Too much ivy?

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Joined
Dec 13, 2009
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Location
Surrey
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
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I cant remember seeing so much ivy flowering so early. I did a round of quick inspections at the weekend and found some of the larger hives have taken so much ivy nectar and pollen in that there is no room for the queen to lay. Very few of my hives have been fed more than a few liters of syrup since i took a harvest off in mid August, and there wasn't much of a flow on until the ivy opened. I'll be swapping out some full honey brood frames and putting in drawn ones next to the brood nest in the hope that I can get a few more winter bees produced. Just to add to the pain, the ivy honey has already started to crystalize in some of the part filled cells :banghead: On the positive side, sugar bill is very small this year

If you can see orange pollen coming in and smell ivy nectar being processed, might be worth checking for laying room
 
Interesting philosophy. Whilst I want strong and healthy colonies to be going into the winter, I don't think providing laying space is high on my own list of priorities at the moment. In terms of winter bees, the die must be largely cast. Indeed, I have the opposite concern; I have a number of colonies with what I consider to be excessive brood for this time of year (I have one on 8 frames of BIAS - beautiful worker brood pattern - who are still rearing drones on the margins of the brood nest; go figure !!) ... and where I wish for a dramatic slowdown, in order for frames to be vacated for winter stores. I'd be interested in the consensus here.

Like you I have some lush ivy flows on, and empty cells are at a premium.
 
Interesting philosophy. Whilst I want strong and healthy colonies to be going into the winter, I don't think providing laying space is high on my own list of priorities at the moment. In terms of winter bees, the die must be largely cast. Indeed, I have the opposite concern; I have a number of colonies with what I consider to be excessive brood for this time of year (I have one on 8 frames of BIAS - beautiful worker brood pattern - who are still rearing drones on the margins of the brood nest; go figure !!) ... and where I wish for a dramatic slowdown, in order for frames to be vacated for winter stores. I'd be interested in the consensus here.

Like you I have some lush ivy flows on, and empty cells are at a premium.
My colonies are, like yours very large for the time of year. Like @Mint Bee they are also honey bound through access to forage right through to the current ivy and HB. I decided to give them room to accommodate both food and brood and will overwinter one on double brood and one on nadired super, brood and top super. My colonies are in poly boxes.
 
I wouldn’t bother adding space I’d remove clogged frames and give to nucs or other smaller colonies. I’d add foundation to the edge or centre of the brood area depending on colony size. Pollen and nectar at this time of year are valuable and so are lots of young bees. This is reliant on continued reasonable weather. Single boxes rammed with bees winter very well, but do monitor through the winter season!
 
I always used to get a lot of Ivy. If it was still full by spring I would swap some Ivy frames for empty ones and save the ivy frames for nucs etc.
 
Not finding much brood at the moment. Crowded out by ivy nectar which is setting before they fill the cell. Not seen as much set honey before.
Maybe I've caused the queen to slow laying with Apiguard treatment. You hope that they know what they're doing and enough winter bees will be created. Looks like I'll not have to feed much.
DSCF20220929-01-small.jpg
 
Ivy honey always sets really fast. Don't worry about it. You can remove in spring and store it for future feeds. If you feel they are that desperate for space then add another box underneath the rest and leave them alone until Spring. Remember they are contracting at this time of year. Not expanding.
 
I have had to add supers to half my colonies i was going around pulling out frames of stores and adding foundation which was a lost cause with the massive ivy flow thats on now ..
Looks like ill have alot of ivy to sell this year
 
Although this is more ivy honey that I've seen in my 6 years with bees they are not building comb into the eek I used for Apiguard. They are cramping the brood rather than filling new space. So not adding any more supers. ?
 
been a bit lax here ..... and have a question regarding laying room ... I have one super rammed full of ivy bound crystallised on my single brood hives as been a bumper ivy year .... is that ....

a) good
>>>>>no need to feed and brood box is clear for the winter bees and can just leave the super on all winter and just a problem in the spring (all that ivy crystal honey in the way and probably toooo many frames for me to use for nuc's (small player here)

b) bad
>>>> normally leave fondant above the broad chamber so can at least see how they are getting on but now the blooming super is in the way !
 
been a bit lax here ..... and have a question regarding laying room ... I have one super rammed full of ivy bound crystallised on my single brood hives as been a bumper ivy year .... is that ....

a) good
>>>>>no need to feed and brood box is clear for the winter bees and can just leave the super on all winter and just a problem in the spring (all that ivy crystal honey in the way and probably toooo many frames for me to use for nuc's (small player here)

b) bad
>>>> normally leave fondant above the broad chamber so can at least see how they are getting on but now the blooming super is in the way !
Good ,I’ve been extracting ivy today and I’ve left a super per colony on if the brood wasn’t hefting ok .
It’s been the best ivy flow I’ve seen so far ,
A bit pissed I’ve got supers also with crystalized honey in .
The supers closest to the brood box are extracting and runny .724B246B-50B0-4D7D-9DC8-7F6598BC9706.jpeg
 
Good ,I’ve been extracting ivy today and I’ve left a super per colony on if the brood wasn’t hefting ok .
It’s been the best ivy flow I’ve seen so far ,
A bit pissed I’ve got supers also with crystalized honey in .
The supers closest to the brood box are extracting and runny .View attachment 34260
That’s Ivy?
 
It’s a mix which is odd because the top supers are solid , also some of the frames that are runny honey have crystallised white honey
So you still have supers on your hives? Are they kept there for winter stores, ? Not a lot else you can do with honey that has set in the comb ...
 

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