Every response here is a good one for your situation as I see it. Good thing about beekeeping is that it's bigger than any one know-it-all.
Every response here is a good one for your situation as I see it. Good thing about beekeeping is that it's bigger than any one know-it-all.
People get advised to do things all the time. I get tons of calls over dead queens every year because " i was advised to......"
A lot of advice messes up bees!!!!!! Whats the proof its effective to do this?
Not saying spraying wont help but does anyone have a link to a double blinded study showing doing so is an effective way to get bees to draw comb? Not sure the anecdotal evidence is even there in and of itself!!
Its almost like the currently continuing bogus theory that top bar hive will somehow cure the CCD problem... Unproven as far as I know.
Over the years I must have put on 100,000 new frames. Wax. Plastic, Aluminium... all over the board. The only thing that gets them going is a flow........ Nothing else.
It may be nectar ( the better option) or someone feeding but nothing activates the wax glands but a flow.
Yes there are ways you can mess things up... Wrongly placed or timed excluder use as well as new frames placed in the wrong location in the hive will mess with the bees storage of nectar. without a picture of the setup my guess its a matter of no flow above all else.
In this case a chat regarding local flows with a handful of 10 year plus beeks within 30 miles of trotter would be the best spent time invested in moving this years learning curve forward....
Over time trott will be able to anticipate when and how hard the flow will be based on a numerous data inputs of historical data gleaned over time. Most locations need about a ten year history of use to produce a good guess.
Looking for bees to draw new frames just because you put them on is wishful thinking at best. If the conditions are not right its not happening.
If I drove around bee yards in California and saw supers stacked up 3 deep right now I would .With our drought there is no way its going to happen so why put them on. History says syrup purchases would be more prudent than money spent on gas tossing supers on and off in a year like exists currently.
Same could be said of anywhere else I could keep bees. All beekeeping is as local when it comes to flows.... Super placement is commensurate.
I absolutely could not get my bees to draw plastic foundation. So mid-flow, out of frustration, I put my super between my brood boxed splitting the brood nest.
The bees did not appreciate it but that entire super was drawn in a week. I then pulled it, shook the bees enough to make sure the queen was not in it.
I put a queen excluder on. Then put the super on top of the hive. I let the bees have a top entrance. The drones that hatched in the super didn't fair well but the rest were fine. I left the super alone until all were brood had emerged.
The bees filled that super fast. I then used every other frame as seed for the super above it. The bees draw frames between drawn frames fast. So, once you have some going, you don't have to mess with the brood nest again.
That is just my experience born of frustration. I'm sure I did it all wrong but it worked well.
Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 12 Lang hives and no treatment yet
If you have it.....? It was advised to me to roll some extra wax on new frames and that can help get them started drawing the wax out. Feeding is key also with one to one syrup. If it is a first year hive I am with the feed and more feed advice. Then next year provided the bees make it through winter or even if they don't... next year all that pretty drawn comb will be ready for the bees to use and things will happen quicker. Patience is also important. The first five days the bees may be just sealing and cleaning the hive and getting organized. They will work on it as time proceeds. I notice that the bees seem slow sometimes and then they make quite a bit of progress in a short period of time so that is part of what is so cool about beekeeping. The bees and flows and weather keep things uncertain. Sometimes it goes well. Sometimes it goes extremely well and sometimes the bees dwindle and die too. Experience comes in waves and the variables seem limitless to me. I have been checking mine weekly or bi weekly and some are drawing the wax much quicker than others. Good Luck with your bees!
Experienced beekeeper with an obnoxious attitude toward people with less experience - there are too many generous and patient people here to bother putting up with this nonsense. Like I said, best bet is to just put him on ignore.
Good luck with your problem by the way, sounds like you are getting good advice from others.
I thought about not responding to this thread. The correct answer (yes you are being impatient and the bees will draw the super when they have a need to) has been given.
I was bothered by the "I request that you NOT respond to anything I post." statement.
After an hour of chopping weeds while covered with black flies I think I can make a civil post.
Not too long ago, I would have been embarrassed to post a basic question without trying to research it outside of BeeSource. BeeSource was a source of information and was primarily used after other avenues had been pursued.
But BeeSource evolves and questions such as that posed by the OP are the new normal. Do I like it? Not particularly but I don't pay the bills to keep BeeSource running so my opinion doesn't count for much.
