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  Saturday, 10 September 2016
  8 Replies
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Inspected my hives today - all basically first year colonies. Several five frame nucs as well as a number of ten frame, two deep colonies. I was shocked!. I could not find a frame of wet brood anywhere. Lots of capped brood but wherever there was an empty cell it was filled with nectar. Some of the ten frame colonies already had a super and they were full. I pulled frames of capped brood and nectar from the worst ones and gave them empty drawn comb or in some cases just foundation. For all the ten frame hives I added another super of drawn comb. They were filling last week when I looked but in a week they have used all their available space. Tomorrow, I'm going to throw another super on all the hives I didn't check today because I'm pretty sure they are in the same situation. As far as the five frames of capped brood, nectar, pollen and bees that are in a nuc go, now that I've given several colonies some empty drawn comb, hopefully one of the queens will lay some eggs before they fill it up with nectar again. Late to make a queen but my swarm yesterday suggests that the bees think there is still time. Crazy times - certainly no nectar shortage around here.
6 years ago
Most of my hives seemed to have some nectar coming in, though it was surprisingly inconsistent across hives. One hive seemed to have stopped drawing out some frames a while ago, while I had one nuc that is chock full of bees and nectar/uncapped honey to such an extent that I may swap one frame out to make sure they have space.

Thinking about it, the rains we have had have been scattered, so some people may be luckier than others. Also, the knotweed is blooming where I am, and as they are often along water courses, I would suspect they would still have moisture enough for nectar. So, perhaps you have been luckier than most with either recent rains, or knotweed.
6 years ago
I pulled frames of capped brood .

You pulled frames of capped brood in September? What did you do with it?
6 years ago
As noted above - I put four frames of capped brood, nectar, pollen and bees into five frame nuc box along with an empty frame of drawn comb. When I started I was just trying to give a robust nuc some breathing space. My observation hive swarmed two days ago so it seems reasonable given the weather and the nectar flow in my area that if the bees think they can make a queen after swarming that I can get the nuc to make one too. What I didn't count on was not being able to find any eggs or even uncapped brood in any of my hives. Thinking about it though, four hives just got empty drawn frames. One of those queens is bound to start laying some eggs before the workers back fill it all. The chances are enhanced in the full sized hives because they have also just received another super of drawn comb they can start filling as well. In a couple of days I'll check for eggs and grab that frame and give it to the nuc to build a queen with. If a well stocked five frame nuc can make it through the winter and I can get these girls a queen going in the next few weeks they could have a good shot at it. More importantly, the hives that lost a frame of brood now have space to focus on. I'd hate to see more swarming in September around here. Practical? No but I am continuously surprised at how adaptable bees can be.
I haven't been able to find any brood in either of my hives, either. One's a nuc of a hived swarm that's nearly busting at the seams, the other my main hive that was hugely productive until August, when it threw swarms like mad while we were away on a trip. The main hive, since so many swarms took a lot of the stores when they left, have a lot of empty drawn comb where they're not yet trying to fill it back up for winter. No brood. Both hives are as calm as could be, and otherwise seem queenright.

I'm guessing it's still early yet, but when do the bees usually shut down brood production for winter up here?
Depending on weather but around Nov brood stops or becomes very small .
With hives light on winter stores I would be feeding 2/1 sugar water as they need time to cap it off
For winter.
Your bees at this time are raising winter brood ,the brood now are your bees for winter
That's also why Varroa mite counts need to be very low to have healthy bees for winter.
6 years ago
Good golden rod and a lot more aster has come into swing since the long needed rain this past week. Happy for the bees and their pollen/nectar needs. Extremely happy Shaw's has a sale right now- 99 cents per 4 lbs bag of (non-cane) sugar. Amazing leader sale. Go stock up! Limit 4 bags per person so bring a friend or two.
What is the sugar made from
6 years ago
No idea. Doesn't say on the bag. If from cane it would be printed so probably beet sugar.

Signature brand Fine Granulated Sugar. Sale continues through this week and limits 4- 4lbs bags per customer. It's a leader sale that they are actually losing some money on the product.
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