Saturday, July 27, 2013

Experiment That Didn't Go Too Well

My plan this year with two packages and two nucs was to try to get two deeps on each hive filled with comb and brood, and have strong hives going into winter.

I had about twenty five medium frames drawn containing half-capped honey in the freezer from last year. My thought was that after the bottom deeps were full, I'd take the feeders off, put another deep with bare frames on, then put the medium supers with the frames evenly divided between the four hives. My thinking was that the bees would travel up to the frames with honey, and maybe decide to draw comb on the middle deep while they were traveling.

I looked in the hives yesterday to make sure there weren't any wax moths, SHB, etc., and to see if they'd drawn out the middle deep boxes. Well, there was hardly any comb drawn on the middle deeps, and the honey was mostly gone from the top mediums. (Note 1:  I use plastic frames, but they drew out the ones in the bottom deeps great. Note 2: Three hives are 8-frame and one is 10-frame, but they all look the same inside.)

I don't know why they didn't build out the comb on the middle deeps. It's been awfully rainy and cool this summer thus far. Maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe I should have kept feeding them all summer (although there was some flow this year, and I thought that would suffice).

So now I'm thinking that it's getting late in the year, and that I'd better take the top supers off, and start feeding 1:1 syrup so that they might draw out some comb. I also got the suggestion to move a couple of frames of brood up into the upper deep to encourage activity in that level.  If that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to remove the middle layer deeps and put the medium supers with the drawn comb on top of the bottom deeps and see if they'll fill that with honey for the winter.

Hopefully Monday I can mix up some syrup and get the feeders on.  Hopefully, the bees will get the hint.

Updates will be provided when/if they happen!

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