Light stores in strong hives

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Checked northern apiaries yesterday and some of the hives that were heavy two weeks ago are short on stores? ( four different apiaries, no more than ten hives in each). The only reason i can think of is all the rain (and they are calling for 4 to 9 inches the next two days :( . One hive that had over eighty pounds on it had hundreds of dead bees in front of it like it was robbed out but still had wall to wall bees and no stores? (figure that one out) These hives are sixty miles north of home and so far no sign of shb's yet :yahoo: .Any of you seeing this? The aster is the only thing blooming here now and frost comming next week. I hate feeding but looks like i don't have a choice. Beginning to wonder if the honey bees are having their armageddon. :beg: Jack
     
  2. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Jack, yeah the weather has REALLY sucked this fall.

    I just whipped up my second batch of syrup for the year... and I'm probably going to be making a few sugar-boards if the weather doesn't clear up this week.
     

  3. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Jack,
    The hive with the dead bees is a hive that is probably 24-48 from complete death. Although a hive will die together, from the sense they will share every available food, you will often times see the older bees die off first. You will see them out front, then they will start piling on the bottom board, then the hive will just die. It is a hive in the last survivor mode before death.

    If you have access to it, about the only thing for a out yard, or at least what I do, is place a block of fondant on the inner cover (50 lbs). I had hives in the past do this and I actually had them survive all winter on the fondant.

    You can always add feed. The one thing you can not do is add fall raised brood. They probably raised enough, as they used what they stores they did by feeding brood. So the hive may be worth saving.

    I can save most of my light hives with a one time placement of 25 pounds of fondant. That comes out to saving a hive for about 18 dollars. Bees will actually use less then what most think in getting through winter. The biggest use of stores will be when they start raising brood next year. So the 25 pounds will get them through from now till at least late January.

    You can google "Dawn Foods" and see if there is a distributor near your place.

    Beats the crap out of filling feeders amd mixing syrup.
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Like most beekeepers i hate to lose a good hive.The hive that went through 80 lbs of stores also made me 40 lbs of surplus honey. According to my records it was a combine made last May, i make up 5 frame nuc's here at home from my best queens and when they start raising brood i put them in 10 frame deeps and take them to the north apiary's,where there is abundance of forage around the Big Sac river and they build up fast. This year they built up strong hives but with all the rain they are forced to eat their stores.
    BjornBee, i'm glad to here you say you've brought hives through winter on fondant, i usually put fondant on light hives starting in Jan. never tried feeding solely fondant, i was thinking the mountain cap method (never tried it either) but after what you said i'll stick with fondant. The hive in question is two deeps with the two compartment type top feeder,i can turn it upside down to make room for fondant under it. It's getting in the thirty's here at night so feeding syurp is probably out. Anyone have a idea what made them crash other than all the rain, they looked healthy otherwise? Thanks for your input. Jack