Not building comb... Why?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    49

    Default Not building comb... Why?

    I added a super a little over a week ago and inspected today thinking I'd see more progress than this. In the past they seem to have drawn out comb much faster. What is going on here? Are they chewing the foundation because of a dearth, are they slowing down because of the season? Should I feed?

    It's a first year hive, with 2 deeps, quite a big population (I'd say a healthy hive) added a shallow super with 8 cut comb and 2 foundationless.

    image.jpgimage.jpg

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    1,261

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhited View Post
    I added a super a little over a week ago and inspected today thinking I'd see more progress than this. In the past they seem to have drawn out comb much faster. What is going on here? Are they chewing the foundation because of a dearth, are they slowing down because of the season? Should I feed?

    It's a first year hive, with 2 deeps, quite a big population (I'd say a healthy hive) added a shallow super with 8 cut comb and 2 foundationless.

    image.jpgimage.jpg

    Our bees quit drawing new comb around July. One poster mentioned it might have something to do with daylight hours. I am not sure. All I know is, after our sourwood flow, they slow down and stop drawing comb.

    As for feeding, if they have two double deeps drawn and mostly filled, I would not feed.

    Shane

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    You need a flow for them to draw comb add sugar water to them and they will draw comb
    Last edited by wadehump; 08-02-2013 at 04:27 PM. Reason: SPELL

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I added some sugar water, although I don't like this practice....I'll watch so see how fast they consume it.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    Even if you add sugar water it might take them a while to start drawing because stores may have been bine dry to begin with.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    Here's the problem I see with feeding to encourage comb building at this time of year. Yes it will work in some cases, but as soon as you stop, they stop. So if you are feeding to get supers drawn out, you have to continue feeding until the whole box is drawn out, but what happens is that the bees will begin to store some of the syrup in the new combs as they draw them, so by the time the box is drawn completely or nearly so, the combs will hold alot of syrup in addition to any nectar they may have brought in. That's fine if you are going to leave the super on for winter, but if you were planning to harvest honey from that super this year, you are likely to have a bunch of syrup in it along with the honey, obviously not a good idea. Don't really know your intentions, but thought I would throw this out just in case.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I have not been able to get a large hive to draw comb out after July even with adding sugar water. I could get split to do so, bu only with feeding.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    Bodhited, I guess I overlooked the end of your post where you said you had cut comb foundation in the super, so you were planning on harvesting honey from that super this year. I have always found it best to get supers drawn out on a heavy flow, not by way of feeding. I think you are going to have a tough time getting that done at this point of the year.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I was of course interested to see if my colony would produce honey for consumption this year, but since it is a first year hive I had not real expectations. I certainly don't want to consume honey from sugar water!

    That being said I feel I should just leave the super on and feed a little and see what they do. Their population is large or at least in my novice opinion it's large. For example when I pull a frame in either of the deeps it's a tight squeeze and bees kind of bubble out when pulling up. I would suspect they need the room?

    Not really sure what to do? But my philosophy is as natural as possible?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    Are you using an excluder? If yes then take it off to encourage the bees to come into the super better. There is no problem trying to see if they will draw it out anyway feeding the syrup, that way you will know what works and what doesn't. If the hive is as strong as you say, they should start drawing comb within a week of feeding I would think, especially if the fall flow is on. If they still don't do anything with it, I would just pull it after that, and wait till next year.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I don't have an excluder on, was going to wait until there was some comb drawn out for that.

    Thanks for your advice...like you say for now I'll just feed a little and see what they do!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    angola,ny
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I'm having same issue with my smaller hive. I was advised to transfer a frame of capped honey from my stronger hive to help them out. That was 3 days ago. I haven't checked their progress yet.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    Well just checked the hive, the quart sized jar of sugar water i added yesterday is more than half gone...

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    3,062

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    it takes a combination of young bees, thin syrup or nectar, and I believe lengthening days. The only hives I ever see draw comb after the summer solstice, are a few swarms. and even they are lackluster.... if you find a recipie, the whole world awaits....

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Butler, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I helped a friend do some inspections yesterday on several recent splits he made. He has Russian bees purchased from semi local apiaries. I was shocked to see them building comb and storing honey at a rapid clip. Several of these hive were started in nuc's with 5 frames of drawn comb. What he's been doing is repeatedly checker boarding his boxes with either foundationless frames or mann lake assembled frames with wax coated plastic foundation. They draw the foundationless frames first but quickly take it up on the plastic. The only things I see blooming are Ironweed and some sort of vine called Passion flower? We looked at two hives that have expanded from a five frame nuc to double deeps in three weeks. He's kept great notes and hasn't been feeding at all since he moved them to a full single deep. He's using 8 frame equipment. On the other hand, I've been feeding one of my nuc's for a couple of weeks trying to get the second deep drawn. We're roughly ten miles apart as the crow flies. Has anyone else tried checker boarding this late in the game?
    Last edited by Grasshopper; 08-04-2013 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Spelling

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    and I believe lengthening days. The only hives I ever see draw comb after the summer solstice, are a few swarms.
    Location may have something to do with it. My bees have drawn out foundation during goldenrod.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I've not had a lot of problem getting the girls to draw but my friend put a super on in early spring and his bees wouldn't touch the frames. We discussed many possible "maybes" and he did a few changes but still, here in August, they never pulled those frames. That's a head scratcher for me - coming out of spring. I believe he was on double 10fr deeps. Any clues?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    I have had decent luck with the bees drawing out deeps this year but not supers. They would prefer to swarm first. I am thinking for next year just put a frame or two of drawn above the deeps to move them up, spreading out the drawn as far as possible.
    I put a couple of frames back on to a couple of hives (side by side) that seemed to be backfilling the deeps to see if they would cap it. One pulled every drop, left it bone dry. The second added to it so that it was so wet that I could not inspect the frames without it dripping out (no shaking required).
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    It is very unlikely in this region (and I'll include upstate new york because I used to live there) to get surplus honey from a first year colony. Some people in some regions routinely get surplus honey from new colonies. Especially if they give the bees drawn comb to work with.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Not building comb... Why?

    To anyone living in the big apple anything outside is considered upstate. I live in upstate and it is quite different then the outskirts of the big apple. People who live thirty miles north of me are upstate-rs too but it is a different world again then where I live.

    If you are not a hog it is not uncommon to get some honey from a first year colony around here. The guy I gave my split to has already taken honey from the hive. I have not. He made me laugh ... He said it was the scariest and easiest thing he had ever done.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •