low honey production in northern Illinois.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    orland park
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    144

    Default low honey production in northern Illinois.

    I am not sure if anyone else is experiencing it, but in my case I have hives on 10 frames full and barely any honey. Is this year that bad or is there still time to make up for it?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    Are you talking about a 10 frame deep brood box or something else? Do you use 2 brood boxes and are you talking about a honey super above them?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,089

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    The plants where 2 weeks behind. Bees follow the plants. Don't expect the flood gates to open until you see White Sweet Clover, AND you have bees in your hive up to chest high.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    orland park
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    I mean i have 1 deep box (10 frames) full of brood and bees, yet the super above them has barely any honey

  6. #5

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    What are the chances that your hive(s) swarmed?
    A single swarming event will dramatically reduce your production.
    A secondary swarm will eliminate the likelihood of any surplus plus you may need to feed for survival.
    A tertiary swarm can be the kiss of death.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Clare, Michigan
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpula2 View Post
    I am not sure if anyone else is experiencing it, but in my case I have hives on 10 frames full and barely any honey. Is this year that bad or is there still time to make up for it?
    The cool wet weather has left the bees sitting in their hive consuming the feed and raising their brood. We have had few days the bees can forage in force and when they have the blooming plants have come and gone because of the weather. Honeysuckle around here last for 2 weeks in the spring and the supers are generally full. Not this year, as it has rained for nearly 2 weeks keeping the bees from bring much if any of it in. Same with the maple, fruit, hawthorn, dandelions. Now the blackberries are blooming and it's raining again today. Hopefully the weather straightens itself out soon!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    Not unusual for your area and our weather. Do you have comb or foundation in your super.normally you would use 2 deeps and then supers so I am not certain what you intend to do. The bees will move up if you have a hive that did not swarm and is queen right and when the weather improves.
    Quote Originally Posted by dpula2 View Post
    I mean i have 1 deep box (10 frames) full of brood and bees, yet the super above them has barely any honey

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,747

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    Here in NE Missouri it's been similar. There was a mid May gangbusters for part of a week until it cooled down and rained for several days, keeping the bees in till it was over. I think it was black locust and/or Russian olive. Since then there hasn't been any extra come in and some of the May take was used up. We have had a lot of cool days and May was full of rain. Yellow clover has bloomed several weeks ago and white just started blooming in the last week. It's still cool and slow. Yes, soon after the white clover is bloomed the boom is on normally. It takes some warm weather and today is 68 degrees right now here.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,089

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    Bees make honey, empty boxes do not. It is likely your hived swarmed if you are not filling both boxes with bees by now. We run a single deep brood chamber, with most hives starting to fill two or three frames.

    The scale hive went up 13 lbs in 14 days, so if you have bees, there is a little something out there.

    Crazy Roland

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    Roland
    I am also running single deeps. Most were started from NUCS this year. I use a queen excluder and I have noticed they are starting to move up into first super. The weather has really slowed things down, .........hoping for some sun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Bees make honey, empty boxes do not. It is likely your hived swarmed if you are not filling both boxes with bees by now. We run a single deep brood chamber, with most hives starting to fill two or three frames.

    The scale hive went up 13 lbs in 14 days, so if you have bees, there is a little something out there.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,747

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    I have had a few hives go to swarm mode and I pulled a small split with the queen, but I have hives that are strong hives with some 4 medium 10 frames of brood. Several pulled 2 mediums of stores in mid May in less than a week and ended up being 7 mediums tall, but since then they have stayed even or lost some. They are strong, but the flow and weather hasn't been good since then for producing nectar and flying time. Cool nights keep them in later and bring them home earlier and we have had an abundance of rainy and cool days. Today again was rain all morning, then cool cloudy afternoon with weak flying. They are ready to go but the weather isn't good for long days of foraging. Even the smaller colonies would be bringing in some extra on a normal year. Hope things change soon and/or the main flow goes way longer than normal.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,747

    Default Re: low honey production in northern Illinois.

    In the last 4-5 days the flow is gushing in real good. It finally stopped raining so much and got warm into the 80s. Good ground moisture too.

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