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Author Topic: Last year's stores  (Read 1876 times)
Carl F
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« on: March 16, 2009, 07:20:49 AM »

I need advice on how and when to use last season's winter stores, from a hive that did not survive, with a new package.  My only backyard hive did not survive winter.  They superseded the queen very late last fall and I don't think she mated.  They left lots of stores--a deep and a medium super, both at 60 to 70 % full.  A few thousand and the queen survived winter only to be finished off by a robbing attack that they could not defend last week.

I need them to empty the medium because I had it on while I fed with HbH and Fumagilin and I want it available for the nectar flow.  Can I scratch the cells open and put it below the brood box (maybe with a queen excluder above it to keep the queen in the brood box) as soon as I install the package?  Or do I really need to feed syrup to mimic a nectar flow and stimulate the brood rearing?  When would you add the second deep which also has significant stores?

I appreciate your input...
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 07:42:48 AM »

Welcome to the forum Carl.

I would put it above, when it's time. Less chance of starting robbing again. I would not start a package off by having a feeding frenzy. Get the package installed and up and running. And remember, 30 days after you install the package, you will have far less bee numbers than what you started with.


As a side note.....
I think anytime you use HBH it will promote an urge to rob on some level. Bees feed just fine on sugar syrup. I personally feel the smell of HBH is a calling card for other hives to come a calling. Not to say that it played into it this time or scenario, but anytime you use HBH, you should guard against bees testing a hive with HBH smell.

Because of the pitfalls, I usually suggest to others to leave the fancy smells out of the hive. Any foreign smells in the hive can interfer with a queen's pheromones and control. A late supercedure after feeding a hive full of HBH only makes me wonder why.

Good Luck!
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Carl F
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2009, 08:55:48 AM »

The "when it's time" part is what I need help with.  ...wait long enough to see a good brood pattern?  ...wait for the first brood to hatch out?  ...wait until they need more space?

When you suggest putting the medium on top as a food source I am assuming that it should be over an inner cover so that the bees will want to take it "inside"Huh

That's probably good advice about the HbH.  I made my own but I guess I fell for the marketing associated with the commercially available stuff and did not think about potential problems.

Thanks for the input.   
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 02:41:59 PM »

I need advice on how and when to use last season's winter stores, from a hive that did not survive, with a new package.  My only backyard hive did not survive winter.  They superseded the queen very late last fall and I don't think she mated.  They left lots of stores--a deep and a medium super, both at 60 to 70 % full.  a few thousand and the queen survived winter only to be finished off by a robbing attack that they could not defend last week.

I need them to empty the medium because I had it on while I fed with HbH and Fumagilin and I want it available for the nectar flow.  Can I scratch the cells open and put it below the brood box (maybe with a queen excluder above it to keep the queen in the brood box) as soon as I install the package?  Or do I really need to feed syrup to mimic a nectar flow and stimulate the brood rearing?  When would you add the second deep which also has significant stores?

I appreciate your input...

Possible to extract the current  medicated honey  and save it for feed for them later?   not sure how older meds "work" in honey,  as I don't use any.....   I would be afraid if you scratch them open they will just move around and reseal them,  at least some of them  therby contaminating your honey....
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Carl F
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 03:34:50 PM »

I would only offer the frames in question until it's time to put on suppers then it comes off.  I have considered extracting them and saving the honey/syrup to feed in patties or something later on.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 04:50:23 PM »

well if you extreacted them and then put the emptys on they would cloean up all thats left and you could go ahead and use them for honey.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 08:17:31 PM »

If you have freezer space just freeze the honey frames until you want them.  Thaw them out for a day or 2 before putting in the  hive.  You can give them a frame at a time to  help them build up and also reduce the robbing possibility.  As long as you have bees that can cover each frame in the hive they can usually protect the stores.  Just don't use HBH when feeding a hive internally as it does seem to promoterobbing for some reason.   I alsways  ad a Tblsp of cider vinegar per gallon of syrup as it makes it a tad more acidic, therefore more palatable to the bees, and seems to aid in nosema resistance. 
Community feeding is lalso an option.  With pen feeding each hive will take what it can process according to the hive strength and development.  Open feeding also draws the ees away from the other hives.  I place my feeders about 50 feet away from the bee yard near what is often a natural nectar source, ie the orchad, garden, or blackberry vines. 

I haven't had a robbing incident since I've changed completely to open feeding but the feeding station needs to be at least 50 feet (or more) from the bee yard.  Place the feeding station close to the hives and it can still instigate a feeding frenzy.  Distance is the secret to open feeding.
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MacfromNS
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 09:40:50 PM »

Brain, what kind of a feeder do you use for open feeders??
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2009, 10:32:06 PM »

If I remember right he uses a 1 Gallon paint can the has nail holes punch in by a # 4 nail.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2009, 09:05:28 AM »

this open feeder concept seems a bit odd to me......  I understand the principle but why would you do it?  the point is to get your hives to gather nectar,  feeding them sugar water  seems expensive and foolish???  (not arugmentive  trying to understand)     I only feed a hive that is haveing issues,  why would you want to feed all of them???  I realize it stops teh robbing,  but Huh?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2009, 11:06:17 PM »

If I remember right he uses a 1 Gallon paint can the has nail holes punch in by a # 4 nail.

