Wet Nursing Bees Sucks!

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Crofter, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I just came home with 88 pounds of sugar and am thinking about all the nuisance yet ahead of me before I get it into the bees. These hives were from nucs this spring and no drawn foundation. The one hive had problems with mites and didnt get going but is straightened out now. They will need feed and are taking it well. I took one medium super of honey off each of two other hives about a month ago and there is another full medium super on each one that I could take off but that would leave the combined two deeps of each hive weighing about 100 lbs and I think there will not be much flow left. I would like to see them closer to 150#

    Question; if I leave the medium supers on top of a partially filled upper box will they be able to access it. Would it be possible to scratch open the supers comb and force them to pull the honey down into the upper deep. Other option, pull the super of honey off and hope there is time enough for them to take down and dry the equivalent in sugar syrup? That means I have to cook syrup and hand feed them which is becoming no longer fun!
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    While I have 20 lbs of sugar syrup cooling in the kitchen sink I went out and slipped an inner cover with holes between the medium supers of honey and the upper deep. I will wait to see if the bees go down out of them and I will scrape the cappings on a few frames and see whether they ferry the honey down to the deeps or recap the damage.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    scratching the capping is likely a good idea although I don't think they are likely to pull it downward. at the top of the stack once the capping are scratch they may use this stores more readily but not move it so much.

    a more full scale manipulation of this would be to scratch the capping on four or five central frames, place this box (medium) at the bottom of the stack and place the two deeps above this. you would like to have no entrance reducer in place so the bees feel like all those stores are exposed and this would then encourage them to move it upwards and more generally where ever there is empty cells.
     
  4. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I will leave them to their own resources for a few days. This afternoon they were coming up through the inner cover holes, then through the medium of capped honey and hauling down the sugar syrup from the hive top feeder. If they take down the syrup instead of the honey that is OK too.
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    If you just damage the cappings the bees will sense the honey is ripe the cells are full and ready for capping. Now if you contaminate it by dunking the frames in a pail of water after scratching the cappings if forces the bees to restore the homey.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    crofter writes:
    If they take down the syrup instead of the honey that is OK too.

    tecumseh:
    with syrup which needs to be cured this does tend to get placed in comb around the brood nest.... I have yet to find a location for a syrup feeder that did not work.... although certainly weather can limit access to feeder at the far edges of that stack of white boxes.
     
  7. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I just got back home and it is sprinkling rain. Had a peak in and they have emptied the hive top feeders of syrup but did not look to see what they have done with the mostly capped medium super below. I have more syrup on the stove at the moment and hope to have a deeper look at things tomorrow. That is interesting about giving the frames a shot of water after scratching!

    The hive that had no honey super on barely touched the syrup up top. I think they may have filled up everything that was not brooded. Will have to have a better look at them; they have been taking syrup very well up till now.
    Thanks for the comments and suggestions.
     
  8. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Putting the two mediums of mostly capped honey above an inner cover with holes _ did not encourage them to haul it down into the brood boxes below. I pulled the inner covers out and left the feeders on the top. They are still taking a bit of sugar syrup but I am over 160 pounds for the whole hives so they should be good. I took 85 pounds of honey between those two hives. First year Nucs. so not too bad for here. Without feeding back some sugar I dont think you can pull much more than 60 pounds a hive in this area.

    The other hive that had the mite problems all the first part of summer may have a hard time getting enough stores into them. They seemed to quit taking syrup but it was quite cool at nights with some frost. I put fresh syrup on a few days ago and it warmed up a bit so hopefully they will take a bit more. If I had another hive like that I would combine the two.

    Thinking seriously about letting them go to three deeps next season (if they are still allive) and let them feed themselves.