Bad year with hives

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by crazy8days, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I'm having the worse year! I will just ask about 2 hives for now. 1 hive became queenless. This was a package I bought this spring. Lots of bees. At a bee meeting at Purdue University I bought a queen cell. They are raising queens to have a better "cleaning" trait to control varroa. Anyways, I now have a laying queen but this 2 deep hive is almost full of honey. She is laying in what little space she has. The honey i'm thinking is the light sugar water I am feeding this hive. I need to know what I can do to get this hive right.

    My hive that made it through the winter has 2 honey supers on. 3 weeks ago I found swarm cells so I removed the old queen and made a 2 nucs. I left the old hive with queen cells to make their own queen. I checked on them yesterday and I have pissy bees and more swarm cells. I'm thinking they are still queenless. Because cells are on the bottom of frames is this hive thinking about swarming? Or, are they just making a queen.

    Also, in the honey super they are putting pollen in with the honey. Is that a problem when I take this honey off?
     
  2. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I've had a similar year, 2 accidental queenless hives so far. It's rained almost every days for the last two months and the bees are drawing hardly any comb. The splits and Nucs have been very slow to build up. My wintered hive produced a deep super of honey during the dandelion bloom and virtually nothing since then. I'm hoping for a good July to salvage the season, that's typically the best flow of the year with clover and alfa alfa.

    I extracted a bunch of frames with pollen last year. The pollen mostly stays in the cells. What comes out stays in fairly big chunks and is easily strained out. The trouble is that bees won't move the pollen like they move honey, so it pretty much stays where it is over the winter and goes stale. If it's only a few frames, I think the best solution is to see if there are any pure honey frames on the outside edges of your brood box and trade them for the mixed frames. Or freeze the frames and use for splits next year.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    When I start a new hive I feed until they have 2 deeps drawn and the hive has some weight to it. I then pull the feeder and they are on there own. If they are getting honey bound pull a few frames of the stores and extract. After which replace in the hive next to the brood nest. This will open up the hive. I would also pull the feeder and put a super on if you havent already
     
  4. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I did take feed off. What's the best way to store this honey? Not really honey if it was made mostly from sugar water.
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    good question. I am unsure if the same moisture content and fermentation applies to sugar syrup that is used for honey. I would store it in a freezer until needed. Shouldnt be a whole lot.
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    crazy what riverrat said in his post #3.....pull the feeder (you did) add a super. to open up the hive, add empty frames/foundation, even if you only have undrawn frames (i think this is what you only have available?) do you still have a nectar flow? if you do, they will draw the frames, and with the addition of the super, and cutting off the feeding, the bees will stop plugging up the queens laying space.

    about the sugar water frames, i am thinking these will crystalize at some point, irregardless of what you do with them. bees will do their best when these are added back to the hive to clean out all of the sugar crystals. if you freeze them, thaw, then add them back for feed when you need them.

    the pissy hive that made it through winter you removed the queen and made 2 nucs out of and are finding more swarm cells.....? my first thought is, the hive is not queenless?

    pollen in your honey super frames.....not a problem to extract these.

    interested in your hive with the swarm cells....post back an update crazy.......:grin:
     
  7. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    the bees can have mutable sets of queen cells the first would be the supersede or swarm cells then when you removed the queen the bees sensing the lack of queen pheromones and having eggs and larva the proper age would start raising another bunch of cells. The bees and emerging queens will sort the queen cells out. If you want to increase hive # pull a frame with a cell and give it a couple of the frames of stores and place empty ones in tor the queen to lay in. At this time of year you could make up nucs with 1 frame of brood and it will build into a single for over winter.