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Author Topic: feeding bees  (Read 2954 times)
JRS
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« on: September 10, 2007, 09:48:18 PM »

I was wondering if anyone has feed bees to the point it out weighs,in cost,the honey output?
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The only stupid question is the question unasked,thanx for the help.
TwT
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 12:33:34 AM »

I was wondering if anyone has feed bees to the point it out weighs,in cost,the honey output?

honey cost are so much higher than sugar cost, that would be a lot of sugar for most hives

your bee's dont need that much stores, if you have to feed them more in sugar than the honey they collect in a year you might want to get some bee's that collect normal amounts of honey  grin Wink , never heard this before, now dont get me wrong it can happen when starting a hive or hives their first year, but in La. a medium super on a single deep should be enough to winter a hive, single deep works fine also for your area. hope i under stud your question right,
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2007, 07:52:46 AM »

>I was wondering if anyone has feed bees to the point it out weighs,in cost,the honey output?

For the last two years.  Yes.  I fed them several hundred pounds of sugar and harvested nothing.  The sporadic weather has not been good to beekeepers here.  They were putting up honey like crazy and then there was no fall flow last year or this year and the bees burned up all their stores that I would have harvested AND had to be fed.  But then some years they make 200 pounds a hive and I don't need to feed them at all.   Smiley
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Michael Bush
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TwT
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007, 09:47:03 AM »

>I was wondering if anyone has feed bees to the point it out weighs,in cost,the honey output?

For the last two years.  Yes.  I fed them several hundred pounds of sugar and harvested nothing.  The sporadic weather has not been good to beekeepers here.  They were putting up honey like crazy and then there was no fall flow last year or this year and the bees burned up all their stores that I would have harvested AND had to be fed.  But then some years they make 200 pounds a hive and I don't need to feed them at all.   Smiley


Maybe im off topic or just not understanding the question correctly...

weather does play a role ( if there is no flow then they make no honey and you have to feed or they starve) but on average if you pull 2 mediums supers of honey, sale that then buy enough sugar to feed back to fill those supers  you will end up with money left over, honey just cost more....

yeah but still MB your not explaining your position, I have never been to MB's but I bet he is like most other beekeepers here that raise queens, the problem you get then is we mostly keep more hives in one place than we should, its easier to work and raise queens in 1 yard so you can work them regularly, we have our mother hives we graft from and maybe 10-20 other full hive that we shake bees from and take frames from, then anywhere from 20-100 nucs going so we have to feed, most times when you manage for honey you will only have between 5-20 hives in one spot. Finsky has preached this for years on here, like most everyone that tells you, you either raise queens or go for honey, its almost impossible to do both with the same hives unless you have help or a large number of hives, enough for queen rearing and enough for honey production,

I know i missed some things but just trying to show that if you sold all your honey and replaced the same are with sugar syrup you will make more off honey that you will spend on sugar.......
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 02:59:14 PM by TwT » Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Amateurs built the ark,
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007, 02:51:08 PM »

Sugar feeding and honey yield have nothing to do with each other.

It is only that you take expencive honey away and give sheap sugar for winter. This summer was rainy in Finland and many feeded bees to the end of June.

If great production honey is almost same price like sugar, it is better leave honey for winter and it saves feeding.
In feeding process bees consume 25% of sugar untill it is capped. So extract honey and feed it back and you loose 25%.

I take all honey away in autumn. Honey price is for customer  10$/kg and sugar is 1$/kg. If your wife is healty and in work, you need not take honey away. Small amount is easier sell than big amount of honey. World market price is about 2$/kg.

Michael has too much hives in one place  (100) and that is why he does not het honey every year. Like he has written, he has corn fields around and only weeds fot bees.

Last summer I had 50 hectars rape and there 4 hives. Yield was very tiny because during 3 month we got only 20 mm water.
This summer it was all the time rainy during rape blooming and rape yield was only 1/3 from normal.

My smallest yield per hive during last 30 years has been 70 lbs (1996) and biggest 260 lbs (1994). Allways I feed for winter 40 lbs sugar per hive. The amount is enough from September to end of May.

It totally depends where you put your hives for yield period.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2007, 10:03:52 PM »

>yeah but still MB your not explaining your position, I have never been to MB's but I bet he is like most other beekeepers here that raise queens, the problem you get then is we mostly keep more hives in one place than we should, its easier to work and raise queens in 1 yard so you can work them regularly, we have our mother hives we graft from and maybe 10-20 other full hive that we shake bees from and take frames from, then anywhere from 20-100 nucs going so we have to feed, most times when you manage for honey you will only have between 5-20 hives in one spot.

That's about what I have and they don't make much honey when you are always messing with them rearing queens.

>Michael has too much hives in one place  (100)

Not really.  More like 20 with a hundred mating nucs.  The rest are in five other yards and the closest of those is eight miles from my home yard.  The furthest is 60 miles.

> and that is why he does not het honey every year. Like he has written, he has corn fields around and only weeds fot bees.

And still some years they make 200 lbs a hive.

Now if I could just find a yard next to a thousand acres of sweet clover...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2007, 12:01:00 AM »

.
I raised my hive number from 15 to 30 two years ago. I can se that willows around my cottage are too few to get pollen in spring. Hives live with willow pollen whole May.  With mere patty feeding hives have half that much brood than with nature pollen + patty. When yield starts, hives are half size.

No use to keep more hives than 15 in my yard spot in May.

I tried to find a new cottage or piece of land, but they are really expencive. I need money for stock plying and I earn really with stocks. So I drop my hive number again to 15-20. To keep under 100 hives is not a business. So it is good hobby when number is properly small.

To calculate mites and wonder nonexistence matters is not my hobby. World is full of real things to be wondered. But in beekeeping it is difficult to find new after 45 years.

I have tried to keep under 10 hives but it is too few. When I have beekeeping system 10 hives do not give enough return when I take care on them whole year. I live at 100 miles distance from my hives.

.
.
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Dr/B
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 12:21:29 AM »

I was wondering if anyone has feed bees to the point it out weighs,in cost,the honey output?

Getting back to the question;  I would guess it would depend on the cost of the sugar.

We have a local grocery store that sells us their busted/broken/dirty bags of sugar.  This past year we got a 40 gallon can full of this "dirty" sugar for about $10 per 40 gal. can.  I didn't have one bee complain about using this sugar either.  We use cheap jars to feed with, saved from the items we eat.  Any glass jar that a mason lid fits is saved at my house.


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(doin' it cheap)
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2007, 11:29:22 AM »



(doin' it cheap)

No one's life is as expencive as poor's

.
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2007, 01:57:01 PM »

i save the glass jars from big costco stuff like artichoke hearts.  they work great.  not sure i'd use them in the winter up here.  i use them in spring and if, like this year, i need to do summer feeding. 

i buy my sugar from a "dented can" store.  leaky bags, etc.  it cuts the cost.  i just have to be on the lookout for the stuff and buy it all when i see it.  my second choice is usually costco, although around holidays the grocery stores run sugar special that can be better.
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