That is correct and you only want to tap the nail so that the pyramid shape of the point is still there with a wee hole at the tip.  Use the nail from inside so it dimples out.

this open feeder concept seems a bit odd to me......  I understand the principle but why would you do it?  the point is to get your hives to gather nectar,  feeding them sugar water  seems expensive and foolish???  (not arugmentive  trying to understand)     I only feed a hive that is haveing issues,  why would you want to feed all of them???  I realize it stops teh robbing,  but Huh?

Community or open feeding, if done correctly will complete remove the tendency to rob between hives evenin a dearth.  When feeding is necessary feeding every hive draws the bees to the syrup.  When robbing occurs the bees are usually experiencing some type of nectar dearth and they go to the syrup.  Placing the syrup in the open pulls the bees from all the hives to the same syrup source.  They are all competing for the same food, just as in foraging.  Keep the feeder away from the hives and each hive gets what it needs based on it's own resources.  It is a very easy way to top of stores for the winter after harvesting.  When the bees start building burr comb and the temps start dropping pull the feeder as the hives have as much stores as they can hold.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 09:17:34 AM »


Community or open feeding, if done correctly will complete remove the tendency to rob between hives evenin a dearth.  When feeding is necessary feeding every hive draws the bees to the syrup.  When robbing occurs the bees are usually experiencing some type of nectar dearth and they go to the syrup.  Placing the syrup in the open pulls the bees from all the hives to the same syrup source.  They are all competing for the same food, just as in foraging.  Keep the feeder away from the hives and each hive gets what it needs based on it's own resources.  It is a very easy way to top of stores for the winter after harvesting.  When the bees start building burr comb and the temps start dropping pull the feeder as the hives have as much stores as they can hold.
[/quote]

I understand the idea,  but if you have 4-5 hives and only 1 is weak,  what is gained?  the 4  strong hives consume most of the sugar....  and at the price of sugar these days it would be easier and cheaper to combine the hives with 2 queens for a while,  (or other options)    If you only have 1-2 hives community feeing shouldn't be needed?   I keep my haves around 10 feet apart and robbing is seldom an issue....  Smaller entrance reducers during dearths....  and allow the die off.   seems to me that artificial feeding (as a comunity) compunds the issues as the hives with extra bees consume your profits  in both sugar,  and in extra stores to get thru the winter......     For example I had one hive last fall that was HUGE...  they used right at 200lbs of honey this winter,  where all my smaller hives averaged around 65 lbs consumed......  I wish they had a huge die off (I actually thought the would and didn't worry about it).......  the hive would have hade more stores for spring.   as it was they would have died had I not started patties in Feb.....

anyway,  what I am getting at is that I can't see a big benifit to the comunity feeder other than robbing prevention?  and it seems to me a hive top feeder or robbing screens would be much more cost effective?

Just a thought to throw out...
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 10:44:33 PM »

The gain is that the weak hive doesn't get robbed into nonexistance.  In a Dearth feeding one hive can and often does institute robbing from the other hive.  In a "normal" situation where there is adequate forage feeding a single hive might not be a hazard, but in a dearth or drought that situation is reversed dramatically. 

Again, each hives needs are slightly different, community or open feeding allows each hive to take what it needs.  In spring when there is adequate flow or a heavy flow a strong hive will usually ignore a feeding station in favor of the natual resources so even then open feeding pigeon holes the weak hives more than the strong ones. 

One can forego feeding entirely and balance stores and brood manually but that has it's own inherent problems of possible queen loss foremost amoung them. 

One doesn't have to practice community feeding, but is and can be a useful tool when robbing occurs or is recurrent in a beeyard.  It's up to you whether or not you chose to use the technique, but you seem a little head strong in refusing to wrap your mind around the practice.  I've tried to explain as best I can.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2009, 09:27:50 AM »

I apreciate the thoughts Brain.......  some things just don't make sense at times,  so I ask until I get a reasonable answer.....  Opinions abound,  most of them without merit......  so I am not satisfied until I get an answer that makes some sense.     

What I have learned from this thread  and your comments is pretty straight foward,  for some community feeding solves a robbing issue.   Cost is not the issue,  and there are other ways to manage it.  as you mentioned  moving food.  or I mentioned robbing screens,  combining hives and allowing die offs....

