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Thread: what now?

  1. #1
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    Default what now?

    So, I added a second deep about a month ago and the girls have been diligently filling it out. I've been feeding 2:1 + some Pro health for several months now. The top deep is about 80% filled out with all capped honey and 1\2 frame of brood that the queen must have laid soon after the addition of the second deep . The bottom is mostly brood and some capped honey. When i added the second deep I moved all most all the honey frames up to the second deep but left two surrounding the brood nest.

    my questions are should I move the 1/2 frame of brood back down to the first deep?
    Should I stop feeding now or wait until they have all frames drawn?
    Should I keep feeding and add a super for them to draw out?

    I do have another colony that i'm still trying to build up, and do not want to induce a robbing incident if I stop feeding the larger hive.

    your thoughts are appreciated.

    Joe

  2. #2
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    Default Re: what now?

    How weak is the weaker hive?
    What does the bee population look like in both hives?
    What would be the benefit of adding another box, only to have it filled with sugar syrup?
    Have they drawn the frames in the brood box that you moved up last month?

    I would absolutely not be feeding. Our flow has begun.
    Last edited by Bees In Miami; 10-08-2013 at 12:50 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: what now?

    I would not move the 1/2 brood frame down. The bees need open comb for cluster space in the top center to help them move up into honey during the winter. They need open combs to cluster into. This is so some bees can sit head first into the cells to warm the comb and brood and the clustered bees.

    I would move the outer undrawn frames (I'm assuming the undrawn frames are to the outer sides of the box) in more towards the center of the top box. I would not move them down into the bottom box. Moving them more towards the center will get them drawn faster instead of so much backfilling of already drawn combs.

    I would then keep feeding until all frames are drawn.

    I am not in your area and do not know your flows timing and do not know your weather. We are getting closer every day to winter solstice. Here in my area, It's hard to impossible to get them to draw comb at this time, and the over night lows are getting colder with daytime highs getting cooler. This being the case, perhaps my advice is not perfect for you.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #4
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    Default Re: what now?

    The smaller hive is in a single deep. It is about 65-70% drawn. it has considerably less bees than the large hive its basically a Nuc with 7 drawn frames. not a huge bee population but very busy with lots of activity I believe that their population in growing.

    The large hive is doing super. thier population rebounded greatly after their run in with the Varroa and DWV that goes along with them.
    I would estimate them to be all most a full sized hive. The queen has a textbook laying pattern.
    My thought on adding a super would be to get it drawn out in preparation for spring, maybe thats not necessary.
    when I added the second deep I moved four capped honey frames and one frame that was being drawn up the queen laid in the partly drawn frame . Since then the girls have drawn and capped 3 additional frames.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: what now?

    Joe...Beekeeping in Florida is a whole different thing. Our flow just started, and it won't stop until next summer. They will start building up quickly now that our flow is on. We just finished the slowest time for the bees, with the least in bloom. Our fun begins now! Last year, I was doing splits in December, pulling honey in December, March and June. I have been waiting for the flow to start to harvest again, now. I would not worry about the half frame of brood, though you might consider adding it to your week hive for a population boost, and additional stores. Spend a couple minutes watching your bees returning to the hive (mid day or afternoon...not late in the day) and just watch how many bees are returning with pollen, and just how much pollen they are returning with. I think you will be stunned. The flow is on, I would absolutely stop feeding. Honestly, I feed swarms that have zero resources, for just a couple of weeks, if that. (I am still getting swarm calls) Beyond that, they have plenty on their own. JMO!! Once your boxes are full of BEES, add your next super. You may likely find that it is impossible to keep your queens out of the supers once your hives get booming. I absolutely MUST use excluders, or I will have all boxes of brood. Your call. Bottom line, Florida is much different than other areas of the country. Good luck with your girls!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: what now?

    Feeling confused This shows how little I know... So I should stop feeding everyone and add a super when they are done filling out all frames in the 2 deeps. can I expect honey from this fall flow? Do I need to keep an eye out for swarm cells? should I plan on making some splits if necessary?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: what now?

    Joe...YES, to all of the above!

    When did you start these colonies? My first year, I started two colonies from swarms that came to my mango trees in August. The bees had zero to work with...nothing but frames with foundation and a brand spanking, totally green beek with no mentor. (I paid an arm and a leg or two for equipment from the only beek I knew, who sold honey at a local market). These colonies were filling supers, and needed splitting in December. (I had the State Inspector out because I thought I was crazy, because it soooo contradicted everything I had been reading!!!) I harvested honey from the first two hives that March. (Needless to say, every spare moment I had was spent reading and researching everything about bees!)

