1st September-what to do?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada-Near Vancouver
    Posts
    44

    Default 1st September-what to do?

    So I've made it this far, my hive is doing good with one deep/one medium brood box and a deep honey super, 8 frame hive. They're now starting to kick out the drones and the yellow jackets are bothersome, but they're not trying to get into the hive yet, mainly scavenging dead bees and drones. I have many wasp traps up and they're helping. My varroa count is up so I'm going to treat with Formic Pro tonight. My honey super has one full capped frame and most of the others are 1/3-1/2 capped so no real harvest. The queen was active in the upper medium brooder as of last night, I didn't check the bottom box but it's full of bees. My question is what now? Besides the varroa treatment, I may get to spin a couple of frames before the middle of the month but don't care really and would rather see the bees have food. I guess I should check the bottom box to see how much honey is in there. When to pull the honey super? if at all? Feed?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,915

    Default Re: 1st September-what to do?

    Yes, you need to check that bottom box. For all you know it is empty comb with a little pollen, which is very common if you have not been rotating boxes. If all you have honeywise is one 8 frame deep that is not even full yet, harvest the one capped frame for a sample and leave the rest for the bees. You may actually be a little light right now but I am not familiar with your flows. Consider feeding. If the bottom box is empty or largely so, rotate it up, you want the bees to stay low and utilize all available comb space for storage and winter bee raising. Just an opinion from much farther south.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Surrey, B.C. Canada-Near Vancouver
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: 1st September-what to do?

    Well good news, the bottom box is again full of brood. Queen is obviously doing well. I treated with a single Formic pro pad, will treat again in 10 days. A bit more capped honey up top but still not going to harvest it, the one full frame is about 1/3 empty now so they’ve been eating it so I’m not taking any more out.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I don't want to hijack this thread but I just logged on to ask some very similar questions. I'm a first year beekeeper and I have been very pleased so far with the colonies growth. I have 2 deep brood boxes and by mid June they were both nearly full so I added a medium super with an excluder. They had the super about half full as of a month or so ago. I went out yesterday to collect what I expected to amount to 5 or so frames of honey only to discover most of it is gone. There is only 1 side of one frame that is capped. The other side is mostly full but not capped and a few frames that have some left but are mostly empty. The same is true of the brood boxes. Nearly all of the honey is gone. I will in rural Indiana on 35 acres of woods and pastures. I have specifically been paying attention and various wild flowers have been in bloom all summer. So the question is now what? I don't want to leave the super for them to have to keep it warm but can't harvest the uncapped honey either. I'd just leave it for them but since they're medium frames and the brood boxes are deeps, I can't move them down either.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Triadelphia, West Virginia
    Posts
    581

    Default

    Art, not sure how your fall flow is but if my hives were light right now I would be worried and start feeding heavily with 2:1 syrup asap. If you wanted to leave what little honey is left in the medium frames for the hives you could just put a medium frame in an outside position in the bottom deep. Not sure how much honey you have in your medium. Either way they definitely need to be brought up to weight for winter.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,915

    Default Re: 1st September-what to do?

    In addition to feeding, you need to check your mite load and most likey treat. One possibility, if the hive was strong and there was plenty of nectar producing forage available, but the bees were burning though stores, the bees themselves are not living long enough to become good foragers due to mite pressure. More realistically, the flowers you were observing were just not good nectar sources. In VA, a full and capped super left on past mid June or so becomes an empty super by August unless you are feeding heavily. With just over twenty hives and a few nucs, I have gone through about 400# of sugar and it is not even winter yet. Most hives are getting close to winter weight now, and this is what you need to be shooting for. Expect to feed the one hive at least 50-60# of sugar (maybe more if you dont have much of a fall flow) over the next two months since they have no stores now. You should also make sure they have ample pollen, if not, you can feed a 1/2 patty evey week until frost.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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