Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First year beekeeper. I put my second hive body on July 4th. Since then I have been feeding 1 gallon every other day. Today I looked at the top box and it had 8 1/2 frames drawn out. I put on the queen excluder and an undrawn super. I left the top feeder off. Here are my questions. Is the queen excluder going to inhibit drawing out and filling the new super? Is it ok for me to leave the feeder off, pretty much having them go cold turkey on the syrup or is it ok to feed with a super on?

Thanks
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
The bees will probably store the sugar water in the super, which is OK if you are leaving it for winter feed. Normally bees can find enough to support themselves unless a severe dearth is on. Fall feeding with 2/1 sugar water to prepare for winter should be the next feeding in Sept and Oct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
+1 on what Ron said! For winter feed, that's good stuff, but you don't want that on a biscuit with butter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you guys saying that they will move the syrup/honey from the lower hive bodies into the super?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
No That is not what they are saying. But they will most likely not draw anything more if you stop feeding. If you want them to Draw the super, You will have to feed as they will not draw comb unless they have a need for it. if you feed they will have a need for the space and draw comb, However, they will fill said comb with syrup as the main flow is over and there is not surplus of nectar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
No they mean, if you feed sugar with the supers on they will draw the frames and then start filling it with sugar honey. You don't want to sell or eat that. I would stop feeding , and leave off the excluder for now, let them draw the super and maybe add some honey. 2-3 weeks before you are ready to extract, check for larva in your super, if there is, move the queen below and add an excluder . as the bees emerge the hive will back fill the cells and you can extract.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,799 Posts
PMFJI - I would never feed with a honey super on.

Once again we have regional differences rearing their heads on BeeSource.

MSK500 - what is the usual configuration for over wintering in your area? Have you now got two deep boxes on and drawn? (It is hard to tell from your post.)

At the risk of giving yet another regional difference, I have never known bees to pass through a QE to draw comb. Around here, at any rate, it is said that bees view a QE with undrawn foundation directly above it as a cap of their available space. In consequence it never gets drawn.

Wayne has it right that without a flow or the simulation of a flow (which is what you are doing by providing thin or 1:1 sugar syrup) the bees will not draw comb. I think your hopes of having your honey super drawn out this year won't come true unless you have a fall flow and the bees have need of the space.

I suspect if you are using two deeps for your brood chamber that you will not be leaving any honey supers on the hive for winter - in other words any honey that is stored in honey supers is considered surplus and available for human consumption.

As for stopping feeding now that is a decision you need to make after looking in your hive. Compare notes with other local to you beekeepers. When does the colony typically gather winter stores? If not now, does the queen have adequate laying room?

I can tell you what is happening in my hives but there is an entire alphabet between MO and ME.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
If you are not in a good flow and put on spun wet supers will they be more likely to fill those than if there was bare foundation?

I guess I am asking if I should put wet supers back on after the main flow or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Personally, when it comes to beekeeping I think that "less is more." For the most part, don't presume that you know "their" business better than they do. If you absolutely know that the natural-resource situation is "worse than the sixth year of the famine in the Book of Exodus," then you might throw your hive a lifeboat in the form of a ready supply of "something to eat," even though they would probably regard it as being considerably less than a McDonald's Hamburger. (In other words, "yuck!")

But, except in that most-unusual and drastic case, "NO."

I mean, stop and think about it: could any colony of insects possibly be eating "half-a-gallon of sucrose every day?" No. Such a ravenous insect could never survive in Nature with such an appetite ... because flowers(!) could never supply such an appetite.

Therefore, "if this amount of sucrose is disappearing, and it is impossible for the insects to be eating it, where must the sucrose be going?" Well, the long-and-short of it is, "into the stuff that you'll​ soon be eating!"

Uh huh ... when the "honey" that you collect "mysteriously 'sugars up' ..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,425 Posts
If you are not in a good flow and put on spun wet supers will they be more likely to fill those than if there was bare foundation?

I guess I am asking if I should put wet supers back on after the main flow or not.
I would put the wet supers back on rather than have them put their energies into drawing out foundation late in the season. When I lived in Maine, I seldom had anything to extract before the late flow. The few times I did, I put the wet supers back on and they worked on refilling a super with goldenrod & aster. Mostly they filled out the lower boxes for overwintering.

Down here in Pennsylvania, after I extract next week, I'll put the wet supers on above the inner cover while they clean them out. The bees seem to consider them far enough removed that they will bring the remaining honey down below.

Wayne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
Should you stop feeding?

A very good question, and answers can be quite complicated, but it seems you are asking even more complex questions in your opening post. To be honest, the best answers would need to take into account, the particular details of your colonies, and the availability of forage in your area. Perhaps you can contact other local beekeepers to get their opinions and to discover which forage plants are available and at which time of the season to expect them.

If you have a colony that has not completely occupied their hive, and no sufficient natural forage is expected, feeding may be the only way to build up the colony for overwintering.

Of course, you can feed or not feed any time you choose. If you feed with supers on you can expect the bees to store sugar syrup in the newly built combs, or a mixture.

This illustration - below, is missing a 3/8" drone escape hole, that I place in the super immediately below the queen excluder. It could be implemented in other ways, besides compromising a super, but there must be a drone escape included, somewhere below the excluder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
I am in the exact same situation & time frame as you. My nuc, installed first week of June never really got going (I was feeding). After a month, I only had 6 1/2 frames drawn (but filled with brood & honey). I went ahead and added the second deep with a top feeder and gave them lots of syrup (they started to go through a gallon every 2-3 days). In two weeks, I was surprised that the second deep was completely drawn out and filled (I assume sugar, not honey) to 9 frames (3 frames had capped brood & capped honey, a couple more frames of capped "honey", and a couple of frames of uncapped "honey"). I didn't get a chance to check to see if the bottom deep got the remaining 3 frames drawn or not. I wasn't expecting to get any honey this year, but I went ahead and added a honey super as my 2 deeps were full of bees and seemed crowded. The top feeder must be the difference as I was using the baggie method earlier and the top feeder definitely feeds a LOT more bees at the same time.

Being new, this is my dilemma - like you, I don't know when to stop feeding. I went ahead and put one more gallon on top of the honey super hoping that would help them get started drawing comb. I don't know if they store immediately or draw comb first. I was guessing comb first so I plan on stopping the syrup when the comb gets started. Regardless, it was fun watching 9 frames get drawn and filled that quick (considering the original nuc only accomplished 1 1/2 frames in a month) - that alone made my year! I'm really curious if they ever finished the 3 empty frames in the bottom deep, but I didn't want to bother them at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Andrew - I believe most, if not all, members of my beekeeping club will overwinter with two deep boxes only. That seems to be more than sufficient for our area. My bottom box is drawn and full. My upper box had 8 1/2 frames drawn out and full. I was having second thoughts today about the QE and was going to remove it. When I removed the telescoping cover there seemed to be a lot of bees under the inner cover. I decided to leave it alone for a week then check progress on the super.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top