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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Veteran Beekeepers!

This is my 3rd year with beekeeping, and I have a problem. This is my first post, and I have used Beesource multiple times for problems and ideas.... Thank you for your imput!!! It has been a good year here in Pa as far as nectar flow. I have 5 hives and all are strong with lots of brood of all stages. I harvested 40 pds of honey from my strongest hive in June, but my 2nd year Italian package of bees is booming with tons of bees, drones, brood, and eggs of all stages in 5 hive bodies deep, and I thought there was much honey to harvest , but sadly there is very little honey and certainly not enough to harvest or get them through the winter!!!

I just bought an expensive extractor too!!! Uggggghhhhh

Bees look healthy without visual varroa. I did one split in spring (May) as the hive seemed very strong and likely to swarm. I did treat in spring with Formic acid one strip...... I thought I was a good beekeeper and promising honey to my friends and coworkers.... "NOT..."

I don't think they swarmed as the queen is there and there seems to be many bees. I also added 2 hive bodies with frames to give them room to growin the spring. No queen cells or evidence of. I did see a few queen cups, but no queen cells. There are abundant brood in all levels of all hive bodies, but without much honey as of July 23rd..

Any ideas or thoughts? So disappointed....

Thank you for you wisdom....
 

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It might it be that the bees are using all of their forage to raise brood. I know that mine are bringing in a lot, and the colonies are growing, but not putting anything up for long term storage. There just isn't any surplus in the hive. I am OK with that, as I figure that a fall flow (fingers crossed) will be met by a large field force and reduced brood rearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies. I suppose they may have swarmed. I have been checking them fairly regularly, I don't believe the population has plummeted. I did do a split this spring and added extra supers to prevent swarming, but I they may have gone anyway. In the spring I did see the queen and she was a light golden blonde color (unmarked) and yesterday she was a deeper amber color. I thought aging....LOL Possibly a different queen altogether.

Yep hoping for a good fall. I hate the idea of feeding a 2 year old large colony.
 

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If they can use the feed, why not give it to them? At least a few gallons to give them some stores before the fall flow.
 
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