Trying to Decide About A Fall Flow

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Slowmodem, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    We've had 0.2 inches of rain in the last two weeks. There's a possibility of rain from the bands of Isaac. It's dry and not much is blooming.

    It's getting kind of late in the year, although it'll be the end of Oct before we think about frost here. I don't know if there's enough time for a fall flow or not.

    I am feeding the swarm hive still with a entrance feeder on top of the inner cover. I'm tempted to take the three supers off the big hive and start feeding them, too. But if there's a fall flow, I want them to have room to make honey.

    I think I'll look in the hives tomorrow morning and see what's in there. But how do I decide whether to hope for honey or get ready for winter?
     
  2. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Well, I went into the hives today. The good news is that the swarm hive is going like gangbusters and building lots of comb. I had been feeding them using an entrance feeder in a super on top of the inner cover. I will continue doing that as long as they're taking it.

    The big hive is a different story. I looked in every box. Some of the top supers needs some more comb drawn, but all boxes have some comb. In the top box, the bees had their heads in the comb, like they were trying to eat the honey. In one of the other boxes, they were capping honey. I'm not sure what to make of that. The goldenrod is starting to bloom now, but it's so dry I don't think it's going to do much.

    I think I'm going to start feeding the big hive. That way they'll finish filling the frames with comb (hopefully). And if they fill the comb with sugar water instead of honey, they can have that next spring. Maybe I'll put some of those combs on the second level of the swarm hive.

    I'd rather err on the side of caution and have well-fed bees, than have hungry bees. At any rate, whatever happens, I'll learn from the experience.

    We have a bee meeting Thursday evening. I'll ask about it there, too.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have heard (not experienced) that bees will move honey down from the uppers into the deep to have it close to the broodnest for winter. Waiting for smarter people here! Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    yes gypsi, the bees will move honey(or consume) down from supers any time of the year and especially if they have stored some and then hit a dearth.

    greg, what are your hive configurations? deeps, supers, etc? did you get some answers at your bee meeting?
     
  5. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Well, at the meeting, the talk was mostly about entering honey in the county fair. So we didn't really get into that.

    Right now, I have two deeps and three medium, all 10-frame. They've about got every frame drawn with comb. Each box is full of bees. The number of bees is one of the reasons I'm hesitant to reduce the size of the hive right now. They might all fit, but I don't see how.

    It looks like everything is just waiting for a rain to burst out in flowers, especially the goldenrod. The weatherman last night said the pollen count for here was extremely high. I may be way wrong, but it seems to me like if it would just rain we'd have lots and lots of honey.

    I had thought about starting to feed them, but I'm still mulling that over.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    We seem to have goldenrod here that is all but done. Talking to a keep in New Brunswick and he says it has been too dry and the bees were not working it, they have had to feed their splits. Think I'm going to throw a couple full boxes in the back of the truck and run around dropping a couple frames here and there where things have been slow. That would be something I haven't experienced before, little or no fall flow. :shock: