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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I had to start my hives over this year after a robbery by a skunk. I hived 2, 3lb packages in april and both hives have been doing great. I refill the sugar water once a week in each hive because they empty them. I have something going on with one of my hives. Alot of the girls are staying outside and on the landing. Some are congragating on top of the hive, above the entrance the number of bees have increased since this morning. Around the entrance is now covered. They are still going in and out. Looking in the left entrance hole this morning, I saw a comb on the first bar. It doesnt go all the way across to the left hole. I have the divider about half way in the hive, because I didnt want them to feel overwhelmed when I hived them. Do i need to move the divider back and move each comb
/bar back a few spaces to get the bar with the comb away from the entrance? My feeder is against the divider on the hive side and there are 3 empty bars in front of it. All suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. I will try and upload pics. Im on my phone and it wont let me upload from gallery.
 

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Frstmer, does it look sort of like this? Bearding.jpg If so, that's bearding, and it's completely normal in hot and/or humid conditions. My hives have bearded in as little as 80 degrees when humidity is high.

I suspect some of these more seasoned beeks are going to ask you why you're feeding at this point of the year as well. I'm new, but I'll say that I'm not feeding my hives now, except for one swarm hive that I'm trying to goose a bit to finish drawing out a second super.

Good luck to you!
 

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A guy here in Missouri was feeding during the main flow and the bees kept taking the feed rather than leaving it alone and going after fresh nectar. His hives exploded as well and sounds like they are full of bees and bearding heavy as well. Warned him not to let the brood area become honey bound. Weird, usually they will stop taking the feed during a flow, but then again he was starting some hives with new equipment so they must have been using the extra feed to draw comb (produce wax) while raising a lot of new bees. I guess it would also be possible the local nectar source around his forage area was not heavy enough to support his new colonies at the time and that could have been another reason they kept taking feed during the main flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bbruff22, MDS, thank you for your replies.
The picture bbruff posted is almost excatly what my bees are doing. Starting Friday night, the humidity went to 100% and its been drizzling ever since. My other hive isn't as strong and has half the population. They are all in the hive, besides coming & going collecting pollen. I have been feeding because, most of what I've read on the forum and in books, suggests feeding newly hived colonies for the first year. Observiving the bees coming back, they have a lot of pollen in their baskets, even with the feeders full.
About the comb on the first bar, should I remove the last empty bar and slide them all back, to place the empty bar at the entrance?
Thank you again.
 

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feed a new bar between 2 nice straight brood bars.

there are not many 100% rules in beekeeping. feeding is one of them, it depends on the bees and location. I think feeding is best done when you first hive them and they have no supplies and then in the fall if you need to bump up their stores if they are low. Problem now is you have a ton of syrup stored along with nectar so it is all mixed up and likely no actual honey.
 

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Could just be bearding due to the heat, but it is best to inspect and check for swarm cells. If they backfill the broodnest they will probably swarm. I'm with Jake, I wouldn't feed once they get going since you really are not producing honey at that point.

Besides, my girls know where every hummingbird feeder is located!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you are right about the nectar JakeDatc. I have 3 combs out of 8 with clear, sweet nectar, a couple full of pollen and 1 with golden honey. the rest look like brood. In your opinion, should I slide all the bars back one space to get the first comb away from the entrance? The space between the comb and the entrance hole is about 1/2 inch. im trying to upload photos but having trouble. ive posted the problem im having uploading and hopefully will get some help.
 

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Leave the first comb there. they have that one set where they want it with enough space before the entrance. add one like the 3rd spot. move everything else straight back how it is.

I would guess the 3 clear ones are mostly syrup. those will be good feed for over the winter. make sure they have a few empty bars after the last honey so they have room to add more honey.
 

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Two suggestions, if I may ...

(1) What you are observing is "normal 'bearding.'" Bees try to maintain a certain temperature within the hive, and one way that they have to do this is to have "all non-essential personnel" hang-out outside.

(2) By all means, stop offering them "sugar water," because that's what you will actually be eating this fall. (Yuck!)

Always Remember: "Honeybees are genetically programmed to survive with Nature, not Beekeepers!"

"Nature," every now and then, might supply a bounty. And, whenever that fortuitous moment happens, bees are programmed to take full advantage of it. Just like the (admittedly, "Providentially forewarned ..." Egyptians in Exodus, they will hoard it, in anticipation of "seven years of famine."

... which is a brilliant strategy for natural(!) conditions.

... however, Nature never provides "a bounty" by the gallon!

Therefore, the insects dutifully do the only thing that insects(!) actually know what to do: they store it. (And, to keep whatever-it-is from spoiling, they also cap it.)

... and, most unfortunately, "you(!) mistake all of it for Honey!!"

You harvest it. Maybe you sell it. You congratulate yourself on your "bounty."

. . .

You wonder why it "sugars up" a month later. :s

And, if you actually want to know, here's how to find out. Merely set a quart of your "proffered bounty" (sic ...) aside, alongside a quart of your recently-collected "honey." (sic ...) You will in due time discover that both jars "sugar up" at almost the same rate.

It would take a chemist to confirm that: "both jars contain essentially the same thing."
 
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