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Discussion Starter #1
I have no idea who, what, when a nectar flow is declared. I know in TN is starts in the next couple of weeks per the older beeks. But me thinks that the flow has already started.

I have a 5-gallon community feeding bucket in my yard. The bees were in it heavy. They are still feeding from it but not nearly as many bees. But, the honey is being stored in fairly large amounts at the moment. More than I have seen the last 2 years. I am sure that several of my hives could have 20-30 thousand bees. I don't know how you count 'em, but there are a lot of bees in my hives here in town. Not to mention all of the brood. Some of the queens seem to be going into overdrive laying eggs.

I have some comb now to put on the hives for the nectar flow. Some of it was brood comb still containing honey from last year (winter) deadouts. Some of it was the honey frames from deadout . A good bit of it was brood box size frames. Wanted to keep some of the comb back to use with splits/swarms/cutouts/traps. But I may have to use the high brood frames as supers. I need to finally get some honey production. All $ going out and little coming back in.

I have put some comb and foundation frames checkerboarded on a few of the hives and they have been drawing it some.

What's the best use of any honey comb frames (contain capped honey) from deadouts now?


Think it's too late to have these bees draw comb?

As fast as they are now growing I am afraid that putting on empty frames (w/ or w/o foundation) will trigger the bees to swarm as they will understand the frames w/o comb as not enough room.....Unless I put on the comb.

This is an area that I don't really have a feel for yet. Not enough experience to make the correct decisions and make them timely.
 

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Ken, I think the initial flow is still a week or so away here in Clarksville, which would put yours a little ahead of us as expected. My personal experience with having bees draw comb has been successful under two circumstances: during a flow and when I was feeding 1 to 1. If your brood chambers are 70% full, I would pop those supers on (foundation or foundationless). My bees actually made a super of cut comb on thin foundation two summers ago during the first week of the flow. Last year I did not make as much honey per hive, but I think it was due to the excessive rainy weather. My personal preference would be to make nucs with those resources you have. Keep me informed on your progress.
 

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Ken,
I agree...the way the weather has been around here this week. I think it is time to add a super either way. As for honey left in combs from deadouts...I think I am going to let the bees have that (in my case) and not use to mix in with the 2010 honey from this years nectar flow. Just what I am thinking...God bless old buddy!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your replies. Can always count on Stan and Fred.

BTW, I lost another hive at the farm. And it wasn't the one with no larva, eggs or queen, just a queen cell. Added 2 frames of bees.
 

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I would also think about removing the feed bucket, they might be storing your syrup, not honey. If your that close to the bloom super and stop feeding....good luck and hope ya get some surplus honey this year
 

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Ken,

I'm just a bit north of you in Springfield. My bees have been working hard for about three weeks bringing in lots of nectar and pollen. The strongest of the four hives has been on fire and is already drawing out and filling a second shallow super. (That particular hive is very hardworking, and it's the only one that produced a surplus last year. They drew out and filled a shallow super in late June and early July, probably from the sumac bloom, when the others were doing nothing.) The next strongest is just beginning to draw out the foundation on their first super. The other two are further behind and are still building their population and filling out the second brood chamber.

It's interesting to see how differently each hive behaves. If all four were like the strongest hive I'd really be happy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Guess, I need to put some supers on the girls. Will add some foundationless as the first super and then some with comb. They may just go past the foundationless frames or partially work them. But they can't work them at all if I don't put them on.

The SW bucket is almost empty and very few bees are using it anyway. Looks like they much prefer the "real thang".
 

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The SW bucket is almost empty and very few bees are using it anyway. Looks like they much prefer the "real thang".
This is why open feeding should be regulated. Beekeeper A open feeds. Beekeeper B has his honeysupers on and his bees are collecting Beekeeper A's syrup producing an adultered crop!!!

Almost empty is not empty. Very few bees is not no bees.
 

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I must agree with Beeslave. Unless you want to make "funny honey" , much care is needed when feeding. What happens to all that feed that is in the brood chamber when the Queen wants that space for eggs? Does it go into your honey super? As to the old brood frames with feed, like Fred Bee, keep it out of the "real" honey production. I would use them to start a new hive. The bees consume the feed as feed(don''t call it honey if it is feed) , and keep the brood combs in the brood chamber. Real honey tastes better, especially if it come from non-brood frames.

Roland
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I put the SW out to ensure no more loses. While I had losses most still had honey in the frames. I would say that a good bit of the honey on the hives now were there before feeding. So I can't say how much of the SW taken in was eaten, stored in the brood areas or put in supers. Since I basically didn't have many supers on the hives the honey that I will harvest should be pure. The few supers that were on were mainly left as reserves for the winter.

Last year my honey was dark and I fed them. But we had very little nectar flow in the spring and fall.

I will remove the bucket and top feed as necessary on specific hive.

Thanks for everyone's input.
 

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USC, I'm north of Chattanooga. We never make surplus before late April. Tulip Poplar ( last week of April - early May ) is our most dependable honey flow. In early April sometimes the strongest colonies can stave out if we get a cool wet spell. It is very likely that we will. May and early June is honey flow time, then sourwood in late June - July.
 
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