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No honey in frames

I started a bee hive in late October. The hive only had 4 more or less full frames.
Over the next month or two, the other 4 frames were filled out and there was a bit of honey (not much). I was feeding the hive 1:1 sugar water solution as advised on this forum, and the colony increased by a huge amount.
In the early part of this year, the nector stopped flowing (I read that on the internet). Recently I put my flow frame in early February and left it until now.
There is no a single bit of honey on the frame!! When I checked the super below, what honey was there before had gone.
I have been watching the bees and they have been coming and going with quite a lot of pollen sacks, so I thought there must be honey being produced.
I live just north of Brisbane Australia. What am I doing wrong?

Appreciate some help

Hi Steve, a good thing to do would be to find a local mentor or two. That way you’ll get an idea of what’s happening with other hives in your area.

You probably need to do a brood inspection to make sure that everything is ok down there.

You need a good strong colony, coupled with a honey flow before you get any honey. You may have put the flow super on before the bees were ready for it. That can be frustrating because it makes the wait for honey all that much longer. You’re looking for honey, while in fact you should be looking at the health of the colony & waiting for the time to be right for you to add the honey super.

I’m not far from you at Buderim & there has been an exceptional honey flow up here for months. @cathiemac would be good to talk to because she is also north of Brisbane.

Welcome to the world of primary industry. Generally a first year hive will not produce much, if any honey. Also to produce honey you need a strong hive and a flow. You need to get a mentor and not expect a harvest every season.

Cheers
Rob.

Hi @Steve55,
I have experienced a slow down in honey storage as well - coinciding with the time you put your super on. I think the extended dry season finally started to impact the bees and they have been consuming most of the nectar they have been bringing in. There are big arcs of empty space in my flow hive super with capped honey around the edges. I have customers waiting for honey at the moment.
Were all eight frames covered by bees, with brood or stores filling the frames when you put the super on? Also did you rub some burr comb on the plastic flow frames when you put the super on? Do you see a lot of bees up in the super waxing the frames?
We had an awesome amount of rain last week and I see tons of blossom around now so I expect we will see more honey storage really soon. I am at Keperra near Mitchelton by the way.

Thank you cathiemac,

I melted some beeswax and brushed in on the flow frames before I put them on the hive. A few weeks back I had a peep in and there were lots of bees around the lower middle part of the flow frames. In an arc. Yesterday there were alot less.
The 8 lower frames were filled out mostly. The side frames had a part of them that had not been fully extended. They still aren’t, however there was honey in about half the side frames. Brood takes up most of the bottom super.
There are sill lots of bees in the hive, but I am worried that with little honey store, that the hive may get smaller.
Another thought is that maybe I don’t have water handy for the bees. There are bowls of water around for other birds etc, but they don’t go to them, rather to a water tank we have about 30 metres away off a shed.
I’m on acreage north of Brisbane between Kallangur and Narangba.

Thanks for your post

Hi Steve, I’m at Caboolture and have just done my first Flow extraction. I supered the hive in mid December and the first two months of waiting was killing me. I’m sure at Narangba you’ll be getting nectar, maybe the bees are consuming most of it to ramp up wax production to seal the flow cells.
Have you noticed any of the cells being sealed?
If they’re working cells with wax it’s just a waiting game.

Hi Brad,

When you say are they sealing the cells, do you mean before honey goes in, or after the cell is full of honey. If before, I’m not sure what to look for. I haven’t examined the flow frames other than just checking for honey.

Thanks

Before.
Have a close look at a few individual cells, at the top and bottom of the hexagon there is a slight gap that allows the flow mechanism to work. When you start seeing those gaps being closed with wax, that’s the bees preparing the cells to receive nectar.

Thank you all for your comments. Together your comments gave me a better picture of what I should have been concentrating on and what to expect.
The top super did have the gaps being closed with wax :slight_smile: which along with the wax in the bottom super, explain why the honey produced is low in my first year. Also my expectation has been adjusted after the poor season we have had in this area.
As we are now in autumn, my focus is on getting the hive to a healthy state to see through winter and be in a strong position at the beginning of spring.
I have taken off the flow super, and have instead opted to feed my fees a 2:1 sugar solution. I checked a week later and there are now more brood cells (much more healthy looking brood), and a load more honey being stored in the super.

Once again, thank you all.

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