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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Beekeepers!
I am a novice beekeeper with 2 hives in my suburban yard just south of Boston. I am working langstroth, foundationless, treatment-free, natural size bees. We installed five-frame nucs raised in Putnam County, NY on June 7th....a little late, but we really wanted to wait for northern raised survivors.

No matter how much I read and research, new questions and concerns pop up by the week. I'm hoping that some of you "old hands" will be able to help out with your knowledge!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Bob! How are your bees doing this year?
 

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Thanks, Bob! How are your bees doing this year?
Great so far..... All but one are in double deeps with 2 supers.... Very busy up until a couple of weeks ago and now they vary day to day depending on what they can find.... Most recently they are working the local rose of Sharon (lots of it in my neighborhood)....;- )
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LOL. I don't know them, don't really know too many people in town. Are they beeks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good for you! I'm worried that mine are filling the brood nest with nectar and have stopped drawing comb (still none in the 1 medium super I put on 1 hive two weeks ago :-()
 

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Good for you! I'm worried that mine are filling the brood nest with nectar and have stopped drawing comb (still none in the 1 medium super I put on 1 hive two weeks ago :-()
Hard to tell without more detail.... I assume you are in single deeps? In your last inspection, how much have they built out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Both have 2 Deeps. "Big Hive" is 8 drawn frames and 2 1/2 drawn in the 2nd Deep, added a Medium honey super 7/13 when the 2nd Deep reached 8 frames. The girls have propolised the frames down in the medium, and a few bees are moving around in it, but no comb or even festooning in it yet.

"Little Hive" seems to have stalled out at 5 drawn frames (with a small amount of comb on a few others) in the 2nd Deep since 7/13. Haven't added the Medium honey super yet, as we haven't reached that 6-8 frame critical mass of comb in the 2nd Deep.

If, as you say, they only draw with a major flow on...a slowing in the flow around 7/13 would explain it.
It's nice talking to someone who has a similar setup/philosophy to mine!
 

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Both have 2 Deeps. "Big Hive" is 8 drawn frames and 2 1/2 drawn in the 2nd Deep, added a Medium honey super 7/13 when the 2nd Deep reached 8 frames. The girls have propolised the frames down in the medium, and a few bees are moving around in it, but no comb or even festooning in it yet.

"Little Hive" seems to have stalled out at 5 drawn frames (with a small amount of comb on a few others) in the 2nd Deep since 7/13. Haven't added the Medium honey super yet, as we haven't reached that 6-8 frame critical mass of comb in the 2nd Deep.

If, as you say, they only draw with a major flow on...a slowing in the flow around 7/13 would explain it.
It's nice talking to someone who has a similar setup/philosophy to mine!
I have a "little hive" as well.... My colonies currently are:

1 overwintered mutt genetics..... These have been booming which is what I would expect for a second year hive....
2 strong mutt survivor TF genetics that I installed on 18 May from Tim McFarline nucs.... These are also booming....
1 weak mutt survivor also one of Tim McFarline nucs.... These are in roughly a deep and a half and don't show much interest in building further....
1 swarm of unknown genetics (though more Italian yellow than my mutts) that I hived on 11 May..... These are booming as well...

One of my strong TM colonies loves to beard and they are the ones that I was referring to when I mentioned the humidity.... Plenty of space in the hive but especially when the humidity (and not necessarily the temps) is up they are out covering the landing board and front of the hive.... Sometimes at night and sometimes even in a light rain.... My other colonies don't do this except to a very minor degree so my only conclusion is that they like to do that for some reason.... They have been doing it less for the last couple of weeks and their temperament has gotten more aggressive (see my lawn mowing thread for the details) so that is my surest indication that we are in dearth here..... You may have a different situation where you are depending on what is blooming locally near you but I have found the bee behavior to be the best indicator for me.....

One thing should be apparent and that is that each colony is unique and definitely has it's own personality.....;- )
 

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BTW, for full disclosure, I am only a second year beek so take my opinions with that in mind..... The good news is that here in the forum there is a tremendous amount of experience and very few are shy with sharing what they have learned....;- )
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You've definitely set my mind at ease. Sounds like a similar phenomenon (even to the "at night" and "in a light rain"). They look so miserable when bearded up in the rain. It will be interesting to see what happens with these "Little Hives".

I just pulled the tray out from under the screened bottom board this morning, and think we will prop the telescoping lid just a bit to allow better ventilation and then try to relax and let them bee. FINALLY found the reference for these actions on Michael Bush's website, knew there was something there!

Your lawn mower episode seems to have been quite an adventure!
 
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