There are many ways to learn about keeping bees. Maybe it is a generational thing but I'm not comfortable with the Internet being the first place information is sought. Why? It is hard to discern who speaks wisely and who blows smoke. (In other words not all of the information posted is reliable.) The Internet CAN be a valuable information source, but so are books, magazines, clubs, classes, mentors, etc. I have seen too many people dive into beekeeping without to my way of thinking adequate preparation that expect to be bailed out of their problems by the BeeSource community. That frustrates me.
It is easy enough to move on if you don't like a question. I have read several books etc. etc. and find the op's question pretty relevant to my (in)experience and not easily answered in books. Let the newly experienced beeks answer such questions.
I think my response to his post was very much called for. His post was the one that was out of line. You are saying pretty much the same exact thing that he said, however, his much shorter post was riddled with insults and arrogance. I do not agree with you at all, but I don't feel insulted and I don't feel the need to lash out at you. That being said. You are assuming that I did not pick up any books at all, and just jumped in head first and stuck a bunch of bees in a box. I read a few books cover to cover and have a few more that I use as a reference. It is also assumed (I think) that I put a honey super on because I want honaaaaay! not true. I put the super on because the second brood chamber filled fast and I read in one of my books about "honey bound". I was fearful that was possible if I did not act. I do not expect to taste any honey from this hobby for at least another year (except for the lil sneak taste that"s in bur comb ).
You are correct about the generation comment in regards to the internet. I love the internet for information. I think many people of the younger generations should use it as an endless pot of information (not for social media, and video games). I also know how to get my info from the internet. As you mentioned, there can be a lot of misinformation out there. You have to read several opinions to ensure you are getting good information. That is why the forum is a great place to get info. It is knowledge and info that is based on personal experiences and in different regions. Do I use the forum more than books? guilty. The books can get really frustrating. They seem to teach you the basics and than you buy some more, and it's like the exact same book you read with a different title. I can't even find information there on how to do a split. I read in the history here and there is tons of info on that and when the time comes for that, I will be hitting the search feature and taking notes. I wish I can bring myself to attend a bee group meeting. I joined one, but I do not attend meetings. I suffer from social anxiety. Large groups of new people make me very uncomfortable and have actually experienced panic attacks at larger venues. The meetings are just not for me.
I think I understand your frustration, but unfortunately(and I think you know this), it is not going to change. Some people love information and this place makes it very easy to get that information. It is all in one place, It is organized, It covers all topics from many different "authors", and the extreme vast majority of you folks are some very kind, and smart individuals. Why would I not want to come here? The only thing I can suggest to you is, if you see a very rudimentary question in the subject line of a post, maybe don't click on it. The subject lines should be very clear as to what the post is about.
I have to ask you. Since the books that I am reading seem to have informational holes in them, can you recommend a really good book that you find to have a lot of information? You, know, your go to book. I will seriously buy it based on your recommendation. thank you, and I hope you have a very enjoyable summer.
Last edited by trottet1; 06-08-2014 at 08:01 AM.
I personally think the poster fits in this category. Nothing against you personally Todd as I would have said the same thing to anyone else.
I hope that Todd prints a copy of this whole thread and then rereads ( revisits) it in about 7 year after placing it in between some page of one of the about 10 good bee books he will have purchased and devoured.
If he does I'm positive he will come away with a new found appreciation for what I and others have written. Sans my sarcasm in line 1 of post 4 he might want to reread all the lines of 2-5 and consider what they say and recommend while he thinks about them.
Todd.....You can trust me I am not on your rear just because you are new. There is a longtime beekeeper on here who advised me on the phone he had done something with his bees that was just plain STUPID. I laid all into him also cause he knew better than to do what he did. If I had done the same thing I would have expected a response of calling the men carrying the white jackets from him.
You would be best served to tail someone who has many years of experience in your local area. A few days spent with him or her will outdo all the BS info in a heartbeat.
The books on my desk now that I am reading/rereading are: Attracting Native Pollinators, Honey Plants of North America, Grant Gillard's Sustainable Beekeeping, Bee-Sentials, Contemporary Queen Rearing, and Honeybee Democracy.
My "go-to" book is Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, 2nd Edition, by Dewey M. Caron and Lawrence John Connor. The 2nd Edition is much better than the first.
Thank you Andrew!
I will look at all of those books and consider buying one or more. I think I can hold off on the queen rearing one for a bit lol. Thank you for your time and I look forward to any future interactions we may have.
