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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Best Way to Make More Bees?

    As a first year beek with only one hive I seem to have made every mistake in the book, but still have my hive. I think it would probably be termed weak, though I really do not know the criteria. It is in two 8 frame mediums, still with 4 deep frames from the nuc (I use a 3" shim).

    There are frames of capped brood, some of sugar water (I think) left from feeding the nuc early, with a little honey. The frames are probably 80% filled with comb. The brood nest is on top of a lower box that contains mostly empty comb.

    I think I need to do what I can to create as many bees as I can before winter. We are in a dearth now, waiting for fall flowers in Central Texas. What is the best way to create the most bees? My queen is new, and laying well, with bees coming and going, just not very many of them. Should I feed 2:1 or 1:1 sugar water? Should I feed pollen substitute? I do not really want to make sugar/pollen bars due to the hive beetles in the hive. I do have beetle traps in the hive.

    Should I reverse the boxes, or rely upon the bees to move down when they need the room?

    I do not have any experienced beeks in the area that I know of, and have been relying upon this forum for my education. I am very thankful for all the information and help I have received. If there are any Bastrop county beeks please pm me, I would like to meet you for a cup of coffee. I'll buy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,010

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    swap the two hive bodies, feed 2;1, if they do not improve by October requeen
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    Thanks. Do you think I need to worry about a source of protein? It does not look like they are bringing in much pollen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Cookeville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    If at all possible, buy another hive. That way you will have resources to split and you will also have something to compare each to before it's too late.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    I would like to do that, but have not been able to do so yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    marant- What type of bees do you have?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    They are varroa resistant from BeeWeaver. New queen a month ago, laying well, with new bees beginning to orient. Looked like I had a hundred or so yesterday.

    Lost maybe 1/2 bees a couple of months ago (including queen) to pesticide, but the surviving hive seems to be doing ok since requeening. Just not masses of bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    If she is new and laying well, (meaning end fr to end frame) , just be patient and give her some time. She'll
    pick up toward fall when you have a stronger flow, and fill those boxes and maybe then some.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    The critical mass of bees only begins to really take off around 3-4 double faces (bees facing bees) of bees. Before that, she may be just a smart bee, not wanting to put the colony at risk with too much brood.

    Offer dry pollen sub outside the hive a little at a time to keep it fresh and ant free; that will remove one variable. With one hive, robbing is not likely a problem, enough heavy syrup to keep a ring of stores around the brood will eliminate another variable.

    After that it is up to her. There is a wide variation in queens, those truly above average are amazing. Below average , depressing.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    Update:

    I swapped the boxes and put the one with empty comb frames on top.

    I have been feeding 2: for 10 days or so, about a quart every day or day and 1/2. They have been taking it well, except when it crystalizes over in the TX hot weather. (I use baggies). I just breakup the surface and they start again.

    Questions:

    They have nearly filled the upper medium box with the sugar water. I expect that is close to enough to get them through the winter here in TX. Should I quit or taper off with the feeding?

    Inspected today, revealed nearly all the sugar water in the combs. None of it capped. Do the bees not cap sugar water, or are they just waiting until it is properly dehydrated?

    Queen seems to be laying ok. I did not disturb the lower brood box, but am getting new bees nearly every afternoon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    Marant - My bees have just really picked up collecting pollen and hauling in nectar about a week and half ago. I am in the Port Arthur area, so with the rain you have had, you should start seeing a big increase in pollen collection over the next few weeks.

    Also should start seeing goldenrod blooming around the end of this month to mid September and then things might really explode. At least they did here last year which was when I got bees.

    If they have that much sugar water stored, I would let them start foraging for nectar. My hives were either 2 mediums (10 frame) of mixed brood and honey at the best or a single medium (10 frame) with most. I added 1/4 of some protein patties in mid February to half of them and they started building numbers fast. Added more as they finished that up. The other hives never caught up until July.

    There is a bee club somewhere in your area. Here is a link to look for one.

    http://www.bees-on-the-net.com/beeke...xas-bee-clubs/
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 5 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop TX USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    MarshMasterPat

    Thank you, that is excellent information. I will mark it to be sure I can find it in early spring.

    I would like to join a bee club, but the closest is 25 miles away through city traffic. At this point I rely upon the wonderful people on BeeSource.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    "Should I quit or taper off with the feeding?"
    In your circumstances, I would quit feeding syrup now. Queens from some Varroa resistant bloodlines may not lay as aggressively as non-hygenic bees, but will reap other benefits. When, as in your case, the bees are reasonably local, they tend to know what they need.
    Inscrutable little bugs.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,399

    Default Re: Best Way to Make More Bees?

    An alternative opinion (we all have opinions here) would be to slap on another 8 frame box and keep feeding until it is drawn out. You do not need to add pollen in Texas. We have a virtually unlimited supply year around. Pollen patties also attracted SHB.

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