Right now I think we are at near peak nectar flow. More and more flowers are blooming. Perennial summer flowers are starting to bloom. The hot weather is also helping the nectar flow.
Today a surprise thunderstorm gave us an 1-1/2" of rain. So moisture is not an issue in Washington County at the moment. But we have had ample moisture anyway, so moisture should not be an issue at the moment. I think they are still dry in the Harris/Pine City area.
Aside from that, everyone should be experiencing a nectar flow right now. If the hive has a good population, the bees should be filling the top brood box and into the supers with nectar.
If the bees are not putting nectar into the supers but are filling the brood area with nectar, and there is no brood, your bees may have swarmed and if you did not remove any capped queen cells in the last two to three weeks, there should be a new queen laying soon. You may have to move some frames to another hive to get some relatively empty frames, to give the queen some room to start laying.
If your bees are still in one or two deeps and they are not drawing out much comb. You could have had some queen issues along the way. The hive may not have many foragers yet. You may have to feed the bees some sugar water right now for the bees to draw out comb.
Some strategy's to use for supers:
- If you are running out of supers, use a deep for a honey super
- Hives getting too tall? Take full supers and put them on top of colonies that are not producing. Move the supers bees and all. This will give the weak hive an increase in bees. (Don't worry about fighting. Smoke the bees a little and they will be fine. House bees in supers are 12 - 17 days old and easily accept other bees.) The bees will take care of the honey. Do not take off supers and store them off the hive somewhere. The honey will absorb the high humidity that we are experiencing and will cause the honey to eventually ferment.
- New supers and nothing happening? Remove the queen excluder until the bees start making some comb on a couple frames then put the excluder back in.
- Put new undrawn supers on top of the top brood box, then drawn supers on top of them. Drawn supers can be just stacked on top of the hive as needed.
- Supers go on two at a time during the early part of the nectar flow.
Keep ahead of the bees, the nectar is flowing, it will be a great thing if every super gets honey in the frames.