Unhappy with rate of buildup... should I... ?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bens-Bees, May 4, 2011.

  1. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been a little unhappy with the slow rate of buildup in my hives this year, so I'm re-thinking everything right now. They are building up, but it's not the explosive growth that I'd like to see for good honey production.

    One thought that I had is that 3 mediums don't really give as many cells for the queen to lay in as 2 deeps do because each frame has the honey and pollen stores around the edges which means there are 3 inches of honey/bee bread in a verticle stack of mediums vs. just 2 on a verticle stack of deeps which leaves more room for laying. I am wondering if maybe the extra number of cells might make a difference in how fast they build up. Adding deep brood chambers is a lot easier than doing away with them, so I want to make sure it'd be a good move before heading in that direction. What do you think?

    I know part of the problem is the property they are on is a higher elevation that is behind everything else in terms of bloom dates and whatnot... though I feel like they should be foraging from lower elevations since there is plenty of lower elevation forage within a three-mile radius...
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    you dont mention if your feeding. Bees sometimes are slower to build up when there is not a flow on. They see no need for it you might try feeding to trigger the hive into thinking there is a flow on. Then once the flow starts they have built up in numbers. Also some strains of bees are slower to build up russians in particular are slow to build but when they do the explode
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Can't answer about the boxes having anything to do with slow build up but things are slow up here as well. I put 1 to 1 on as the bees were not using the winter stores they had left to brood up and it seems to have worked, they are sucking up the syrup quick.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My post didn't go up and I see why, Rat beat me to it! (Ah, Rat, great minds think alike eh?) :mrgreen:
     
  5. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am feeding a little over half of them (don't currently have enough feeders built to feed all of them).

    They are all mutts from swarm captures over the years.
     
  6. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    :thumbsup:
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    that starts another question are the hives your feeding building up faster than the ones you are not feeding. are you judging the build up by the amount of bees you are seeing comming and going or are you looking at frames of brood. Another thing to look does the queen have room to lay which you kind of touched on using 3 mediums instead of deeps. If she has no room to lay they cant build up
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With commercial beeks trying every thing under the sun for 100 years, I would look at the things the majority of them settled on. One of those things would be all deeps. Another would be a well planned schedule that keeps the hive openings to a minimum and still know the condition of the hives at all times. Screen bottom boards will likely reduce the mite count a bit, but will also reduce the brood count at the same time.

    For best production with the least effort, I would follow the habits of pros rather than hobbyists.
     
  9. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Apart from the one that was starving and thus shrinking, there hasn't been much noticable difference.

    I'm ONLY looking at the frames of brood because some hives that aren't building up at all due to having a virgin queen are coming and going like crazy since they don't have to care for any brood at the moment.

    That's kinda what I'm thinking... they've all got some extra room to lay but they are all in mediums, and I'm thinking deeps would give extra room to lay on the same frames they're laying on, and thus they would have extra room without needing more adult bees to cover another frame. All the queens I have right now have GREAT patterns, missing only a couple of cells per frame, but they don't seem to move from frame to frame enough to fill up at least 2 of the three medium boxes with brood. Right now I'm seeing only 4-8 brood frames per hive on the hives that have fully mated, laying queens. That might be ok if they were deeps, but on mediums I am looking for more this time of year... 12 would be acceptable, 20 would be great.
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm thinking that colonies simply build up slower this year because of the cold Spring. Around here in NY, everything seems about 2 weeks behind. I still don't have drone brood, nor neighboring drones flying! I'm waiting for that to split my hive.
    I got word from a friend that many BK's had very big losses this winter, and are struggling to recoup- packages and nucs are delayed for many. She just got word she won't get her nucs from the NE until end of May or even end of June :shock:
    Thus, I suspect it's a general late buildup for many this Spring.
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We haven't had a cold spring down here (well, until last night)... it was 70's in mid-Feb down here this year.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a snip..
    We haven't had a cold spring down here (well, until last night)... it was 70's in mid-Feb down here this year.

    tecumseh:
    you must live in a different part of the south than either myself or several commercial bee keepers I tag up with??? ALL have been talking about the unusual cool spring we are having and how in some places (like here) there is no rain and in the state next door there is way too much <both highly effect nectar producing plants and thereby the rate at which hives build up and make surplus.
     
  13. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, I'm out in East Tennessee... we've had an unusually warm spring with not too much or too little rain... it's been a great year for bees here, and our swarm season has been crazy-busy.

    I can imagine that beekeeping in Texas would be considerably more challenging this year... la-nina's are not kind to Texas but they are great for East Tennessee.