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Author Topic: Booming hives may starve  (Read 1518 times)
malabarchillin
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« on: February 08, 2009, 01:41:21 PM »

East coast of Central Fla.
In the fall I left each hive with a full deep and full med super (normally more than plenty here). The recent unusual cold fronts  have left my bees without any resources left. Day temps are 60s and low 70s, but I fear that the recent night freezes may have left the bees with little to forage on. They are flying a lot. They fly every day when the temps hit 50.
In the last few weeks I have placed 1:1 syrup 100 feet from the hives, but no takers. They have each eaten perhaps 5 frames of honey in the last few weeks. Any suggestions on what I could do to feed them ? The hives are booming and I assume that open feeding away from the hives would attract hungry bees.
Here is a link to today's activity after my inspection.


Added:
I just put a hive top feeder on 2 of 5 hives and sprinkled granular sugar on the top bars of all deeps and supers on all 5 hives. There is a large source of water nearby. I am concerned about the top feeders weeping cold syrup as there is a +70 t0 +40 temp change at night, but I think I have no choice.

regards
Mike

My bee blog:
http://mikesfarm1.blogspot.com/
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 03:45:51 PM by malabarchillin » Logged
sc-bee
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 02:30:08 PM »

If they are that active --- and taking no feed --- it is highly likely they are aware of a source you are not. I don't open feed, I use hive top feeders (jars on a cover) and place it over the cluster.
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John 3:16
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 07:25:56 PM »

them hives are booming, open feeding is good, I use boardman feeders about 100 foot away and mine do good by this, I use top feeders on my out yards because I can add a gallon or so without visiting them every day, I can see the hives on the home yard every day so I open feed them, all top feeders are on my out yard hives, I need to build a few more Wink, no problem with robbing here!!!
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2009, 07:48:40 PM »

If the bees are ignoring syrup close by and they are busy then they have located an adequate natural source.  They will usually opt for a natural source over syrup for brood rearing as it is more complete nutrisionally, same goes for natural pollen and pollen patties.

Community feed can be very useful and successful method of feeding all hives in a bee yard, it is more a matter of technique than substance.  Try to keep it an even distance from all the hives and in a location that mimics a natural source, ie in the middle of a batch of dandelions.
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rast
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 09:02:51 PM »

 Mike, mine are taking about a quart a day per hive, hive top feeders. Lots of pollen coming in. Only another month of this and the nectar bearing blossoms will be here.
 Have to be an optimist, farming or raising bees. I'm going to plant my taters next week.
 Rick
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malabarchillin
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 09:13:33 PM »

Thanks for the replies so far.
Rick you appear to be to the north west of me. I assume that you got much more cold weather than I did.
You still have a lot of pollen coming in after the very recent freezes ? What type of pollen ? I assume that your nights are still below 40 degrees ? The syrup warms up enough during the day for them to eat ? I assume that if yours are drinking syrup that you also do not have any honey left on the hives ?
Regards
Mike
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 09:47:41 PM »

I assume that if yours are drinking syrup that you also do not have any honey left on the hives ?
Regards
Mike

they will take if they do have stores or a flow, but it is good to add just to make sure they dont starve because most of the time when they build up before flows they will consume a lot and could run out, this is the time of year most starve so it is good to feed when can just to insure you will have a hive come spring, oh and when they dont take syrup is when they have a flow going on most of the time......
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malabarchillin
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2009, 06:29:13 PM »

A follow up for the archives if other new beeks search.

I am a second year beek with only the forums for a mentor. I did not think that the bees would take internal feeding if they would not accept 'open feeding'. Last night I placed inverted feeders (do not like them) on 2 of my 5 hives and placed granulated sugar on the top bars for emergency feeding. I have read that they may remove suger from the hive if placed below the inner cover. In my location I do not use a inner cover. When I can home tonight the 2 jars were empty. I hope they did not drip and freeze the bees with cold syrup with the night to day temp swings (40-70). Tonight I made some floating screen feeders for the other hives. I am surprised how booming the hives are. They had plenty of capped honey and open nectar before the unusual cold fronts we had recently.
Thanks again for your replies.
Mike
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2009, 06:36:21 PM »

 Probably was colder here. Nope, I still have frames of honey left. Friday night was the last cold night, had some ice out in the open. I am feeding 1:1 now. I don't know the name of the tree's they were all over Sat. and Sun. here at the house. Prior to the freezes they were in the maple. The three I have now in an orange grove are getting pollen from something. a neighbor told me his peach blooms were covered with bees and thanked me. The wild cherry trees are also starting to bud/bloom. They will be on them also, then the swamp willow.
 I don't know what these trees are.

