Two weeks ago I went into my spring package hive to get some honey frames for a split, and lo and behold, they barely had any honey. Neither did the other hives. I suspected robbing. Not to say they weren't being robbed of honey, but tonight's bee meeting started with the state inspector saying many hives are experiencing a lack of honey. The flowers don't seem to be producing. Yikes.
I fed my hives syrup after what I found two weeks ago, and then I think it might have encouraged robbing, I don't know if there was a lot of robbing going on, but I made robber screens for the 2 smallest hives, and I have screens on order for all of them, just in case.
Fall flow is supposed to start here the last week of August and go through the first two weeks of September. Any honey they're going to get for winter will come at that time. What doesn't come at that time will have to be made up through 2:1 syrup. Also, it doesn't appear they will be building up much if any comb at this point, so what they have is what they have.
While it appears there are many hives throughout the state experiencing this lack of honey issue, there also seem to be hives that aren't. It may be certain areas for some reason, cold pockets maybe, who knows. It's been a fairly cool summer.
Also, if we get a huge rainstorm, it will wash the pollen away from the flowers during fall flow, so hoping it's fairly dry during flow time.
One last note, late afternoon I actually saw a honeybee emptying the pollen pockets of 2 bumble bees that were on bull thistle flowers. I don't know why the bumble bees were putting up with that, but I watched as this honeybee yanked on the pollen pocket part of the bumbles' legs. Do they steal from bumblebees?