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Hive inspection-no honey

  • 06 Dec 2015 9:11 AM
    Message # 3676845

    My hive is 6 weeks old. An experienced apiarist checked her after 2 weeks and found it healthy. He commented that the colony is small (only 3 frames had bees).

    Today, at 6 weeks old,  I opened my hive for the first time. Alone. Noone to pat my back.

    (a) The numbers of bees does not appear to have changed. Still only 3, yet packed, frames had bees and showed any bee activity. And all 3 are on the edge, not in the middle of the hive 

    (b) It was easy to find the queen.

    (c) There was no honey in the frames at all. There were capped brood cells, a few empty ones, but I could not see pollen or honey cells.

    What should I do?

    Why there is no honey? Do I need to help with sugar syrup? Isn't such move a bit ridiculous considering we are at the start of summer? The hive is in an area with lots and lots of flowers!


  • 13 Dec 2015 4:13 PM
    Reply # 3696076 on 3676845
    Andrew Wootton (Administrator)

    I would be inclined to do nothing. Wait a week and then reinspect.  I usually find I make things worse when I interfere!

    At present in my Melbourne hives there's plenty of activity and pollen coming in. There seems to be lots of bee brood raising going on, but not a lot of excess nectar storage. The bees seem ready for great things, but it's not happening just yet.

    Check the top corners of your brood frames for some unsealed nectar, there should be a little there. Also make sure you check for open larvae and eggs at your next inspection, so you know everything is OK.

    I prefer not to feed unless I really think the bees are going to starve (which is pretty unlikely at this time of year). You could feed them some 1:1 syrup on the basis that this will stimulate brood rearing and get them ready for a nectar flow.  It won't do any harm. I just feel it's better to let them collect their own.

  • 07 Jan 2016 10:03 AM
    Reply # 3744045 on 3676845
    This is an arlctie that makes you think "never thought of that!"

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