Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    I have a hive located in the city. June is the time in this area when decent colonies cap their honey and make a decent crop. My hive has at least two boxes full of bees but produced very little honey, probably not enough for themselves. Again, this is in the city when a nectar flow is available year-round. Queen is doing well though is not the best. I don't treat and I don't feed. Any insight on these? I don't think drought is the reason. Should I check them back in July? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    If you're in an irrigated city the the drought shouldn't matter to much. Is this a new hive? Are they building comb? If they're busy making wax the then they won't make much honey until the wax is made. Are they bringing in pollen? If so then you've got nectar coming in and they will eventually get around to making honey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    Thanks so much for your prompt answer. I suspect them still being in the growing mode since there is pollen coming in and queen (I noticed) is laying like in the last few months. It's a second year colony with a 2 years old queen. I remember last year, they made a good crop (that I didn't touch) when I least expected, in September-October. A drawback, I assume, is the too many boxes I added (3 deeps and two honey supers). Probably, the two honey supers are not needed. They are already on drawn natural comb. During Spring, I also added few empty frames to open the brood nest and prevent congestion/swarming. All these empty frames have been already drawn. A swarm I caught in a bait hive is drawing good new comb at this time, which is also an indication that a nectar flow is available to them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    I had the same experience last year in September - October here in Southern CA. In a very dry year last year, they made a fair amount of honey in the fall. I got lots of honey this year in March-April, and I expect to get more in the fall. I'm not sure why you didn't get much Spring honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    1,000

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    I use capillary tubes to measure nectar volume and brix from Eucalyptus (and some other flowers). This year, Eucalyptus produced flowers, but very low volume of nectar -- the flowers were largely dry. I expect the drought affected flow far more than you realize. Eucalyptus absolutely dominates the March-May flow in my area. In wet years, you can pour off the nectar from the Euc cups by the teaspoon full, no such abundance this year. Eucalyptus is a "wet" honey -- it begins as a very low sugar nectar, and the bees cap it while still relatively dilute.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    I have 9 hives in Chico, all on feeders! We had a very short spring, and most migrant Beeks stayed here til the weather improved east of here. Now its just dry dry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    Are you located in the city of Chico or next to it? Have you extracted at all this year? If you are located within city limits and no surplus honey, then it's probably drought-related. It's hard to believe though given the nectar flow that has always been present in irrigated areas. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,054

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    Swarmed?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    I caught them right before. They produced a swarm cell which I transferred in a nuc along with bees, capped brood, honey, all resulting in a split. What makes me to think they didn't swarm is no change in bee population density. Plus no bloodless periods observed. I normally check on them every 10 days. Thanks all beekeepers who replied to my present inquiry.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,198

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    My honey season is weak so far this year. We have hives in Brentwood & Concord but nothing to harvest.
    I did split most of the hives in April, but their populations are good now.
    Dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    "...I expect to get more in the fall." How would you explain more honey in Fall? I witnessed the same last year. Is it the survival pressure that determine the bees to amass food right before winter?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    I could see yesterday young eucalyptus buds in the city. Are they flowering in July? Thanks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    1,000

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by Calbee View Post
    I could see yesterday young eucalyptus buds in the city. Are they flowering in July? Thanks.
    Nope, some of the Red Eucs bloom in the summer-fall. But Tasmanian Blue Gum, the common California euc, blooms only from November on.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,517

    Default Re: Puzzled. Bees and Nectar, but No Honey. Sacramento, CA

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    I expect the drought affected flow far more than you realize.
    If you have rechecked and the bees are cranking be thankful the feds have not tossed all the water out the bay as is planned. Nice the city of Sacto still has green lawns despite the attempts to persuade folks to the contrary.

    If they still have nothing on your recheck you should have great insight now that the honorable and always wise JW has given you a clue.

    Please complete the following:

    1. And the answer to your dilemma is:

    A. ''the drought affected flow far more than you realize''
    B. See A
    C See B if you are stubborn and A if the nectar flow within your brain capillaries.............


    Anyone anticipating or expecting fence post honey in California this year is crazier than Charles Manson when he's having a very bad day.....

    I personally am surprised and thankful how well the bees have been able to fair the conditions thus far. Not hoping for what will not be coming regarding a honey flow.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads