Central New York boomers...pondering next moves
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Syracuse, NY
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    Default Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    With the mild Winter and warm weather my hives not only came through with over 80% survival, they are packed with honey and the largest population of bees I've seen at this time of year in the 5 years I've kept them. I left extra feed supers on top last Fall and the bees are bringing that honey down. In a lot of cases, the upper brood chamber is virtually plugged with honey and pollen. I almost am tempted to reverse...ALMOST. I don't want to set them back should a cold snap come, so I am holding off.

    I have read through other threads and see some folks are moving frames to allow for laying room, others are doing nothing, and others still are steaming ahead full bore, reversing and expecting splits by mid-April! Really?

    With the best Winter survival I've ever had, I don't want to set them back or lose any by doing something overly aggressive. At this point, what have you done in the past during a fast and furious Spring like this?

    Thanks in advance-
    Chefbeek

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Don't know. Never had one like this before. Closest was 1980?

    Crazy Roland

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Olympia, Washington
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    I'm harvesting some combs of honey so that the empty combs can go into the brood area and the queen some laying room.

  5. #4
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    I've already used up all the empty comb I have pulling honey off and replacing in the brood area, yesterday started putting foundation in deep frames I made last fall to swap out full frames of honey with, next I'm hopeing for some cooler weather (not freezing mind you) so they use up some of the honey. Hindsight is great I should have pulled off another med per hive last year. Going to dadant wednesday to get more frames and wax. now to figure out when to put the foundation in the hives when the flow starts so they pull it out fine.
    bees have confused me b/4 but never this early in the season
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  6. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Syracuse, NY
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Mike-
    Figures, right? The year I leave the most honey on in the Fall....

    So, if I'm reading between the lines here, should this warmth continue I should probably get out there and create laying room in the upper chamber instead of totally reversing? Maybe center the honey below the brood area should it get chilly again...?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    We here south of Rochester are supposed to get 75 today & possibly 80 Thursday(record,... duh).
    Having Wizard of Oz type dreams, running for shelter....FUNNELS. Never really surprised @ any kind of weather here.
    Bees are bringing in pollen bigtime. Reversed some boxes yesterday, glad I did, seemed a little lite.

    Anybody reversing yet? I can't see how it would hurt, as long as you don't break up the broodnest. Am I missing something?

    Had two overwintered nucs busting out of 3 five frame deeps :-)

    Mike, Won't they use up more honey during the warm weather?
    I set out boxes for them to rob out to get some combs, no sign of robbing eachother.
    I am going to mix some syrup & put small amounts in division board feeders. Hopefully they'll consume it before it (syrup) gets cold.

    Every year the robins come back just before one last blast of nasty weather. Waiting.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    I have no clue what I am doing so I put my faith in the bees. It doesn't make sense that they would swarm before the nectar comes in and it doesn't make sense that they would increase in numbers to a point of starvation. If they bring in new pollen do they take out the old? What happens to it? I think this is the year for observing. Maybe we can learn something.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #8
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    Jun 2011
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    Olympia, Washington
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    It doesn't make sense that they would swarm before the nectar comes in and it doesn't make sense that they would increase in numbers to a point of starvation.
    Ace, we now have willow, maple, dandelion, and coltsfoot blooming in Elmira. I don't think starvation is going ot be an issue.
    Here's a video link to what was going on here around noon yesterday (those bees returning without pollen are bringing in nectar):


  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    wolcott, ny
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    26

    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    i reversed my bees a week ago and they already putting pollen and nector there. the queen is laying up there too. put on a shalloow to give more room to store honey.all my hives are in double deeps.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Livingston County, NY
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Ace, a situation may be that everything is earlier this year, bees in my yards still have lots of stores. Others are lite & inspecting discovered that. I am concerned (as u might b) that they could get honeybound. Michael Palmer reverses, Michael Bush doesn't. I will default to MP only b/c he's local. I also have boxes to switch out & do maintenance on.

    Dandelions?? we have small yellow flowers that look like dandelions(coltsfoot?). Elmira is a little south of me.
    Last edited by lakebilly; 03-20-2012 at 03:50 PM.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Victor, New York, USA
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    36

    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    This past weekend I transferred from overwintered 3-nuc hive to 2 deeps but now the bees seem much less active. Did not spot a queen. My mentor saw eggs but I did not, so I will look again tomorrow. If I don't see any I think I may look for a brood frame from my other (strong) hive and switch it into the weaker hive so they can make a queen if necessary. Is that a good idea?

    Local garden store had lots of honey bees on the pear tree blossoms. A beautiful sight.

    Joe

  13. #12
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    Sep 2011
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    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    I will default to MP only b/c he's local. I also have boxes to switch out & do maintenance on.
    Last year, I did not reverse even though I was taught a few years ago in the local course that I should if I overwinter outside. I ended up regretting it since the bees never went in the first super again.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    I am a results oriented person, reversing has worked well for me the last two years.

