My swarms and sugar water

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by bamabww, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    I caught two small swarms, not much bigger than a softball, in mid August and to help them along I gave them two frames of honey / pollen each from my two strongest hives. I pulled out two frames of only honey and pollen stores, no brood of any stage, each and placed them in the two swarms. At the same time to encourage them to draw out comb, I started providing 1-1 sugar water to each hive. One hive was emptying a quart jar in less than 10 hours and the other was still over half full 3 days later. After almost 3 weeks of this I went into the hives with the intention of combining them depending on what I found or didn't find. The swarm taking the sugar water had drawn some comb, but very little, and the new comb had eggs / larvae in a small area so I was satisfied somewhat with what I had found. They have hardly even touched the honey I provided. Never found the queen although I looked for her.

    The second swarm that was taking hardly any sugar water had eaten almost half the honey on one side of each of the frames I provided and had drawn no new comb. There was a palm size patch of eggs and larvae present in the old comb where they had removed / eaten the honey however. More than twice what I found in the other hive. They still are not taking the sugar water and the other swarm is still guzzling it down. I never found the queen here either.

    I left them as I found them and decided to give them the month of September to build up or get combined. I have 2 extra medium 9 frames supers full of honey that I can place on them for the winter. I feel like that will be sufficient if our winter is as mild as the past two or three have been. That's a gamble I know but where I'm at right now.

    I'd appreciate any advice or thoughts.
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Member

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    I would try switching jars. Just to prove it isn't a mechanical problem.
    Wax requires warmth, could there be an issue with shade or a draft?
    I would like to see both swarms raised to full hives, just to see if the differences continued.
    ​Good Luck
     

  3. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    I have switched the jars and it made no difference. Both of the hives are in full sun all day long. Thanks for your suggestions.