4 week old hive - No change in last week
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Van Buren County, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    I have a 4-week-old hive, started with a 5-frame deep nuc. I put it into an 8-frame deep hive, with three foundationless frames (popsicle and skewer). At the end of the first week they had started drawing comb in the first empty frame. At the end of the second week, in the second frame, etc. At the end of the third week (last Saturday) they had mostly filled the second frame, and had just started on the third. I put on a medium super of foundationless frames last Sunday (after asking here if it was time).

    I checked today to see if they were drawing comb properly, and there were bees crawling around on the super frames, but no comb at all. I took it off and looked into the bottom. The third frame was unchanged (just two small "starter" combs). I checked the second frame, and I don't think it was much different than last week (some capped brood, some capped honey). I'll have to start taking pictures.

    Anyway, should I be worried? I was expecting a full (or mostly full) third frame in the bottom, and something started in the super, based on the rate of the first three weeks.

    I took the super off.
    The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,733

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    How much capped brood do you have? The bees may have as much comb as they need for right now and are on to other things. If you have a ton of capped, the comb drawing will start back up again once they emerge, as long as your flow continues. If you don't care about honey this year, you should be feeding them both syrup and pollen patty to keep things rocking and rolling. I do not recall if you have addressed this in another post. It seems a little early for them to have hit a plateau.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Van Buren County, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Hey JWP. When you said (in another thread) that I should "not add a super unless your brood chamber is at least 80% drawn", by "drawn" do you mean capped brood? I thought it meant comb had been put in. The two new frames with comb are not all capped, and the second one is't even full of larvae.

    Should I be pulling and inspecting my original 5 nuc frames, too? I am trying to disturb as little as possible, even though I am anxious to see what's going on.

    BTW, my son has jumped on the bee bandwagon with me. He wanted NOTHING to do with it before the bees came, then all of a sudden I had to order more bee clothes. THis post is the result of our first look into the hive together.
    The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,733

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Drawn just means it has comb on it. Just because they have gotten to that 80-90% mark does not mean they will necessarily move up into a completely undrawn super. Bees do not view that as their space yet. Are you just doing a single deep brood chamber? The best way to get bees into a super is to put a frame or two of brood in it. Once the bees start pulling comb, you can move the brood frames back down. You should see what they are doing with the original frames from the nuc. Are they full of eggs, larvae, and capped brood? Or are they filling them with nectar? There are a lot of variables and condition A means one thing if condition B is met, but something quite different if condition C is met instead. There should lots of capped brood in your hive, and there should be eggs in any new comb being drawn, unless they are storing honey and pollen in it. To help encourage them to finish the third frame, place it next to a brood frame closer to the center of the hive and move the frame with the most honey in it next to the wall, honey side out. I am assuming the five original frames are in positions 1-5 and you put the new frames in 6, 7, and 8 with 8 being the one with the combettes.(made up word of the day).
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Van Buren County, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    I really appreciate your taking the time to help me.

    Yes, I am only using a single deep. I planned on doing all medium 8-frames (again copy-catting Mr. Bush).

    Will the Earth stop turning if I put some deep nuc frames into the medium super, and let them hang into the deep below? Will they start filling the space with burr comb?

    Yes, 5 original frames are 1-5, new are 6, 7, and 8. Frame 7 is almost full of comb, has some capped brood, some capped honey (the smooth capping, not domed - that's honey, right?), and a lot of open cells without anything in them.

    I'll will do a more thorough intrusion into the hive tomorrow, and switch a couple of nuc frames, if you think that's a good idea. I'll take some pictures, too so I can track what's going on (or at least be able to remember what I've seen!).
    The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,733

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Putting the deeps into a medium and letting them hang down is the way to get your first medium started. The bees may draw some comb on the bottoms but you are only going to have the frames in that position for a week or two, just long enough for the queen to start laying in the medium box. Once you get that going, you can leapfrog brood frames up and the bees will follow. Put a queen excluder on top of third box when the time comes.

    No need to switch any of the original nuc frames around after inspecting them, just move frame 8 next to the brood nest to get it finished drawn out and in service. Frame 7 sounds like a candidate for the #8 position.
    Cappings on honey and worker brood are both flat. Brood capping is more brown looking. Cappings on honey are generally whitish, but could be dark translucent depending on the race of bees.
    Have you seen eggs yet? Open cells "without anything in them" may be full of eggs that you didn't see. Especially on new white wax.

    Pictures are always good. I wish now I had taken pictures when I first started. Too few and mostly exterior shots. Needed shots of the frames and queens.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    997

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    With Foundationless Frames you would be better off placing a Medium Frame in the Deep.
    Just replace the #8 frame as it is the least draw and likely doesn't have brood or eggs in it.

    You may need to do this a couple of times to get the bees to move up. As JWPlamer said, it helps if it has Brood on it to get the bees to move up into a Super. Or have at least 3 drawn frames in the Super.

  9. #8

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Are you doing any supplemental feeding?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Van Buren County, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    I am not doing any feeding. I am following Michael Bush's methods, and he says not to feed unless absolutely necessary. Besides, it's Spring and we just had our nuclear explosion of pollen here in the South. There should be plenty of stuff around for the bees. I have noted bee bread in the new comb.
    The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,749

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    The nectar flow is tapering off, and if it falls below the amount necessary to trigger the wax glans and you do not feed, wax production/comb building will stop. Once comb building stops often it is very hard to cause the bees to begin again. Give the colonies a quart of 1:1 syrup to trickle feed them, if there is insufficient nectar coming in they will take the syrup, but if the nectar flow is enough for their needs they will ignore the syrup.

