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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    melbourne, au
    Posts
    12

    Default pollen but no nector. And bees trying to swarm

    hi guys n gals, im over in south-west victoria in australia and has two issues i need some opinions on.

    My first issue is with a hive i have that is around 2.5months old from a wild swarm i captured. I have been away for a month and got back last week and on my first inspection since returning found patchy brood with good pollen stores but no honey/nectar stores. So i have had them on a feeder for 5 days and then i stopped as we are in the summer here and they had started to store it, and also the brood pattern has started to improve meaning continuous cells side by side being used. I have been and inspected them again today to find the honey/nectar stores are getting low again with brood pattern still good. As i watch the hive entrance 80% of returning bee are fully loaded with pollen of all different varieties. Would it be that there is just alot of pollen producing flowers and not alot of nector or am i missing something???

    P.S There not getting robbed




    My second issue is with a different hive that is just as old and also a wild swarm that i captured. Before i left i placed a double deep on the top for them to move into as this hive is strong and doing well, there is a good amount for capped honey with good pollen stores and a great amount of capped brood and larve but very few eggs. Yet on my inspection today i have found around 8 Q-cells 4 of which have larva in them from which they maybe 1/2days from sealing.

    Now in the bottom brood box none of the frames are fully drawn out as i would of expected and they haven't even touched the box above. I can find a few eggs laid but not many which makes me think she is still there even though i could'nt find her today unless she was lost in the last day or two. I know for sure they haven't swarmed yet as the numbers are the same as my first inspection when i arrived back.

    Now as i can not find her i have moved frames in the bottom box in alternate's so i have a frame with drawn comb, then a frame with no foundation or drawn comb and so on. With the extra drawn comb frames i have moved them into the top box directly above the brood area in the bottom. so hopefully if they were planning on swarming they will tare all the Q-cells down with all the extra room they now have. And if the queen has been lost for some reason they are just replacing her and will do so with one they are rearing now!

    Is the much more i can do without splitting them as i dont have a spare hive atm.

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: pollen but no nector. And bees trying to swarm

    Is there somebody in your area that's familiar with the plants so you can research the nectar production? I know there's a lot of commercial situations that bees need to be fed while they're working the crops, so yes the plants in your area might be lacking on nectar, but maybe it might just because your lacking on rainfall.
    On your second hive, the lack of nectar could be the problem also (frames not being filled out), if they're swarmy they'll do it with what they got. Where are the q-cells, if they are in the middle of the frames, could be a supercedure, at the bottom, swarm (generally!). Also, you don't want to split the brood nest up too much, especially with undrawn frames, it disrupts the organization of the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: pollen but no nector. And bees trying to swarm

    Re the queen cells: I am no expert but generally I have found that once you have swarm queen cells with larvae you can not stop a swarm. The reason you find no eggs is before she leaves with the swarm the old queen has to slim down so she can fly so her ovaries shrink and she stops laying. Your best bet is to build or buy a second hive immediately and then simulate a swarm by moving the old queen and a few frames to a new hive. Then the original hive will requeen. Hopefully someone more expert will confirm this or correct me. By the way in an emergency a stryofoam box (like a ice chest) can be modified with a pocket knife and a hot glue gun to make an emergency hive. Get one long enough and deep enough to hold frames then cut the bottom out and put in a piece of aluminum screen. use the pieces of bottom to make frame supports and glue them in with the glue gun. Put the frames in and put the top on. Poke a hole for an entrance. This will give you a few days to make or buy a hive set up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Birmingham, AL. USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: pollen but no nector. And bees trying to swarm

    Quote Originally Posted by jimsteelejr View Post
    Re the queen cells: I am no expert but generally I have found that once you have swarm queen cells with larvae you can not stop a swarm. The reason you find no eggs is before she leaves with the swarm the old queen has to slim down so she can fly so her ovaries shrink and she stops laying. Your best bet is to build or buy a second hive immediately and then simulate a swarm by moving the old queen and a few frames to a new hive. Then the original hive will requeen. Hopefully someone more expert will confirm this or correct me. By the way in an emergency a stryofoam box (like a ice chest) can be modified with a pocket knife and a hot glue gun to make an emergency hive. Get one long enough and deep enough to hold frames then cut the bottom out and put in a piece of aluminum screen. use the pieces of bottom to make frame supports and glue them in with the glue gun. Put the frames in and put the top on. Poke a hole for an entrance. This will give you a few days to make or buy a hive set up.
    Genius!!!!
    Latitude 33.401557
    Longitude -86.830949

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    melbourne, au
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: pollen but no nector. And bees trying to swarm

    All the cells are in the middle of the frames in the centre of the brood nest. Thats a good idea i will go back and check today and if the cells are still up i will do a split but leave 2/3 Q-cells just incase it is a supercedure.


    thanks guys

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