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malabarchillin
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 05:20:11 PM »

The 'open feeders' remain untouched. It's 73 degrees outside so they are plenty warm. Using the same bag of sugar I placed syrup inside the hives. I fed a little last year, but nothing serious. Tonight when I went to check on the internal feeders I was mugged. I have raised many types of animals (even pigs) but theses bees rivaled anything I have seen waiting at a trough. I do not like the inverted feeders so tonight I bought some thick 1/8" plastic screen from a craft store. I believe it is for cross- stitching. They are about 8.5 X11 for $0.39 each. They almost float alone, but I am sticking wooden paint stir sticks underneath to float the screen. One screen will probably make 3 feeders. At Walmart I also bought some ice cube bins that are rectangles. I cut the depth down to fit inside a frameless med super. They now hold 2 quarts easily.

Feeder pics     
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_PFDSe_fBOyc/SZICOSF3qxI/AAAAAAAABj0/n8L7-lcljVw/s640/P2100001.JPG
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_PFDSe_fBOyc/SZICOs8CprI/AAAAAAAABj8/EhfWY0CNRWU/s640/P2100002.JPG
Mike
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 05:49:44 PM by malabarchillin » Logged
rast
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2009, 06:02:16 PM »

 Mike, are you setting these feeders on a cover with a hole in it or straight on top of the frames?
 Rick
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malabarchillin
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2009, 06:04:27 PM »

I run migratory tops with no inner covers. These are sitting on the frames.
Do you ask because of the risk of burr comb buildup without a inner cover or
because of the bees trying to get syrup before I could set it down ?
They were also boiling out of the holes in the top covers trying not to let
the empty syrup jars get away. These are normally gentle bees. Just hungry I believe.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 07:12:19 PM by malabarchillin » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 08:41:28 PM »

 I asked because of curiosity/education. I don't use inner covers either. Mostly migratory tops or my version of them. I think I have one telescopic on a hive. Never gave burr comb a thought. It happens or it doesn't. 
 Mine also chase the empty feeders when removed in the daytime. I find it easier to change them after dark, just changed 3 in the last 30 minutes with no problem. I need a veil in the daytime.
 I know you don't like inverted feeders, just easier and faster to me.
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malabarchillin
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 08:47:02 PM »

Actually you just made me think I might be able to refill my non-inverting feeders through the holes in my top covers meant for inverted feeders. Then I would not need to lift the lids/disturb them less.
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2009, 09:00:04 PM »

 Thats how I have fed some frames of honey without inducing robbing. 
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2009, 07:37:20 AM »

I'm in S.E. NC and recently tried open feeding using 6 frames of drawn comb filled-w-light (<1:1) for my 2 double deep hives and had rediculous results. The 2 hives took up nearly 5 gallons over 3 days. They were about 50 yds from the hives. I use a home made "honey-b-healthy" and I feel it is the key for the bees finding the source. Obviously once they do it is a mob scene. I quit feeding and checked a hive yesterday and there is more fresh eggs/brood/larvae then I have ever seen in my short time as a beek. There was a frame-w-80% of just eggs on both sides and the queen was not even concerned about being out in the open while I inspected the frame she was on. I have 9 frames in 10 frame deeps and she was layingon all 5 frames in the center-w-the 2 frames on each end full of tons of pollen and honey-w-additional pollen/honey/syrup on the perimeter of all frames. I am going to try 1 or 2 walk away splits this week because I ffel they are just jammed-w-bees and in a few weeks it will double at least. If it works it should be early enough for the new colonies to be on the honey flow and if it fails I still will have plenty of bees in 2 hives for the flow. There are a fair amount of drone flying too.
Any suggestions are welcome.
Howard
Hampstead, NC
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