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Author Topic: Nectar management in a long hive  (Read 252 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

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Nectar management in a long hive
« on: May 20, 2020, 05:49:02 pm »
I read an article on beesource.com by Walt Wright about nectar management. His point is that over crowding (meaning too many bees in the hive) is NOT the cause of swarming. He wants a LOT of bees = more honey. He says that people often mess up on nectar management, and the broodnest becomes backfilled, which leads to idle bees, which leads to swarming. In other words, the time to stop the swarming is not when we have a lot of bees, but earlier, by opening the brood nest with empty frames, giving the nurse bees something to do, and more space for the queen.

In my long hives, there seems to be a LOT of frames with uncapped nectar. (I think they ought to be more considerate, and cap each cell before they start another.)
1. Do I shift all these partial filled, uncapped frames further down the long hive?
2. Will the bees cap it eventually, or lose tract of it?
3. If there are small patches of open brood (say 3 inches) on a frame mostly filled with nectar, do I leave it in the brood area, or will it contribute to the backfill problem and lead to swarming?
4. Are these small patches of open brood (on mostly nectar filled frames) a usual horizontal hive process, or is it the queen laying any place she can in a backfilled brood nest?
5. What about capped brood? Is capped brood considered brood nest? Meaning does it have to kept warm also, or can I shift that nectar filled /partially capped brood further down the hive?

These are questions which seem to me to be more prevelant in long live situations. Horizontal hives have their benefits... but also difficulties.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Nectar management in a long hive
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 02:36:12 am »
Bob from what I understand, the bees will not cap the honey until it reaches a certain moisture level. Perhaps the bees are so busy working and bringing in the nectar during this flow that they have not dried it out enough or had adequate time to dry it out enough to reach the proper level of moisture needed for capping? In other words your bees may be super bees! If this is right then your bees are on the ball doing a good job bringing the nectar home. They should dry it out and cap it soon enough.  Does that sound reasonable? If this is not right perhaps some of the more experienced keepers will tell us
both, what is what on your capping, or lack of capping situation.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Nectar management in a long hive
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 12:06:50 am »
Bob: my take on those nectar-filled frames with just a patch of brood is....
Those bees know you're going to haul out all fully capped frames.  They are staking out their ground. 

     The nectar all around that 4" patch of larvae is future meals for their ever-hungry progeny.  It's right where they need it.  Because what they really want to do is give you 20 frames of brood.

     You're in Georgia.  It's July and hot for 5 more months.  There's still time to make more bee colonies!  I just discovered yesterday that a colony that I skipped inspection on for only three weeks laid up four frames of DRONES in some beautiful new foundationless white wax...all because I resisted using an excluder. 

     Now I'm all for Nature and don't cull drones.  But yep I was pretty steamed that those girls fed almost half a super of the good stuff simply to propagate their species.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Nectar management in a long hive
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 12:26:25 am »
lol, Florida. The bees know my plans and are actively working against me.
I.was in a few days ago, and they are beginning to cap some of the nectar. There is no longer any comb being built. And I don't expect any more for the rest of the year, even with the big population all three hives have. There wasn't last year after this time. Maybe there is better flowering in the summer in Florida than here.
I am still watching carefully and keeping notes.