Where is the honey
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    131

    Default Where is the honey

    After many years I was shocked to find my best hive with 5 supers had almost no honey in the lower 3 and some in 5he top 2. I have always had capped honey in the lower supers and often not much on top. For a decade I have applied supers on the top. I would appreciate any reason for this situation. Could they be back filling?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
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    853

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    How many boxes do you start with? Add supers only when the previous super is 80% full. After extracting, don't put the supers back on. This will force the bees to fill their brood chamber with nectar.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Lake County, Illinois
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    131

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    This is the first year with single deeps. I add supers when about 7-8 frames are covered.I plan to remove the supers that are partially filled, process and store for the winter. We hav head some very difficult weather this year.
    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    How many boxes do you start with? Add supers only when the previous super is 80% full. After extracting, don't put the supers back on. This will force the bees to fill their brood chamber with nectar.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    853

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Have you done an inspection of the brood box? Are you sure the bees you see aren't robbers? Do you see eggs or brood?
    I had a hive that was 2 deep brood boxes and 4 medium honey supers. I counted on getting 10 gallons of honey from this single hive. There were too many boxes to have to go through to get to the brood boxes, so I didn't inspect for about 6 weeks. When I was harvesting, I found that the colony had died and most of the super's frames were robbed out.
    Make sure you have a viable colony, reduce the number of boxes to whatever configuration you want to run with and harvest what you can.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    4,122

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Please inspect the brood chamber and report your findings.

    Crazy Roland

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    131

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Inspected all hives and. Rood chambers . Did not. One any issues. I have never had a situation where there are Bees and limited honey. Many supers almost nothing. Others with some capped honey on one side and all uncapped in the other side.I am leaving many supers on as goldenrod is blooming but I don’t expect any future honey. I had about 30% swarm this year and they are doing fine. The other hives have produced about 40% from previous years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Please inspect the brood chamber and report your findings.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Plannerwgp View Post
    Inspected all hives and. Rood chambers . Did not. One any issues.
    What does this mean?
    Did you find any eggs or larvae?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    I found larva.Not good seeing eggs.
    The lack of honey productionmay have to do with our poor weather this spring. They bees just couldnt get out in the cold and rain. I purchased about 13 nucs from a local beekeeper and they also stuggled before I got them due to the weather. However the imported packages also experienced the same weather. There have been very mixed results in my area. Some have done ok and others have had similar experiences.
    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    What does this mean? The supers have 9 frames. Most have small areas of capped honey onone side, and totally uncapped on the other side. There were a few frames that were capped on both sides. At this time of the year golden rod has bloomed, the gesese are flying and the weather is changing, meaning we are at or near the end of any significant flow. It has been a lost year for me, and now that I have a serious health proble, sadly it may be my last.
    Did you find any eggs or larvae?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    853

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    If I were in your shoes, I would reduce the number of boxes to your winter configuration and harvest the rest. You said you were going to use single deeps. If your deep frames are not filled, I would leave on a honey super that has all honey frames, capped and uncapped.
    With the conditions you described, check the weight of your hives and be prepared to feed if they are light. In your area, you don't have a lot of time to get your hives to their winter weight, so I would get started ASAP.
    Good luck!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    446

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    I had similar experience this year. Put on supers, then after 2 weeks, smoked the supers heavy and placed new metal excluders in. Went back after a week and made sure that open larvae and eggs were only in brood boxes.

    Then, in between rain periods I'd check, and if they were drawing the foundation frame I put in the center of my boxes, I'd add a super.

    Went to pull first honey early July, and had 3 yards (50 hives total) that the 30% of the queens were MIA with no evidence of queen cells or brood, and 30% laying above the excluder. No top entrances. I finally decided that in the rainy periods, the brood nest needed to rise into the honey. Queens tried hard to squeeze through. Some made it, others got stuck and gave off enough pheromone to prevent raising another queen.

    Just a blind guess, as I was lost. Never seen this in my few years. Either way, I ended up with several hives with 4-5 supers, only one of which actually had honey to take, and brood chambers stuffed with mostly pollen.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    131

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    BD FARMER555
    This is almost my exact experience. I had about 40% swarm so no honey and I had to replace queens as no virgin queens returned or lived. I basically will have about 30% of the honey from previous years. I have been forced to extract more uncapped frames and so I have to use a dehunidifier as it is coming in between 19%-20%. I didnt have any queens make it thru the excluders, not that it matters anymore. Lets hope for a better year next year. Thanks for the information. I dont think we are alone in this situatuion as I am hearing similar reports from Illinois and Wisconsin.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lindsay Ontario
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    >as no virgin queens returned or lived.
    This year, I fixed this problem, at least for me
    Often, I would see a nice 1wk or < virgin, not a week later
    Again and again and again
    So, this year I said (to myself) I wonder if queens can smell as well as workers
    One nuc with thymol crystal, nuc beside with good shake of cinnamon
    Seems to work
    Oh, because of probable long term lack of sunspots (spaceweather.com), expect (relativly) more rain
    usually bees do not do as well in a rainy season
    (long term = 3 or 4 cycles, 30-40 years)

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    2,899

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Plannerwgp View Post
    After many years I was shocked to find my best hive....?
    And you have the same queen all those years?
    Maybe this is no longer your best hive, after many years.
    For sure, this is not the same hive, whatever it is.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    131

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Greg
    No I do not have the same queen. They were allnew this year and several were replaced after swarming. Sorry I was not clear.
    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    And you have the same queen all those years?
    Maybe this is no longer your best hive, after many years.
    For sure, this is not the same hive, whatever it is.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    4,122

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Plannerwgp - I am not that far from you, about 90 miles, so our weather was similar. Your inspection report was rather cursive.

    First of all, it is hard to complain of lack of honey with that high of a swarm rate. The easiest way to make more honey is to prevent swarming. We have not seen evidence of a swarm in decades. It can be done.

    Did you see ANY bees that died hatching with their tongues out?

    How old is your brood comb?

    Crazy Roland

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    My low production pertainsto hives that have not swarmed. Brood comb about 2-3 years old. I replace about 30% a year. I I started the year withmanu nucs from a local yard that has also had difficult times due to our cold and rainy wheather. Everything seemed normal after the weather improved, and I did inspect every 2-3 weeks. They simply did not bring in sufficient necter and although the bees were healthy in terms of queens and qaunity of bees, I think they did not have enough time to produce and cap the honey. Based onabout 10 years of experience which I dont rely on, it appears they hives are about 1 month behind so I left supers on but I dont expect much. I heading for searious surgery next week, so I will not be able to inspect for about 2 weeks. You are very fortunate not to have swarms, as I have about 10% every year. This year was near 30%, cant realy determine exact number. This was alo my first year with single deeps, however, I know some commercial beekeepers inWisconsin do the same. Thanks
    heater.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Plannerwgp - I am not that far from you, about 90 miles, so our weather was similar. Your inspection report was rather cursive.

    First of all, it is hard to complain of lack of honey with that high of a swarm rate. The easiest way to make more honey is to prevent swarming. We have not seen evidence of a swarm in decades. It can be done.

    Did you see ANY bees that died hatching with their tongues out?

    How old is your brood comb?

    Crazy Roland

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,899

    Default Re: Where is the honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Plannerwgp View Post
    Greg
    No I do not have the same queen. They were allnew this year and several were replaced after swarming. Sorry I was not clear.
    Of course.
    Pretty much you already have many different generations and different colonies turned over in "that hive".
    Talking of the "best hive" is meaningless by this point.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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