2 New Hives, one collecting tons of pollen the other not

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Baxter, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I installed 2 packages of bees, last Sunday, one package in a top bar hive, the other in a langstroth, the langstroth hive bees are gathering pollen like nobodies business, not so with the top bar. Langstroth returning bees are loaded with varying colors of pollen, from pale yellow to dark orange.

    Could this be due to the lack of foundation in a top bar hive? or due to the the top bar queens decision to swarm on the ground, after she was released from her cage? I scooped her up, with my bare hands, put her back in the hive, not without suffering some pain. The swarming bees, on the ground, under the top bar hive, returned to the hive, so I'm assuming the queen is in her hive.

    I'm hoping the answer will be, all is well, it's because they are making wax and not pollen. But being a neophyte, I haven't a clue.

    Baxter
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They have nowhere to put pollen until they build some comb.

    Are you feeding sugar syrup to both hives? It will help them build some comb much much more quickly.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not an expert in TBH or foundationless, but I would think the bees will be too busy drawing comb. They need comb for the queen to lay eggs in as well as to store pollen in. Until that comb is drawn to some degree, they may not have much use for pollen at this point.
     
  4. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was hoping that would be the answer, I still have hopes the TBH will do OK then. I was worried the queens earlier dissatisfaction, evidenced by swarming under the TBH was an indication that the TBH wasn't going to work out, they weren't going to bother to collect pollen, inspite of me returning her to the hive .
     
  5. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, I'm feeding sugar syrup: using a pail feeder placed over the oval ring in the inner cover of the langstroth, feeding the TBH outside, with inverted mason jars placed on sticks over oak boards. If I had it to do over I would have devised an inner feeder in the TBH hive, similar to the langstroth entrance feeder, cutting a slot in the follower board to mimic the langstroths entrance.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have no experience with a top bar hive but given your description one hive is drawing comb (they have foundation in those langstroth frames?) and the other is forced to first produce and then build comb (foundationless?).

    I would guess this is more of a question than an answer???
     
  7. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    You could use the inverted jars in the back of your TBH, just remove eough bars to get it in and set it on a couple pieces of wood tall enough to allow the bees access underneath. They will find it.
     
  8. Baxter

    Baxter New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds good to me Buzzen, will do. Although I am afraid I might be too late. I got under the hive today, looked up through the hardware cloth, didn't appear to be very many bees, they were all concentrated on the last 2 bars. I'm wondering if I even have a queen, would the majority swarm off with the queen leaving a small remnant behind? Why would any stay? I will give it another week, then take a gander to see if anything is going on, combwise or queenwise. On the other hand, the langstroth is going great guns, I'm wondering whether I should adjust the entrance reducer to a larger selection, traffic seems awfully congested. And the bees are dyeing the entrance with their pollen.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    YES, open the entrance. Does it look like the topbar bees took up with the langstroth hive?
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Today is Tues. I think it would be safe to open the Lang now and look for eggs. Also see how many bees you have. If they thought the lang would make a better home, they likely moved over.

    A hive can consume a quart or more of sugar water per day. Keep it supplied until they have a good supply built up in the box, and have most of the frames drawn.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would open the topbar and see if the queen is still there. If she is, I would move the lang a hundred feet or so and put the topbar in its place. I would do it in the middle of the day when the foragers are out. They will return to the tb. If she isn't there, I would just shake the tb bees out in front of the lang and let them join it. The hives are too new to try to save both if the queen is missing. Better to build one strong hive and split later.