It seems on here a lot of discussion is presented one way as a soulution.  nobody wants to  discuss or present a option.  in this back and forth it seems we have covered both sides of an issue  with multiple thoughts.  For me with around 20  hives in each location,  open feeding is a hole in my bank account....  IF I had just a cpl hives it may be a good option.....

Nice discussion in my mind.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2009, 10:43:22 AM »

I have a similar situation but my bees are doing great.  In October, I fed 1:2 syrup with Fumagilin and had them store the mixture in the two deeps for brood and a medium super that had partially drawn foundation.  I left the medium on for the winter. 

I inspected about 30 days ago and everything is going great.  I have planned to just leave the medium super with medicated syrup on the hives and super up from there with new foundation.  I will only extract from the new supers this summer.

Is it ok to leave the medium super with medicated honey on the hives?  If not, what should I do with the medium frames of medicated honey?

Thanks!


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gmcharlie
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 01:36:51 PM »

I would be worried about confusing them.   which super?  which frame  type issue....  Personaly  I would extract them and let the bees clean up the frames,  and start new...... may be my style,  but I usualy take out two frames and then rearange a lot....  If I get a super thats 80% full during an inspection,  I will take the 2 emptys and exchange them for full ones  so I am only takeing full supers back.....  In that rearagment,  I would get totally lost as which ones had fumidol.....  Just my thought
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2009, 11:31:18 PM »

I have a similar situation but my bees are doing great.  In October, I fed 1:2 syrup with Fumagilin and had them store the mixture in the two deeps for brood and a medium super that had partially drawn foundation.  I left the medium on for the winter. 

I inspected about 30 days ago and everything is going great.  I have planned to just leave the medium super with medicated syrup on the hives and super up from there with new foundation.  I will only extract from the new supers this summer.

Is it ok to leave the medium super with medicated honey on the hives?  If not, what should I do with the medium frames of medicated honey?
Thanks!


You should be aware that bees do not always leave stores alone, even when capped.  They continually uncap and move stores from cell to cell, frame to frame, and super to super.  Leaving the medicated super on all summer long can mean that every super you place on the hive can be contaminated with medicated stores from that super.  I'd advice removing the super and either freezing the frames for later use or extracting and feeding back to the bees for topping off winter stores.

I apreciate the thoughts Brain.......  some things just don't make sense at times,  so I ask until I get a reasonable answer.....  Opinions abound,  most of them without merit......  so I am not satisfied until I get an answer that makes some sense.    

What I have learned from this thread  and your comments is pretty straight foward,  for some community feeding solves a robbing issue.   Cost is not the issue,  and there are other ways to manage it.  as you mentioned  moving food.  or I mentioned robbing screens,  combining hives and allowing die offs....

It seems on here a lot of discussion is presented one way as a soulution.  nobody wants to  discuss or present a option.  in this back and forth it seems we have covered both sides of an issue  with multiple thoughts.  For me with around 20  hives in each location,  open feeding is a hole in my bank account....  IF I had just a cpl hives it may be a good option.....

Nice discussion in my mind.

That sounds fair enough.  I'm glad you like to examine things instead of just accepting answers.  But I would wager that even with yards of 20 or more hives you'll someday run across a situation when community feeding will make the difference of keeping the yard pretty much intact or salvaging one or 2 hives as a reslut of robbing....I've seen it happen.
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Carl F
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2009, 07:46:09 AM »

Two Bees:

What the last two posts said are true (potential to mix up frames/bees possibly relocating honey even after capping) but from my research you should have no real problem if you want to do as you've planned.  I assume you would mark the frames in that medium or have some way to keep them segregated.  I read a paper by a Canadian Agricultural agency about medicating bees.  The paper is clear that no frames that are on the hive while medicating should be used for human consumption but it also recommends having 4 frames of empty comb in your upper deep for storage of the medicated syrup.  Obviously some of that could get moved up into your honey supers but not on a level that should be of any concern.  Your medium super is just an expansion of your brood/food chambers so my opinion is that as long as you keep it straight, you have no problem.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2009, 09:59:30 AM »

Opps!  Originally put this response/question on another topic:

Thanks for the info.  I may be overly concerned but I know that the girls are really beginning to crank it up and I want to either remove the medicated super and replace it with another medium with foundation before the first nectar flow.

Interesting thing about the bees moving the medicated syrup/honey around in the hive.  If they have stored some of the medicated stuff in the two brood chambers, wouldn't they move it around anytime this spring and possibly place the medicated honey in the this year's honey supers?
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Carl F
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2009, 03:07:00 PM »

It's certainly possible but I would say unlikely if the supers are only on during a decent nectar flow.  If there is a good flow on the effort will be to bring in new stores.  If there is a dearth and a lot of empty space above the brood/food chambers then they may want to move the stores up.  If you reverse the position of the deep boxes or make a lot of frame swaps you may enhance that behavior.
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