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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my one strong hive (I have two) seemed to consume the two boxes of honey they stored over the winter, but they have not really done much with the honey this year. When I inspected, what I thought was TWO boxes of honey, is in fact two boxes of honey/pollen/brood. To me, this is a great thing...the hive is doing well and making a lot of workers and drones, and it has the nice crescent shape. But.....I can't extract that honey. There are a couple of frames on the outside that are full, but I guess I kind of expected them to be drawing the extra box on top and storing it much quicker.

I'm kind of thinking that most of their nectar is going primarily to building comb since this is undrawn foundation and that my honey production won't really come until yet another year?
 

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I've been having the same problem, it takes them forever to draw new comb. I've gone with foundation, and have tried adding additional wax, spraying with sugar water and now spraying with HBH. The HBH seems to have the best effect, but it's still been slow going. I expected 10+ supers of honey this year, and I'll probably end up with 5. That said, I won't have this problem next year. I've got a lot of drawn frames now. I
pulled my first medium super full of honey today. :D
 

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You should have been feeding them syrup if they are working on drawing out boxes of foundation for the brood nest. Drawing comb does take quite a bit of resources, and I would rather they draw foundation on cheap syrup than honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You should have been feeding them syrup if they are working on drawing out boxes of foundation for the brood nest. Drawing comb does take quite a bit of resources, and I would rather they draw foundation on cheap syrup than honey.
Brood nest is already drawn. The honey supers are what they are drawing now. They used a couple of supers as additional brood nest, which is not exactly what I wanted, but its fine. More bees.
 

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Yes, your thinking was correct in my mind. They used the over winter stores to increase brood and build up, they used incoming nectar to draw comb. You might not get enough honey to rob from them this year. Save your drawn comb this year so that they don't have to draw wax next year.

Some locations get great ongoing honey flows and supers can be drawn and excess honey is stored. Then there are the other locations like mine, that if they have to draw comb, they won't be storing much honey for me to take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was hoping to keep a couple of supers worth on them each for the winter, but I was also hoping to extract at least a frame or two...just for us.
 

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That is the thing about about honey bees. Sometimes you don't get the cake and get to eat it to. Or get the honey and get to eat it to. Like said before, if you want them to build comb then you have to feed them sugar syrup. I have to feed mine here in Idaho a lot right now. I use 2-1 mixture to get them to build, it is not cheap but worth it in the long run. I main flow don't even start for another 2-3 weeks. Good luck and I hope you get a little honey for your self.
 

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If they were strong coming out of winter, I would think they should have done better in your area. Up here, spring was late, but the cooler weather has kept the flow going into June and my bees have made up for lost time. It should be one of my best years in a while. I left all the honey on the bees last year as I had split aggressively to build numbers. In February, I added dry sugar to 3-4 hives and the rest were sitting on ample stores for spring build up. Have you had a decent flow this spring?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is the thing about about honey bees. Sometimes you don't get the cake and get to eat it to. Or get the honey and get to eat it to. Like said before, if you want them to build comb then you have to feed them sugar syrup. I have to feed mine here in Idaho a lot right now. I use 2-1 mixture to get them to build, it is not cheap but worth it in the long run. I main flow don't even start for another 2-3 weeks. Good luck and I hope you get a little honey for your self.
I would do this, but my concern is that they would store sugar water instead of nectar. Will they do that or use it purely for wax production?? Even if you pull syrup when the flow starts, how can you be sure the frames you are extracting arent syrup?
 

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Another danger is that they back fill the brood's nest. This happened last year and then the bees swarmed. Didn't get honey out of that.

I do agree though to feed to get the to build ...just be careful to pull that syrup the moment your flow starts or if they start back filling.
 
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