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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    xenia ohio
    Posts
    68

    Default Bees did not take off at all

    Been helping a bee keeper with her hives to get them ready for winter and have found the bees look like they are just installed packages big ones any way they are in two med 10 frame deeps both hives have filled top and bottom frames with comb, honey and bees but only on the left side of both med deeps now this is in both hives. I am still wondering what is going on there?

    Can she remove the unused frames from top and bottom boxes and make a super nuc out of this? As so the bees will only have to worry about heating the 5 frame on the top and bottom on the left side of hive left side. She has no med nucs to use so my thinking is to remove unused frames cut a board to fit top to bottom together all the way to the bottom board or fill with ceder shaving separated buy cardboard for the winter only. Then in early spring combind down to one ten frame med deep using frames from the top. With new queens in both hives.

    Any ideas would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,963

    Default Re: Bees did not take off at all

    This is what happens when a second box is added before the bees are encouraged to fill all frames by rotating outer frames in when the bees are expanding. At this point, there is not a lot I would attempt other than a heavy feeding. Moving frames this late in the season, in my opinion, would do more harm than good. Personally, I would wrap them and put on a feeder rim and Mountain camp sugar and place an order for replacement bees in the spring.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    xenia ohio
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Bees did not take off at all

    Vance,
    You are correct it is her first year and there should have been many things done different but it was not. Have set up a nice wind break which will help a lot so shrinking down the space to keep warm is not a good idea? Just mountain camp the five frame instead of ten five that have know bees on them at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,963

    Default Re: Bees did not take off at all

    I just do not know what your winters are like. One could possibly block off the unused half with a tight fitting 2" Styrofoam insulation board. A follower board of sorts. One could take out a couple frames and move the occupied frames away from the sidewall and put a Styrofoam follower board on that side too. You need to protect the Styrofoam, aluminum foil will work, or the bees will tear it apart just for fun. I suppose I would center the occupied frames and put the follower boards up tight against that occupied area. I am attempting to winter some undersized colonies myself. They are well wrapped with a product approximating a bee cozy.

    Like all my colonies, I have a hole bored in the top brood box just under the handhold. I have a 3" deep feeder ring over my upper brood box that I put over a sheet of damp newspaper and dump 5 to 10 pounds of dry sugar . Above that I have a cut piece of 1/2 inch sound board to absorb any moisture that gets thru the sugar, which takes most of it, and helps wick moisture away. Above that I have a 2 inch piece of Styrofoam. The soundboard protects it from being dismantled by the bees. The hive wrap is placed so it can be folded over the top a few inches so I get a very tight air seal at the top of the wrap. I duct tape it. I staple the wrap at the bottom and buy the entrance hole so airflow is restricted under the wrap. I cut thru the wrap so that the bored hole below the hand hold is open and becomes an entrance. I block the bottom entrance as I do not want any wind tunnel effect in our high winds. The bees can do any ventilation they need to do with the remaining upper opening and hopefully a calm bubble of rising warm air at the top of the cluster forms. Large numbers of bees cluster in the feeder rim once the bees have made a hole thru the MC sugar. They must like it there. The bees build up early and well in the spring and it is easy to quietly break in and give them a pollen patty or more sugar as required. In the spring I usually put on sugar bricks. That is easier than trying to pour sugar on top of the bees. Sorry if my original comment was not mild enough. I wish you well. Lots of ways of doing all this. This is what works for me and it is 5 1/2 months til dandelions here and has been frozen brown for a month already. come on over and we will drink mead and talk bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Bees did not take off at all

    I think what Vance G suggested is your best bet. Make an insulated follower board to restrict their space and add mountain camp sugar or a candy board for extra feed.

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