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No honey in my hive


#1

Hey guys. I opened up my hive to have a look today… had to clean a lot up, heaps ofburrcomb and comb between top and bottom box with drone cells…
But I noticed there was very little, if any honey… heaps of pollen and brood and they were drawing outframes… but no honey…
do I need to feed my bees asap… or with these warm days, they will bring it in now…? I’m in Caroline Springs Victoria… can anyone please help me with this…
And if so, what do you reccomend I feed them and how…?


#2

Great you checked on your bees!
Nobody will be able to give you informed advice without knowing how many broodboxes, honey supers or flow supers you run.
Really just wanted to say: don’t feed your bees now if you are in Australia.


#3

I would not feed if I could see any nectar. They are probably using all their resources for the buildup. Keep an eye on them and if the frames are dry in another week I may consider a bit of a boost with some 1:1 but that could trigger swarming. Its a balancing act.

Cheers
Rob.


#4

If the bees are building drones between the the top & bottom box, I’d seriously suggest that you take steps to prevent swarming.

Preemptive swarm control measures works well for me. Whenever I see drones between the top & bottom boxes, invariably the colony is close to, or preparing to swarm. You’ll recognize that by the queen cups being extended down with new wax. Try to split before you see any eggs in those cups.


#5

The problem is that although everything possible is or has been flowering for last few weeks, the weather has been absolutely appalling in Melbourne. So it’s just possible that there is not a lot of nectar available.
First day over 18 degrees today (just) & managed to inspect overwintered 5 frame nuc before 60km winds disrupted everything. Four frames brood all stages, mostly capped 1/4 one side of a frame pollen, no honey around brood or otherwise. I gave them some honey retained from prior to winter, as I’d prefer to deal with potential swarm than have them starve. After 3 very intense storms in the last 10 days & rain every day, plus very high winds every other day, I just can’t be sure.


#6

Wow, your weather is out of order down South. As here, it hasn’t rained a drop since End of June. Yet, I think the bees brought in a lot of nectar till recently, not sure now if they can even be any at all?
Looks my Italians use stored nectar to build new comb. I don’t mind, as long as they don’t swarm and keep busy. I gave them a lot of empty frames.
My carnie autumn nucs are built up now and will either swarm or take to their flow supers.
All I do now is watch out for swarm cells and AFB. Nothing I can do about the nectar flow and the dry.