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Author Topic: Feeding With Super On  (Read 596 times)
PeskySquirrel
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« on: March 30, 2009, 11:33:57 AM »

Some background: I'm coming out of winter with my first over-wintered colony. Based on the activity I've noticed on the few 60 degree days we've had over the last couple of weeks, the colony seems to have come out of winter relatively strong.  Smiley

Now to my question. I over-wintered with a super of honey on top of the brood chambers. A few weeks ago there was still some capped honey in the super. I took a peak under the top cover the other day and I didn't see anymore capped honey in my quick look at the top bars. The weather forecast for the next week has highs in the 40s and 50s--probably not quite warm enough for the girls to fly. Even if they could fly, nothing is blooming yet. I think I need to feed them. Any issues with feeding while the super is still on? Ideally, I'd pull the super (which I assume is empty or pretty close to empty) to feed, but I don't think it'll be warm enough for anything that "invasive." My concern is "adulterated" honey down the road. My gut tells me that with careful feeding it should be a non-issue, but wondering what y'all would recommend in this situation. There is also the option to do nothing and hope that in the next few weeks the weather warms up. Thank you in advance for your advice.
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2009, 12:21:56 PM »

Use food coloring in the syrup.  It will tell you if you end up with sugar honey.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2009, 02:29:26 PM »

Pesky,

Sounds like the cluster is pretty loose right now if they are doing some flying.  I would remove the super and get the feed as close to the brood chamber as possible.  If the weather turns a bit cold, they will quickly starve without adequate food.  Once they start to build up their numbers, they can go through a lot of syrup.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2009, 02:52:46 PM »

If they have moved up in the super,  there is a good chance the queen has brood in it.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2009, 08:22:41 PM »

My bees are flying in the mid 30's F on days it is not raining or windy.  There is forage out there and the bees are going for anytime they can get out of the hive even at temps below 40 F.  The suggestion of feeding a little syrup with food coloring in it will indicate whether or not the bees are storeing, feeding brood, or building comb with the syrup.  If you use a jar a glance will tell you how much they're using.
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