows had capped honey. Very pale honey. They were going threw 2 quarts of syrup a day and then stopped once they started finding their own food source. All the comb attached to the windows is empty on both hives now. Should we start feeding again?

    Thank you for such fast responses =)
    You can try a small amount of syrup, see if they will take it. I suspect they won't since they have found a nectar source. As for moving to full sun, I would.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    SLC, UT USA
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    15

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    any chance the hive might be too hot and the comb was melting/leaking and the bees moved the honey?

    it's a long shot, but one might read that the hive takes full sun at noon. it gets hot enough here to melt comb—watching an old hive do just that without bees to keep it cooled. just thought i would throw that out.

  7. #7
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    May 2012
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    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Thank you for the response. We found some mold on the quilt box canvas (a couple tiny spots) and moved the hives out of the shady area and into full sun last week. They seem to be doing better and are re-filling the comb.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    When there are clusters hanging down but they won't build comb, there is either not much nectar being collected, or the hive is going to swarm. Or both.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Thank you for the response. Since moving them to full sun one hive is thriving. There's a ton of activity and the comb in the top box is full of honey again. And they're building comb in the lower boxes. The other hive has much less action and very little honey. We'll have to do some investigating to see if they're queen-less. Perhaps it has already swarmed and they're making a new queen?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Bethany, OK
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    How did/has it turned out?

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDwilliams View Post
    How did/has it turned out?
    Thank you so much for asking. The hive that looked like it had swarmed is HUGE now. However we noticed all the honey was gone from both hives again (from what we could see in the windows). We began feeding with exterior feeders with out much improvement. I happened to stop by one day and saw that some very aggressive black bees were robbing from the feeders not letting our bees in. We switched to the front bottle feeders and the black bees have not been back. They are storing honey again and building comb as well. Other than some cross comb that we decided to leave, things are looking much better. They seem to be storing more honey in the cross comb than in the top box so we don't want to mess with it this late in the season and risk damaging their stores. It's hard to see in these pictures but there is quite a bit of capped honey away from the windows now.

    Hive one (middle box)
    20130809_223833_resized.jpg

    Hive one (top box)
    20130809_223923_resized.jpg

    Hive two top box
    20130809_224000_resized.jpg

    New feeders.
    20130809_224058_resized.jpg

    We hope to switch to interior feeders and add robbing screens soon to eliminate all robbing. We just need to do some more reading up on how to build the interior feeders. Thanks again!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bethany, OK
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    9

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    I built a nice two quart jar interior feeder - top mount - this spring. It does require an empty box on top between attic and cover cloth. I cut two holes the size of quart jar rings in a thin piece of plywood and nailed/glued 3/8" strips all the way around. I inserted the jars into their respective holes and place the feeder over the a flap I cut in the cover cloth.

    The advantage is that one can remove just the roof and attic and refill feeder without much trouble.

    Pics here:

    beefeeder 1.jpg

    beefeeder 3.jpg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDwilliams View Post
    I built a nice two quart jar interior feeder - top mount - this spring. It does require an empty box on top between attic and cover cloth. I cut two holes the size of quart jar rings in a thin piece of plywood and nailed/glued 3/8" strips all the way around. I inserted the jars into their respective holes and place the feeder over the a flap I cut in the cover cloth.

    The advantage is that one can remove just the roof and attic and refill feeder without much trouble.

    Pics here:

    beefeeder 1.jpg

    beefeeder 3.jpg
    Yes, yes! This is exactly what we need!!! Thank you for the pics. We have extra boxes so we just need to get a 3" hole saw tonight. Thank you!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    another feeder to look at is one of fat beemans feeders.....its a hive top box with an aluminum pan in side so it doesn't leak. I built them for both my warre's and they worked well. I did have to angle the pan slightly so I didn't leave syrup in there, they consistently drained them dry. He calls it the no drown feeder. I put the quilt and roof on top of the feeder. I can get ya a pic if you want. Don goes over his feeders pretty good here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx-pCxdM2NU

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by AkDan View Post
    another feeder to look at is one of fat beemans feeders.....its a hive top box with an aluminum pan in side so it doesn't leak. I built them for both my warre's and they worked well. I did have to angle the pan slightly so I didn't leave syrup in there, they consistently drained them dry. He calls it the no drown feeder. I put the quilt and roof on top of the feeder. I can get ya a pic if you want. Don goes over his feeders pretty good here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lx-pCxdM2NU
    Great video. I wish he had a close up of how the bees get to the syrup. I think for now we'll go with the style you showed. We can build and set it up easily as soon as we get a free day to do it. Thanks again.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    If you check out the build thread I did you can see the screened ramp.

    I used 1/4 ply for a bottom and cut a hole in one end for them to come up as wide as my ramp. Framed the sides in and front face.

    I had a hole on the underside of one of the ramps where the screen was attatched so I have it ripped apart. I can get pics easy enough It's a pretty crude build but other than the gap it worked great. The bees found there way back in easy enough. The 2nd one was perfect no stragglers.

    If u try this feeder think about what you plan on using for a dish before you build. I built one for a tbh and ended up squashing the alum pan behind the ramp. The milk jug is much easier than alum.

    This year they built some comb in the ramp that was my only other issue.


    If u try the other feeder you can do comb in a jar. Put an empty on top let them build and cap it. Looks pretty cool attached and capped filled with honey.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by AkDan View Post
    If you check out the build thread I did you can see the screened ramp.
    Sorry to be a pest, but my husband and I can't figure out how to find your build thread.

    Edited to add: Are there pictures of Warre internal feeders anywhere on this site? I'm wondering about the canvas cloth that's on top of my top box (over the bars). If I remove my quilt box and add an empty box for my feeder (on top of the cloth) wont the cloth be hanging over the edges from under the new box? lol, clear as mud?
    Last edited by The haunted chicken; 08-16-2013 at 09:40 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Here's a pic of my build, and the FBM style of feeder. You can see the ramps they get to the pans with. In Dons videos you should see how they access this through a hole in the bottom.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...31-warre-build

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by AkDan View Post
    Here's a pic of my build, and the FBM style of feeder. You can see the ramps they get to the pans with. In Dons videos you should see how they access this through a hole in the bottom.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...31-warre-build
    We went with the fast build. I have a few questions I will ask in a new thread (since it's a new topic) in hopes of helping others with feeder questions. Thanks for all your help.

    20130819_195114_resized.jpg

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bethany, OK
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    9

    Default Re: Is this normal?

    Quote Originally Posted by The haunted chicken View Post
    Sorry to be a pest, but my husband and I can't figure out how to find your build thread.

    Edited to add: Are there pictures of Warre internal feeders anywhere on this site? I'm wondering about the canvas cloth that's on top of my top box (over the bars). If I remove my quilt box and add an empty box for my feeder (on top of the cloth) wont the cloth be hanging over the edges from under the new box? lol, clear as mud?
    Yes, the canvas cloth is in between the top box and the box holding the feeder - otherwise the bees are hanging from the quilt box cover and thinking about hanging comb there. So if you put on a box to hold your feeder, there will be some hanging out - I cut mine pretty close though and it didn't seem to bother. Some people have mentioned putting wire mesh between the two boxes and setting the feeder atop that. I wondered if that defeated the purpose of slowing down the movement of air, so I found cutting a small rectangle on three sides and folding the cloth back to work fine - then I just folded it back down over the frames when removing the feeder and feed box.

    DW

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