    Once you have all of the comb that the colony needs drawn out, and the colony has the food stores to last until August, you can forget about feeding. In August you will need to feed 1 gallon to each colony to keep the queen laying unless she is a breed that does not slow egg laying during a nectar dearth. The first week of October you should begin checking winter food stores and feeding to bring the colony into condition to overwinter.

    The above advice is based on the remainder of the season being an "average" season. The way the weather has been, I am not sure what the rest of the season will bring.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  12. #11

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLeePettimore View Post
    I am not doing any feeding. I am following Michael Bush's methods, and he says not to feed unless absolutely necessary. Besides, it's Spring and we just had our nuclear explosion of pollen here in the South. There should be plenty of stuff around for the bees. I have noted bee bread in the new comb.
    You might note that I, too, live in the south. Pollen has absolutely nothing to do with wax production. Wax production depends on young bees and nectar or syrup. Our nectar flow here has dwindled and will be completely finished in another ten days.
    If Michael Bush says not to feed….by all means don’t.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by beemandan; 06-02-2019 at 08:26 AM.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,733

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    MB on feeding.

    "Personally I don't feed if there is a nectar flow. Gathering nectar is what bees do. They should be encouraged to do it. I will feed in the spring if they are light, as they will not rear brood without sufficient stores to do it with. I will feed in the fall if they are light, but I always try to make sure I don't take too much honey and leave them light. Some years, though, the fall flow fails and they are on the verge of starvation if I don't feed. When queen rearing, during a dearth, I sometimes have to feed to get them to make cells and to get the queens to fly out and mate. So while I do try to avoid feeding, I end up doing it very often. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with feeding if you have a good reason for doing it, but my plan is to try to avoid it and leave the bees enough to live on".

    And he aslo quotes Brother Adam, emphasis added by me.

    "The reader will by now have drawn the conclusion that stimulative feeding, apart from getting the foundations drawn out in the brood chamber, plays no part in our scheme of bee-keeping. This is in fact so." --Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, Brother Adam

    I would suggest you feed them as much as they will take.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  14. #13

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I would suggest you feed them as much as they will take.
    An addendum, in my opinion. Feed them as much as they will take as long as they continue to draw new comb and the nest is still expanding. If they stop making new comb or the nest is relatively complete then continue feeding only to the point that there are enough stores to overwinter. At no point should an attentive beekeeper feed them to the point of being honey bound.
    I suggest that any beekeepers that are feeding this time of year do a weekly internal inspection to be sure of what exactly is happening inside the hive.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,733

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Agreed, should have added until the brood boxes are completely drawn, but by then the dearth may be here.

    Noticed today the bees are on the Dutch clover. That means for me the main flow is over since you won't see a bee on clover while the tulip poplars are blooming. I will have a light flow for another few weeks and then the nectar stops cold turkey. Feeders go back on as soon as the honey supers come off, July 4th weekend.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Van Buren County, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Wow. Drinking from a fire hose.

    So, not only do I have to learn about bees, I have to become a botanist to know when nectar is flowing, or not? When I have seen "dearth" mentioned , I assumed it was leading into fall. Is there an ebb and flow to nectar production by plants in the spring and summer? How do I determine this? Or do I just see when the bees stop drawing, and assume there is no more nectar?

    I also need to re-read more on all of this. I got my first round of info before I had the bees. Now maybe some of what I read will make more sense (or sense at all) the second time through.

    Thanks everyone for the help. This is a crash course, and I'm trying not to crash.
    The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

  17. #16

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    The best thing is to find a local beekeeper who has some experience. They can answer all sorts of questions that are unique to your area.
    The internet is a source of good and awful information. Figuring out which is which can be a challenge.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,733

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    After my first year I went back and re-read a lot of the stuff I had read when I first got bees and yes, things make a lot more sense once you actually have them and observed the workings of a hive.
    The nectar flow in different areas has different characteristics. Some areas have both a spring and a fall flow, some areas, even in the summer there is nectar available. Some places further north it is just starting while here in the South, it is wrapping up. Where I am , the flow starts around the first of April and is completely over 8 short weeks later. We have no fall flow so we take most of their honey at the end of June and feed back syrup until the hives have enough weight to overwinter successfully. You will learn as time goes on but when you see a whole lot of bees hanging out on the landing board and not doing anything, you can be pretty sure that the dearth in your area has started. This is different from bearding so do not confuse the two.The bees simply will not forage if there is nothing out there to gather.

    Not having a local mentor leads to a very steep learning curve. Once you get past the basics, you can start learning about the really facinating stuff that bees do.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Van Buren County, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Not having a local mentor leads to a very steep learning curve. Once you get past the basics, you can start learning about the really facinating stuff that bees do.
    Since I don't have a local mentor yet, I hope you don't mind me leeching off of y'all for a bit.

    Should I add the super, pull up some brood frames, and feed? Or should I just feed until I see them responding? It seems to me that doing it all can't hurt.
    The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,733

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Matt has provided an alternative that I haven't tried myself, might be a better way. Remove the lightest of the combs, the one that had been #8. Make a space between two brood combs and drop in a medium frame. Start feeding with any one of a number of hive top feeders. A mason jar with holes in the lid, inverted over the hole in the inner cover works. I use a staple gun to make the holes. Give them a week to start drawing out that frame, then add the super, moving the frame up and replacing the deep you removed earlier. In the meantime, get a real hive top feeder so you are not having to add syrup every day. Ceracell makes a nice one as does Betterbee. We are all here to help. Ask away.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Murphy, TX
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: 4 week old hive - No change in last week

    Sorry to beat the dead horse but first year hive should always be fed. Period.

    Drawing a foundation less frames right is a learned art. I would hang alternate medium frames in a deep brood box. Add another deep if you have to to accommodate leftover brood frames. Do NOT leave a box full of foundation less frames on their own devices: they will be either ignored or get cross comb.

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
  •