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Author Topic: Feeding for Build Up?  (Read 1054 times)
mgmoore7
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« on: January 27, 2009, 10:09:55 AM »

I started feeding for buildup to get ready for the citrus blossum bloom next month here in FL.  I will be putting my hives on a orange grove.

I am feeding 1:1 and for 2 of the 3 hives, the queen is definately started laying well.

My question relates to the consumption or storage of the sugar water.  All 3 hives have a super that is about half full of honey.  I assume that if I extract this, it will have "sugar water" honey in it.  On the other hand I have read that the bees will not store 1:1 but rather just consume it.  Is this true. 

If they are storing it, I guess I just need to extract it and put it aside to feed back to them next fall.Huh?
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rast
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 08:49:43 PM »

 I am assuming (dangerous) that you have a single (deep?) brood box and another (deep?) box on top you are calling the super. If I am correct in my assumptions, I would not extract that second box at all. Leave it for them. Its going to be a long hot summer and they will need it. Third box up is all I will extract. If this year is like last year here, I will be feeding as soon as the palmettos quit blooming (I don't have magrove like you may have). It takes two boxes of bees to make an abundance of citrus honey. You need to get with a experianced year round beekeeper in your area if possible. Beekeeping in the summer in Fl. is not like up North. It is really different here area to area.
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Fools argue; wise men discuss.
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 09:35:39 PM »

Thanks.  I had bees last year through the winter & summer and found it not to be difficult at all (not that that could not change).  I did not feed until after fall as they were a little light going into winter and now finding it probably was not nessesary.  I think I have the advantage to be in a neighborhood where there are many different nectar & pollen sources throughout the year. 

I extracted twice last year, once after spring and again at the end of summer.  So this year, assuming we don't have a drought, I should have a better year than last as I did not have a orange blossom to put my bees in so early in the season.  I hope to extract after orange flow, end of spring and end of summer or possibly just one big extraction at the end of the summer.  I have more supers ready this year than last.  Then we still have the brazillian pepper flow for fall/winter build up. 

I do not have 2 deeps right now.  1 deep and 1 super. 
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tlynn
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 09:38:50 PM »

Yes we have a big advantage here with all the ornamentals.  Wink  Seems like my bees have something flowering all the time to tap. 

Have you checked your super frames lately?  I found nectar coming in last week.  Looks like my girls started opening up some honey at the end of December and then began refilling the last couple weeks. There is some sort of hedge around here, like viburnum, and it's full of sweet smelling flowers right now and is covered in bees.  Plus I am already seeing flowers on citrus here and there.  I have a key lime that's flowering but my tangerine and grapefruit still are full of fruit.
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 10:13:03 PM »

tlynn. 
I checked the supers last Sat and they are about 50% full.  Hard to know how much of this is from the sugar water.  I think I have fed about 2 gallons to them over the last 3 weeks between 3 hives. 

One of the hives will take a quart of sugar water over-night.  This was my weakest hive but they have been building up nicely.  The other two hives take several days to consume a quart of sugar water. 

I have some viburnum in my yard and the bees do like it.  Not sure if they are getting nectar & pollen or just pollen.  I have never found a time through the year that the bees are not at least bringing in some pollen. 
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pdmattox
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2009, 07:27:58 AM »

It doesn't sound like you need to feed them. May want to try to move some empty comb in the super to the center and full ones to the outside walls. Nothing beats natural pollen and nectar, so if you have that coming in I would not feed. Check your brood pattern, they should be moving all the nectar from the bottom box up to the super to make room for eggs.  I Think you might want at least two supers on by the time the citrus flow begins. I always move the full super to the top of the stack and place a empty under it. Early morning Orange blossom smell in the air..... I would love to bottle that fragrance alone. I love this time of year. Smiley
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tlynn
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2009, 07:52:45 AM »

Early morning Orange blossom smell in the air..... I would love to bottle that fragrance alone. I love this time of year. Smiley

There's nothing like waking up with the windows open and smelling all those orange blossoms!  Then the gardenias start flowering, which is a close second...

Yes, I tend to agree on feeding.  At least where I am in Clearwater they are bringing nectar.
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rast
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2009, 06:16:46 PM »

 Thats what I meant by area. Just 50 miles N. of you, we are praying the citrus trees survive. The freeze knocked the maple bloom out also that is a hive buildup for the citrus. At least around here.  I was figuring on having to super this week, now its more feeding. And yes, I love the smell of orange bloom. There's 50 acre's of grove about 100' N. of my house.
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kirkw
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 09:50:17 PM »

It's a great time of year, that citrus aroma is only about 4 weeks away.  The only hive i'm feeding now is the one that has not built up at all.  The others I will have to rob before the citrus just to have room and keep from mixing the honey.
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tlynn
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 10:41:40 PM »

Thats what I meant by area. Just 50 miles N. of you, we are praying the citrus trees survive. The freeze knocked the maple bloom out also that is a hive buildup for the citrus. At least around here.  I was figuring on having to super this week, now its more feeding. And yes, I love the smell of orange bloom. There's 50 acre's of grove about 100' N. of my house.

Someone was telling me of a freeze here in the late 70s, when it got down to 17 degrees.  Small citrus farms in our county were abandoned due to the die off.  Must have really affected the local beekeepers here.  The climate change through the Florida peninsula is really fascinating.  Even going from Tampa to St. Petersburg you see a big difference in foliage.
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