    ALWAYS have spare equipment on hand. Bottom, Top, Box, frames, foundation ready to be installed. Always have one ready to go (add the foundation at the time you need it...keep it fresh). And yes, I mean even now! I have 4 empty set ups ready, but I am dealing with cut-outs, swarm removals, and my own hives. You WILL have 4 hives minimum by spring.

    Welcome to Beekeeping in Florida...where it is a year round adventure!

    Edited to add...Don't be surprised if you are pulling honey in March. Stop feeding, so you aren't harvesting sugar syrup. Honestly. Drop me a PM with your phone if you want to talk Florida bees.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: what now?

    Bees in Miami, Thank you
    I started colony 1 on June 14. They came from a five frame Nuc, well more of a 3 frame nuc with two un drawn frames and little stores.
    they had a varroa issue and DWV that I thought was going to be the end of them. I treated with Apivar and had great results. I have been feeding steady since August, trying to get them strong and into the second deep, which I added the first week of September. The hive seems to be doing very well, last time I inspected their was plenty of brood capped and uncapped and a lot of capped honey.
    This colony allways is packing in the pollen, and I am amazed to see the amount coming in.

    Colony #2 came to their new home on Sept 11, they also came from a five frame nuc but unlike colony 1 they were a full five frames with some stores. These bees look different then colony 1, they are smaller and darker, and they act a little different too, maybe a little more defensive. The Queen looks different in colony 2 also, she is darker, almost black and her abdomen is a different shape, not "sausage like" I think maybe she is some kinda mutt or something??? So far she seems to be a good queen, she has a nice pattern too. Over the past few days both hives have had some nice sized orientation flights. I have a hard time seeing the yellower colored pollen coming into this hive because of the SBB being painted a similar color as the pollen but I do see the lighter pollen coming in. they seem to be doing good as well.

    It does look as though I need to do some research into Florida beekeeping, Seems like things are a lot different here than in northern areas.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: what now?

    Joe...I don't know if you will find any information isolated to beekeeping in Florida, though if you spend some time on You Tube, you can seek out the University of Florida...they have an AMAZING honeybee program. Just think "Reverse" to anything the northern beeks are saying. (NO disrespect to the Northern contributors!!! I hope you all understand!!! Some things apply to ALL, and some things don't!) Our concern time for "maybe" having to even think about feed is the dearth of summer....July, Aug, Sept. (But as long as you don't over-harvest, it is no concern at all!) Our Flow is the rest of the year. You will never have to consolidate boxes, insulate, etc... If you are running SBB, you may extend the courtesy of the slide in mite count board if there is a frost or freeze coming...

    Just curious, and I do not want a source name, but where did your Nucs come from? Local, or out of State? I have ALL Mutts, and knock on wood, have not (yet) had a mite problem. My bees are small and dark, my queens for the most part are Amber/golden brown colored.
    Last edited by Bees In Miami; 10-09-2013 at 12:04 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: what now?

    Yea, beekeeping management decisions are location, flows, weather specific. Bees in Miami has it going on in your location, he'd be much better to follow advice than from me.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  11. #11
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    Default Re: what now?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Yea, beekeeping management decisions are location, flows, weather specific. Bees in Miami has it going on in your location, he'd be much better to follow advice than from me.
    Shhhh....Bees In Miami is a she! It is true though, some things are so regional it's amazing. Thanks Ray!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: what now?

    Ray and Bees in Miami, A big thanks for your insite!!! it is greatly appreciated..

    Just read through and wanted to let ya know that both Nucs came from the same location about 30min. north of me. They were sold to me as "Italians" I do believe the first hive is, but question the bloodlines of the second. Thats okay they both seem productive the "mutts" even more so.

    I will be inspecting tomorrow and will update you on the status of each hive.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: what now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bees In Miami View Post
    Shhhh....Bees In Miami is a she! It is true though, some things are so regional it's amazing. Thanks Ray!
    I stand corrected, thank you for setting me straight!
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  14. #14
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    Default Re: what now?

    Ray,
    Do you agree that I should stop feeding?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: what now?

    Stop feeding...honest.
    Last edited by Bees In Miami; 10-11-2013 at 01:06 PM.

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