    I don't have results from 09 b/c the Ignoramus (me) didn't know how to manage the bees (not that I do now).

    I shouldn't have said 'I default to MP' I might have said he confirmed what I had found to be a good move. he also stated that reversing gets the bees to move honey stores up & clean combs.
    sounded good to me & I just parroted the idea.

    KR, I looked @ mine today (3deep 5 frame over wintered moved to dbl deep 10 frame) & they are crankin. I am going to do the one next to it tomorrow.

    I wouldn't know why they are lethargic. PM Michael Bush or post a thread, you'll get multiple two cent offerings, hopefully one will get you going in the right direction.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    we have small yellow flowers that look like dandelions(coltsfoot?).
    We discovered those in our back yard last year but there are so few I don't see bees on them. The wife tells me they are just ready to open today when she looked.
    I didn't reverse last year, I just took the empty box on the bottom out. I think I will have to split this year so that leaves reversing out again this year. The procedure is quite common up here but I am not convinced it is the best thing to do.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    Having Wizard of Oz type dreams, running for shelter....FUNNELS. .


    Mike, Won't they use up more honey during the warm weather?
    I set out boxes for them to rob out to get some combs, no sign of robbing eachother.
    .
    people have been talking about funnels around here also, wouldn't suprise me. Last year I went back to Mass. where I kept bees in an orchard, if they had been there during the tornado last year they would be floating of cape cod. would they use up more honey during warm weather? The winter was warmer than normal and my hives used less honey than normal and are coming out with larger amounts of bees right now, I should have taken off at least another med. of honey last fall. So take the fact that you have a lot more bees than normal, far better weather than normal, more pollen and nectar sorces than normal, and less open comb than normal, and what was the point I started out to make, oh yea. The bees will use the nectar coming in b/4 they use the capped honey, so as long as they have enough coming in the won't use up any of the capped honey(its there reserves), I'm still waiting if we get a hard frost that kills the bloom like two years ago they may use up more of the capped honey. But I'm making up frames anyway just in case.

    I don't normall reverse the brood chambers because using 3 deeps don't normall have to, this year can't as the queen is laying in the bottom two boxes so far, when I put my honey supers on I will move the top box(currently full of capped honey) to the bottom and hopefully they will empty it and move it up.

    I also will start putting out my deeps from the garage(also full of honey) out after I have my honey supers on to free up some comb for making nucs. It all depends on the weather after the hot spell ends, if it continues will start raising queens early. My my we are having fun, causing all the cob webs in my brain to shake loose.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  17. #16
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    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Ace,
    If you are taking the bottom box away ( I assume) then you are doing what w/it? when the colony expands you put it on the top correct? Sounds like reversing to me, w/an extra trip involved.
    I don't see the bees on the yellow flowers (coltsfoot?) either.

    Mike, sounds like clean living is paying off. I hope to toss my cranium into the queen rearing circus ring this year also. maybe we can compare notes. Timing.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  18. #17
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    Sep 2009
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    Beulah,MI
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    I am heading out this morning to try some methods of opening up the brood nest, I've never seen the bees so strong and heavy so early in the season.There was nectar shaking out on Mar. 19th! I will experiment with an excluder and 2 supers after reversing, maybe the bees will move the nectar up and open the brood nest,on the hives w/ a top deep full of honey, and the bottom deep full of nectar/pollen. also will try to reverse and set a deep on w/4 frames of comb and 6 foundation and see what works better. This is crazy talk for N Mich. in March, but I see having too strong bees as a good problem. also at this time I'm looking at about 95% overwinter success WOW!

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    East Windsor, CT
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Although I am not in NY, being in CT we have similar weather. Today I did some reversing to some hives. The interesting thing was that they actually started to build white wax on the tops of the frames. They definitely needed more room. Now of course not every hive is like this and I am reversing as needed and not every hive at once. I use screened BB with nothing under them so we still have to be mindful over overnight temps. This weekend and next week the overnight lows are in the 30's so I am being very careful to ensure the hive is strong enough to cover the brood after the reversal.

  20. #19
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    Sep 2009
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    Beulah,MI
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Yup saw whitining and actual burr comb on quite a few,no robbing,must be some good maple bloom out there

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Central New York boomers...pondering next moves

    Quote Originally Posted by lakebilly View Post
    Ace,
    If you are taking the bottom box away ( I assume) then you are doing what w/it? when the colony expands you put it on the top correct?
    Well now I have to get technical because I got hammered on this. There is nothing in the box so it is not the brood nest so it can't be called reversing. BTW the box never went back on all I did is put supers on and let them go.

    I don't normall reverse the brood chambers because using 3 deeps don't normall have to
    I do not understand what equipment has to do with the brood chamber. It is my belief that the bees decide what the brood chamber is not humans. I know Walt seems to think that the frame gaps create a barrier for brood nest expansion but with all the different equipment combinations that have been successful I can't see it as much of a barrier.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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