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Author Topic: Winter Feed in the South - Need Advice  (Read 2433 times)
sarafina
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« on: December 18, 2009, 09:05:39 PM »

The sun was out and it was in the 60's today so I checked my 2 hives. 

The top box on my blue hive was fairly heavy and I found some brood in the center and honey on the frames on either side so I was satisfied everything was good with it.  Nothing going on in the lower box.

My yellow hive was a different story.  I haven't seen as much activity as the blue hive and was a little worried about it.  I picked up the top box and it was light - TOO light.  I checked and only one frame had honey left and only about half a frame.  Only saw some spotty brood - not near as much as the blue hive, but still some.  Nothing in the bottom brood box.  I have 2 frames of honey in the freezer at work (no room at home) so I will get those on Monday and bring them home and give them to the yellow hive.  I mixed up some 2:1 syrup and gave it to them.  What temps will they still take 2:1 syrup generally?  It is supposed to be in the high 50's, lower 60's during the day and 40's-low 50's at night for the next 10 days.

Up until a week ago I had flowers blooming all over my yard, but we had a freak snow storm and light freeze and it killed off everything but the roses.  Still have roses blooming, so the bees have those but not much else.

Or winters are very mild here - rarely freezes.  I will monitor the yellow hive to see how long the 2 frames of honey last.  Do I need to consider sprinkling sugar on the frames with the temps we have?  We could see the 70's again soon - or not.

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HAB
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2009, 09:39:57 PM »

You might try this.

http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/walt-wright/fall-feeding/
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USC Beeman in TN
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2009, 10:18:01 PM »



I used Walt's instructions at the Fall Feeding link about 3 weeks ago.  Many of my new hives (swarms, cutouts, trapouts) are light.  In fact, I got the PermaComb from Walt.
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De Colores,
Ken
sarafina
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 11:17:35 PM »

I am in Zone 9A to give you an idea of the climate here.  Walt talks about clustering and brood rearing stopping.  Well, it never really stops here - just slows down.  I have brood in both hives and watched orientation flights last Sunday when it was sunny and in the 70's from my blue hive.  I am sure the bees cluster at night when the temps fall, but they were all over the tops of the frames when I opened them up today and there was a lot of activity coming and going from the entrances.  Our winter here is like Fall further north, so I guess I should go back a few months and look at the feeding threads from October and apply them to me in December.

How did that work USC Beeman?  Were you able to get the syrup in the comb with his method?  I hope your bees make it!
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RayMarler
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2009, 12:29:46 AM »

I have some 1 pint squeezer honey jars, I squeeze out a heavy line of honey on top of the top bars in the brood box for emergency feeding when needed. Of course it won't last them long, but it does help out immediately when the hive is as dry as you described.
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Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
sc-bee
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2009, 09:08:19 AM »

I have no problem using jar top feeder this time of year in my area!!! We do get some freezing temps but not had a jar bust or freeze yet. Of course I don't have them on in the teens. You can cover with a super to protect from some cold.

I appreciate Walt's opinions and ideas but not fond of the one above. Not when I can slap a jar on.

You should have no problem with a jar top feeder in climates you described. Easy to Access and easy to fill.

I lived in Baytown when I was 20 yrs old. Can't remember much about the weather, had other things on my mind shocked shocked!

Did not have Mexican food here in my neck of the woods then. Never will forget the first I had. Crab meat Enchiladas @ Ninfa's. Off course was introduced to more authentic stuff later (@ restaurants run in the Casa's. I'm sure this is not the correct Spanish grin but I think you probably get the general idea.)

Good Luck!
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John 3:16
USC Beeman in TN
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2009, 11:58:31 AM »


How did that work USC Beeman?  Were you able to get the syrup in the comb with his method?  I hope your bees make it!

Worked fine.  Didn't have a big enough can.  Walt's instructions show him using sugar water (probably 1:1).  I was using much more concentrated sugar syrup which I kept heating to add more sugar.  FIlling with the thicker syrup takes a lot more time that he described.  But then again, he was using a can probably 3 times larger.
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De Colores,
Ken
sarafina
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2009, 01:57:18 PM »

I have some 1 pint squeezer honey jars, I squeeze out a heavy line of honey on top of the top bars in the brood box for emergency feeding when needed. Of course it won't last them long, but it does help out immediately when the hive is as dry as you described.

I had never thought of adding honey directly to the top of the bars.  I will get the 2 frames of honey in next week.  The girls were flying a lot today so hopefully they will find something still blooming besides my roses.  I just have my 2:1 syrup in a boardman feeder which is all I have ever used since I don't have to feed much with our climate.  I only have 2 hives and haven't noticed any robbing problems yet.  Once the sun warmed it up this morning they started taking it - level has dropped some and I saw it bubble once.
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Lone
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2009, 01:22:14 AM »

When I feed honey, I put in a saucer covered with cheesecloth so they don't get stuck in it, and put it on top of the frames.  I've just had to start feeding too, Sarafina.  The nuc I am giving honey and another using a jar feeder.

Lone
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Beaver Dam
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 09:01:15 AM »

I,ve lost 2 hives over last couple of cold spells and I believe it's due to lack of stores. Ie bees with heads in comb and no stores. ( May have been robed out)?. Sara I would feed honey on top (of frames asap). I've been kepping a close eye on mine here in Azle (NW of Ft Worth). Been feeding open with Honey and comb I froze from cutouts I did this last year.I do this on days they are flying. Also noticed at one of my hives polen coming in. Like that to.
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bailey
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2009, 02:20:21 PM »

i just started feeding a batch of hives in an out yard that all were pretty light.
they were cutouts and late swarms last summer.
i have great luck with a chicken water dispensing bottle setup.
mine holds 3 gallons and i open feed a thick syrup a distance from my hives to prevent robbing.
my weather will be the same as yours so you can feed them pretty heavy right now.
they wont take it if it gets too cold though.

bailey
 
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
sarafina
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2009, 03:27:04 PM »

Thanks, bailey.  We got up to the 70's today and have decent temps the next few days so I will be able to get the 2 frames of honey installed (when it isn't raining) and keep the syrup on the front.  They were slow on the first quart, but it was warmer yesterday and they sucked it all down and it is 2:1.  I will keep feeding them as long as the temps hold out and may do some open feeding away from the hives also.
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HAB
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2009, 05:17:13 PM »

Good to hear yours are flying.
Got up to 70F here today.  Checked mine, added 2-1 syrup to those that had  taken some from the two Boardman feeders I have in an empty super over an inner cover on each hive.  Out of twenty hives only four needed syrup.  All the hives had some brood except for one.  I THINK its Queenless.  Will check it again in a week.  If it still has no brood I'll combine it with my weakest hive.  I have a Nuc with a laying Queen.  But I'm running a test just to see if I can over winter a three frame nuc.  It has a 5 Frame Nuc Hive Top Feeder like this:



So far it seems to still be growing.
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