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Will it help for next year?

847 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Slow Drone
Being a second year beek, this is the first year for putting on my shallows. All are undrawn foundation. In listening and reading, historically I'm about 1/2 to 2/3 through my main flow. However, I have been very disappointed in the amount of frames drawn in the shallows so far. I don't use a queen excluder and I fed up to what I thought were large populations going into the flow, then stopped and put on the shallows in mid march.

Thus far among 4 production hives, I only have one shallow completely filled out on 1 hive and about 60% of it capped. The other hives have only barely started to even build out a single shallow and no nectar storage yet. No full frames of built out foundation yet. They all seem to be working on backfilling the brood nest with nectar first and brood rearing has slowed way, way down. No signs of swarming thus far.

I have no idea if this is due to the crazy cold/hot/cold rainy spring (and a late one at that) or something else going on. My question is this. After the main flow ends, would it be worthwhile to keep the shallows on and feed the heck out of the hives to try and get the shallows built out for next year? As the "fed" shallow frames get filled out, I could store them for feeding back in late fall or winter thus having built out shallow frames ready to go for next year. Had anyone tried this and does it work to help honey production?

It seems I've tried everything. I've sprayed the shallow foundation with 1:1 and HBH, staggered the shallow on top of the brood deeps to give a top entrance, reversed deeps.

Just bummed out about getting all hives through a bad winter, catching 4 wild swarms, and my reward is looking like I'm still not getting any honey this year...
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They are queen right? Are you using plastic,wax, or foundation less. If plastic, make sure they are coated real well with a layer of wax. Also if plastic you could try to checker board with some wax foundation or put you a starter strip of wax and go foundationless. Either way after they quit taking in nectar I would feed them heavy to make them draw out.
Queen right and on wax foundation.
Many times it's hard to get them started to draw wax in new supers. Once they get started though, they keep at it. They do seem to like to backfill and squeeze down until they are forced into it. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't start swarm cells. It sounds like you are running two deeps on bottom, I've found they move up and draw much better for me in my area, with a single deep on the bottom and supers from there up.
" They all seem to be working on backfilling the brood nest with nectar first and brood rearing has slowed way, way down. No signs of swarming thus far."

That is what the bees do right before they start swarm cells. Sounds like they have swarming on their minds.
Seed the shallow with a frame of honey from the deep. Move it up into the shallow and they'll build on the bottom bar but that can be cut off and the frame moved back down after they get going in the shallow. Your reward should be healthy bees. Some years you get a surplus some years they just make a living. This time of year keep an eye out for swarm cells. Don't panic when they put honey up they can do it in a hurry.
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