Bees acting strange
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  1. #1

    Default Bees acting strange

    So the other day I went out to my two hives and checked one I hadn't look at for a few weeks. The hive was built from three 8 frame medium brood boxes and one 8 frame honey super, when I installed the super they had been utilizing all of the frames in all three brood boxes. When I removed the lid I noticed that they were no longer drawing out the honey super like they had been in previous weeks. I removed the super to check on the brood boxes and noticed a few more hive beetles than normal, and it looked like they had abandoned top brood box completely other than a few bees that were seeming to be cleaning up. Underneath the top brood box I could see there was a good amount of bees in the bottom two boxes, upon a full inspection I could not locate the queen, and only saw older, uncapped and capped brood. No eggs that I could see (although I am relatively bad at finding those). I'm most likely going to do another check this week too see if I can find her or if there is any new brood, but I was just wondering what you guys would recommend doing in this situation.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    748

    Default Re: Bees acting strange

    1st I'm still a newbee, so consider that.

    It might help to know what region you are located in, to get a sense of the forage / seasonal developments.

    How many more beetles did you see? Even a few beetles can results in thousands of eggs. So that might be an issue.

    It could be that your queen is just winding down for the season, but knowing your region might help to figure that one out.

    Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "no longer drawing out the honey super".

    Quote Originally Posted by patbking View Post
    So the other day I went out to my two hives and checked one I hadn't look at for a few weeks. The hive was built from three 8 frame medium brood boxes and one 8 frame honey super, when I installed the super they had been utilizing all of the frames in all three brood boxes. When I removed the lid I noticed that they were no longer drawing out the honey super like they had been in previous weeks. I removed the super to check on the brood boxes and noticed a few more hive beetles than normal, and it looked like they had abandoned top brood box completely other than a few bees that were seeming to be cleaning up. Underneath the top brood box I could see there was a good amount of bees in the bottom two boxes, upon a full inspection I could not locate the queen, and only saw older, uncapped and capped brood. No eggs that I could see (although I am relatively bad at finding those). I'm most likely going to do another check this week too see if I can find her or if there is any new brood, but I was just wondering what you guys would recommend doing in this situation.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,137

    Default Re: Bees acting strange

    Here in west Alabama the bees stop drawing comb around the middle of June to the middle of July unless I feed 1:1 syrup. Depending on where you are, not drawing comb is probably normal. My queens also start winding down the brood production during the dearth. Agree with Yunzow, if you see more than a couple of SHB, look at getting rid of those. There are probably a lot more that you don't see and they can get out of hand quickly.

    About now I start removing empty boxes to cut back on the amount of space the bees have to patrol, and cut back on the area that SHB can infest. Keep the space reduced so there are enough bees to control pests.

    When I'm looking for the queen, I'll reduce or not use any smoke when I open the hive. Some of my queens are very adept at hiding when I smoke the hive. I have the smoker ready in case the hive turns nasty but usually don't have any issues and find the queen most times.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Bees acting strange

    Did you see any pollen stored any where?
    Oklahoma bee keeper

  6. #5

    Default Re: Bees acting strange

    I did see pollen stored

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    south central Ohio
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Bees acting strange

    Is there a ratio of pollen to honey that you like to see going into winter?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    In my area after about Mid June the hive begins its decline. So less brood, less bees, no new comb, honey stores reducing,etc. That decline continues until Feb/March when brood rearing ramps up. In fall the decline could slow if your flow is decent.

    You'll also find an increase of hive beetles during dearth and heading into fall. They are not only searching out hives for food but also for heat.

    Make sure they're queenright and have adequate stores for winter.

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