Last edited by trottet1; 06-08-2014 at 09:32 AM.
Do all these phone callers you get put up with the TV show "House" communication method? I bet not.
A more considerate response would have avoided what has become just a plain stupid dialog.
Simple as that.
You know, Beesource in an invaluable resource and community. "COMMUNITY" A lot of the times it is as much about the interaction as it is the information. When someone is new, sometimes the questions are more of a dialog than looking for an actual "answer". Sure we can google pretty much anything, but then we don't get the benefit of the expanded discussions that we see here on Beesource. If the question is simple, then the answer is simple. You guys have wasted more of your time being rude than it would have taken to be magnanimous and just answer the question... geez. Talk about crotchety old beekeepers; go spend some time with your bees. Don't you guys remember the magic of being a new beekeeper? You can't hardly wait to discuss something bee related with anyone, no matter how simple. Lets try not to take the shine off any sooner than necessary.
So the way I see it is that you need Flow (or feed) at least one just completed brood cycle and a decently strong hive to have them pull wax at fast rates. The reason that swarms pull wax quickly is that they are topped off with nowhere to store it. At least this is my understanding from reading.
So while the question and answewr may be simple, the processes behind the reasons are not as strightforward as one might think.
The OP is impatient, not in trouble. Our spring flow here has slowed down quite a bit, from a monster to a steady but fairly slow supply of clover and the end of the basswoods (which are not common here anyway). During the flow my bees filled three shallows on a hive with nectar and were starting to cap it in a week, so a full shallow super drawn and filled in a week on a huge flow is rather likely. I've had a swarm draw and fill four frames of foundation in two days (big swarm, small box), and the descendants of that hive have put up 140 lbs of honey for me so far this year.
On the original question, they will NOT draw out foundation unless they need more space to raise brood or store nectar or syrup. The foundation will not harbor pests, and the weather is good now, so just leave it on. Watch the bees at the entrance -- if they are flying like crazy and hauling in lots of pollen and nectar, they will move up soon. If only a few bees are flying and they aren't pulling in lots of pollen, it might be time to feed if you want that box drawn.
At this point, you need to talk to some local people and find out what if any summer flow you get and what the fall flow is like. If you have minor amounts of nectar available the rest of the summer, you will need to decided what amount of stores you want them to have for the winter and feed until you get there. Depending on when winter arrives for you, you can probably wait until August or September and feed 2:1 to get them up to weight if they aren't there yet. No need to panic this early in the year!
One more thought -- if you have a large amount of capped brood in the bottom boxes, you will shortly have a large increase in the number of bees in the hive, and they will be young bees who's jobs include drawing foundation out into comb. When that brood emerges, you will find a lot more bees up in that super drawing wax.
thank you for your response. Thank you also for picking up on the fact that my impatience is not derived from greed for honey, but exactly as you stated. I was panicking about getting them stores built up for winter and hoping that if this hive created a surplus, it would go to my newest hives for their surplus as well (very lofty goal, i know).
From what I learned last year, it seems that the golden rod in the fall is huge here. I never even paid attention to the golden rod or even knew what it was until last year when I started beekeeping. when you drive around here in the fall, all you see is fields of gold, and highways lined with it.
Oh and yes, I have tons of capped brood in the brood boxes. some of the frames are capped top to bottom (wood to wood). another reason why I did panic about space and population. A lot of my troubles are my own anxiety levels boiling lol. And its nice to have posters such as yourself to remind me to calm down and drop the hive tool lol. thanks man, I appreciate your time and your response.
This is a little off-topic but not much. Last year in August, we harvested the single honey supers above the 3 hives we have. Took them off, harvested, put them back on the same day. All comb was drawn and wet still with honey. Reason being, all the goldenrod was starting to bloom. And there was a LOT of it around here.
NONE, repeat NONE, of the hives stored any additional honey in those supers. Was I late harvesting them and putting them back on? Similar to OP, I must not yet fully understand a "flow"...
Last edited by rweaver7777; 06-09-2014 at 08:38 AM.
The typical cause of bees not drawing comb is undrawn foundation over a queen excluder. If you are expecting bees to draw foundation when there is nothing on the other side of the queen excluder except undrawn foundation, you will likely be disappointed.
Assuming you don't have it over an excluder, then there probably isn't a flow. Bees draw comb when they need a place to store nectar and there is no where available.