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With the drought here, no letup in sight, my hive with a super of drawn comb hasn't capped ONE cell of honey in it. Catalpas are just finishing their bloom but with no rain and 100 degrees, it's been slim foraging all spring. I'm feeding the other hive, a small cutout, to draw out their comb. It got me thinking, maybe this year I should just feed both and draw the medium frames of foundation I have sitting in the shed. I only have 16 shallow frames of drawn comb (from last year, year one). After the cutout saved my hopelessly queenless hive and then a huge swarm call I though I'd be right back in the game for a honey harvest this year, but I'll gladly settle for not too many of my fishing creeks ruined by wildfire.

Give up on honey-hopes and feed for comb?
 

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Geez Ben, what a crappy situation.

I'd have to wonder if you'd have to feed enough to convince the hive there is a flow before they'd draw. I'd also have to worry that your queen would be shutting down for the dearth, and then they might just backfill the brood instead of drawing wax.

If you get a good enough flow, I'd think they would draw reasonable fast enough to keep up to the flow.

If it were me, I'd sit tight.
But I'm not in Colorado, and I don't know your envirnoment well.

Hopes these points to ponder help though.

JEFF
 

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I'm right there with you Ben. No honey for me this year - I'm splitting and drawing comb with the hope that next year with 10+ hives I'll get some honey for a change
Not having honey is kind of sad but seeing all the splits makes me feel a little better
 

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I got Walt Wright's "Nectar Management" .pdf manuscript about a week ago. I believe reading the manuscript will help decisions in situations like this.
 

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Brewcat,
I was waiting for locals to advise you on what to expect for the year. My interest this season is to continue comb production this year. First, I've done some splits, so I need to let these hives recoup. Second, as Daniel points out about Nectar Management, I'm hoping for spare combs for checkerboarding. By foregoing much production this year, I'm hoping for double production next year of what I could have made on my original 2 hives which have grown to 10.

Waya
 

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Welcome to the reality of the farmer: (1 year a bumper crop + 1 year an average crop + 1 year no crop)/3. The average is an average crop.

The drought years appear to be the worst for honey production. But then other years it depends upon the timing of the drought.
 

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"Nectar Management" is only of value when one
has some actual nectar to manage.


Yeah, sometimes you have to make the best of
the weather you are handed. Drawing comb and
making splits would be a good idea, as the
bees are going to need feeding anyway.

When life gives you lemons, make gin and tonics...
no, make lemonade.
 

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I'd slap some feed on and see what they do. It doesn't take alot to stimulate a flow and get them to draw comb. It will also keep the queen laying so the hive continues to thrive. When they get some empties drawn, change them out with new ones so they don't fill them with sugarwater. You could also try dry sugar, and make them haul their own water, it would give them something to do.
 
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