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Author Topic: The Tao of Early Spring Feeding  (Read 1282 times)
Grandma_DOG
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« on: December 26, 2009, 01:21:00 AM »

The archives have much info on the dangers of early spring feeding. Clearly there is an art to it, without getting one's hive honey bound and swarmy.

What I seek to do this spring, is split 2 hives into 4-6 with no regard for honey production. I seek to achieve this by feeding early in spring, how early, I don't know but early February in Texas gets above 60 easy. Latest freeze can be mid Feb. So if I feed early, what happens if a freeze hits later? I may start 1:1 feed mid January if we get our usual warm weather.

If I feed too long, the hive may get honeybound and the queen shuts down. A disaster. If I wait too late, the bees won't take syrup if they have a flow available and any ramp up benfit of feeding has passed.

So how early can I feed?
How warm does it have to be?
What signs tell me when to stop? (Do I have to inspect the brood comb regularly daily/weekly to see if they are back filling?)

In essense, what is the Tao of spring feeding?
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2009, 10:08:48 AM »

If they go into swarm mode there's your perfect split material isn't it - the swarm cells?  It's a good question.  I'm hoping to expand my 2 hives to a safer number next year too.   
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 11:07:52 AM »

For stimulation, the typical plan is a feeder that limits access (such as a jar lid with only five holes or so in it), and thin syrup.  This does not give them a lot to eat, so that they plug up the brood nest, but convinces them that it is spring and safe to rear brood.  That, at least, is the theory.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#stimulativefeeding
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
bigbearomaha
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 12:54:25 PM »

That implies that it must be warm enough to not freeze the syrup.

Big Bear
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 02:18:21 PM »

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I have reared bees with pollen patty 20 years.
Giving syrup does not help. I have tried that too.

Pollen patty must be palatable. So bees eate it so much as they need.

Feeding of bees

You may feed pollen alone with honey but it is expencive. You may compensate 80% of pollen with yeast and soya flour.

MAAREC:s paper is very good.

http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/bkCD/HBBiology/nutrition_supplements.htm

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/apiculture/factsheets/423_nutrition.pdf

From Australia new  information May 2005 : http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HBE/05-054.pdf

From internet I learned that I can use soya flour and yeast with pollen. If you put over 20% pollen to mixture, it is palatable for bees.

I make dough with dough machine.

3 kg dry irradiated pollen
0,7 litre water to soften pollen over night
3 kg dry baker yeast
2 kg soya flour with fat or without
1 kg fructose ( or honey if you do not have AFB)
1 kg flour sugar
3 multivitamin pill crushed and diluted into water.
150 mg C- vitamin = Ascorbic acid powder
___________________
10,7 kg total

Add two table spoon food oil if soya is fatfree.

28% pollen

If dough is too wet, add soya flour and balance the mixture with it.

Then I roll the paste between two dough paper to 5-8 mm plate and give it to the top bars of frame. During one week 2 super colony can eat 0,5-1 kg that dough. New born bees eat it very eargerly.

Near 20% pollen all colonies are not willing to eat dough. Keep total sugar content 50%. If yeast make bubbles add sugar.
Fructose take moisture from air.

Dough will be in condition at least 3 weeks in cold.

Store dough in plastic case. When you make more plates, warm up diugh in micro wave oven so you may work with it.

Place patty very near of brood area on frames.

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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 02:28:12 PM »


feeding pollen patty is possible if bees get water outside. If they don't, larvae will die and often the hive get a bad chalkbrood.

I start feeding so that when first new bees emerge 3 weeks later, they get fresh pollen from willows.
Just born bees need pollen much to grom ready.

The bigger the colony the bigger will be the growth of brood area.

No idea to split too early the hive.

maximun brooding needs 2 brood box and honey and pollen need more room. So the good hive is at least 3 box. After that you may make nucs, but then you loose the honey yield.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2009, 02:36:40 PM »

In the North, at least, I agree with Finsky.  Pollen is a better stimulator than syrup both because they can't take syrup anyway in early spring and because pollen just works better even if it warms up enough for them to take the syrup.

If you read the link above that was kind of my point, but then again, I'm not in Texas...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2009, 03:03:34 PM »


If you read the link above that was kind of my point, but then again, I'm not in Texas...


I know that Texas is at the level of North Africa. Some parts are desert and some are jungle.

One Texas beekeeper wrote in this forum that dandelion bursted in bloom in January. Then he wrote  in March that snow covered the ground.

But to rear early new bees allways the hive needs pollen storages. They do not get every day fresh pollen outside. So they eate extra larvae and brood area will be quite porous.

When bees have not pollen any more, they stop larva rearing.

****************

Last spring I used very much dry yeast in feeding. It went fine.




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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2009, 03:17:39 PM »

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Pictures


http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/valkuaisruoka1.jpg

http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/valkuaisruoka3.jpg
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2009, 12:31:19 PM »

.

This Australian bee feeding manual  (150 pages) shoud be good for Texas.

FAT BEES, SKINNY BEES
-a manual on honey bee nutrition for beekeepers
 year 2005

https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/downloads/05-054.pdf


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