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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Marshfield, MA
    Posts
    35

    Default No Honey in Hive

    I started a package late - mid-June in Marshfield, MA. The hive is going gang busters with tons of bees and brood, but no honey. I have been feeding the last few weeks and will continue to do so, but when I opened yesterday there was nothing stored in the comb. I am worried about going into the winter - any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Others with more experience (and closer to you) may provide a better response to your question. But, I think that you may have installed your bees at the tail end of the spring honeyflow in your area. Any syrup you have provided might have gone into the construction of comb. If you have a fall flow, it is likely that they will begin to store for the winter.

    My own new packages took off at the beginning of May, and seemed to level off at the beginning of June. Then, they turned cranky, which indicated to me that we were in a dearth. One of my hives had stored a deep super of honey by that time. I began feeding syrup, and they continued to grow. Now that the asters (goldenrod) are blooming, I have reduced the amount of feeding and they are filling in the comb with honey quite nicely.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    One other thing, is there robbing going on? Reduce the entrance so the bees have a smaller area to defend.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Marshfield, MA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Thanks - I will reduce the entrance and continue to feed and keep checking - thanks for your help!

  5. #5

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Archer, I had similar experience (also in Mass). I found a cracked queen cell on an inspection in May, and when I poked it the queen jumped out. So I put that frame in a nuc with some honey and drawn comb and fed them. They also seemed to be having a hard time keeping honey stored in the 10 frame single. I stuck in a deep frame full of honey and they cleaned most of it out in a week or so - but don't seem to have moved it around. They were probably effectively behind your package since the queen had to get mated and start to lay before things could get going. I'm hoping that now that goldenrod is ramping up, and loosestrife and Japanese knotweed are at full tilt they will be able to help themselves more. I put on a second deep this week (w/drawn comb) since they had brood over 6+ frames - maybe too much space. I wish us both luck building up for winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,567

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    If you are feeding to build up stores for wintering, you need to use a hivetop feeder and feed gallons, not quarts. It takes quite a bit of syrup to make 100 lbs of stores!

    Feed some protein as well.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Marshfield, MA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Thanks all!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Archer...My mother is keeping bees in Hingham, and has the same problem. You are in a dearth. No need to reduce your entrances...you have nothing flowing right now. She is also extremely concerned, and is feeding. Keep feeding! You should have a late flow starting in the next couple weeks. I am afraid your concern is going apply to nearly all of the NE beeks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Yup, just keep feeding. If you use a 2:1 sugar syrup, they won't have to work as hard to dry it out before capping it, meaning they can build up stores much faster from it.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    ct
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    I'm having the same problem here in CT. Open my hives the other day and found them empty no honey at all. Going to continue feeding.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Plymouth, WI, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Do you only feed the week hives ?

  12. #12

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    I was going to say if they're still drawing comb feed 1:1 but if all the comb is drawn feed 2:1.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Only one of my yards has a flow right now. I'm feeding my nuc yard with 1:1. this has been my worst honey year yet. Similar stories from other beekeepers in the area. Feed, feed, feed. I'd add pollen patties also. Will help with brood raising those winter bees. And don't forget to do a mite count and treat if warranted.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    bridgton maine
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    You never can tell. That's what I am learning. I was in the same situation in Southern Maine. Had a nice hive build going on with 2 hives, with decent honey right up to early August . checked in 2 weeks later and all honey gone in 2 hives and thought they swarmed and I think they did. Just capped brood and some workers left. Checked in last Thursday, August 29, and had 2 hives full of honey, pollen and brood and active queens. Bee acticvity was most intense of summer. Go figure! Maybe they went on vacation? But goldenrod and knotweed flow seems wild and had to super both...so go figure!

    good luck-keep the faith

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Same situation her in the midwest. State inspectors told me yesterday its pretty much statewide her in IL.... I know Ohio also was way down this year.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    I found one of my two hives, very low two weeks ago. The 2nd hive looked good with a little honey in the super, both new hives this year. I fed the first hive and this week ends inspection shpowed a lot more stores. I am working to consolidate down to 2 deeps. They are brining in and I see A LOT of pollen in the hive. As others say, hive top feeder and they can easily drain a gallon in a day of 1:1. I do believe they are bringing in nectar now, but if they take syrup too, it only helps.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    All over New England I have heard of hives starving to death this summer. I have inspected colonies in my own yard where developing hives had no stores while 15 feet away fully developed colonies were making surplus. So get in your colonies and inspect. In another week or two I will switch over to 2:1 syrup until then I'm using 1:1. I would rather feed colonies than have them die - I'm feeding pollen (Ultra Bee) to all my colonies that don't have supers on. Even though there is lots of pollen coming in right now.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,186

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Same situation her in the midwest. State inspectors told me yesterday its pretty much statewide her in IL.... I know Ohio also was way down this year.
    State inspector told me I needed to feed too who is your inspector down there ? Ours is from Kansas IL

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Same situation her in the midwest. State inspectors told me yesterday its pretty much statewide her in IL.... I know Ohio also was way down this year.
    I installed 2 beehives in milwaukee this year. They were building up like crazy until late june for me and then...nothing. I suspect a flow might be starting up soon because yesterday was the first time I noticed a golden rod smell coming out of my hive and I hear goldenrod is a big fall flow.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: No Honey in Hive

    Elanor Shumaker and phil, were down Tues takeing samples for project APIHS....

    I think your going to be very disappointed in fall flows.. I think the weather this year has really messed with our plants. Late cold spring, very little summer drought here again.. etc.. I don't expect anything and will start force feeding next week instead of Oct

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