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Author Topic: spring build up for splits  (Read 2693 times)
bee-nuts
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« on: February 25, 2010, 12:59:11 PM »

Does anybody have experience they could share with feeding pollen patties for spring splits.  I would really like to read any studies done with hives with and without pollen patties to have a better understanding.

I know a local commercial outfit who says they could not do almonds without feeding the patties to build them up.  This is late winter though.

Thoughts, experience, links or any info appreciated on the matter.

bee-nuts
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specialkayme
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 02:28:45 PM »

Are you looking for experience or articles on the topic of pollen feeding, or are you looking for studies between feeding and not feeding, or studies between different types of feed?
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RayMarler
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 03:44:47 AM »

As with many things in beeking, it will depend on location weather, and pollen and nectar flows and times.

Here where I'm at, I get good strong flows from mid to end February through end of March, slows some in April, picks up strong in May for blackberries, slows in June, picks up end of June thru end of July for starthistle and black locust. After first of August, I get no flows.

The hives will be packed with pollen on August 1, but it will all be gone September 1. I find in my area, it's very important to supplement pollen and feed sugar water in abundance from end of August when I pull honey, through the middle of October. By middle October I stop the sugar water and will cut back and stop the pollen by November 1.

This will get them built up with younger bees and full of cured stores before weather turns cooler and moister in November. It will give them stores of pollen for brood rearing to start up again in middle January to tide them through until middle February when pollen once again starts coming in. 
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Jim 134
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 04:20:18 AM »

  I would really like to read any studies done with hives with and without pollen patties to have a better understanding.
Thoughts, experience, links or any info appreciated on the matter.

bee-nuts


 
Why not dry pollen as well  Huh


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David LaFerney
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 10:13:11 AM »

As with many things in beeking, it will depend on location weather, and pollen and nectar flows and times.

Here where I'm at, I get good strong flows from mid to end February through end of March, slows some in April, picks up strong in May for blackberries, slows in June, picks up end of June thru end of July for starthistle and black locust. After first of August, I get no flows.

The hives will be packed with pollen on August 1, but it will all be gone September 1. I find in my area, it's very important to supplement pollen and feed sugar water in abundance from end of August when I pull honey, through the middle of October. By middle October I stop the sugar water and will cut back and stop the pollen by November 1.

This will get them built up with younger bees and full of cured stores before weather turns cooler and moister in November. It will give them stores of pollen for brood rearing to start up again in middle January to tide them through until middle February when pollen once again starts coming in. 

That's very useful. I wish I could get a similar date specific rundown for my location. 

I can see that by now (middle-end of Feb) they are bringing in plenty of pollen when they are flying (1 day out of 5 maybe)  and last year they were bringing in large amounts of pollen until early November, but nectar became scarce after July 1 and pretty much non existent after Sept 15.

I learned though that a broodless hive (from a trap out) was able to build up stores in July while my other hive quickly consumed all that they had.

Very different from your calendar, but it's still useful to hear what others do.
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doak
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 11:23:00 AM »

The fact that I do not move my colonies I don't do anything in comparison to the migratory bee keepers. In my area the stuff that blooms first is mostly pollen sources. With a good strong colony and good queen I have never had a problem with early build up. My biggest honey maker is Tulip Poplar, wild black berries and a few other. If I don't have my honey by June 1st, then I am out of the game. Usually the bees store honey and pollen in the brood chamber with their winter stores. This is arranged different than what is stored in the honey boxes. I very seldom get pollen in honey supers.
I have put out plain wheat flour once or twice in the 10 years I have been at it.
If you stand at the entrance and watch the incoming traffic you will get a general idea of how much pollen is being harvested. You also get to see the different colors. :)doak
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 11:27:41 AM »

The fact that I do not move my colonies I don't do anything in comparison to the migratory bee keepers. In my area the stuff that blooms first is mostly pollen sources. With a good strong colony and good queen I have never had a problem with early build up. My biggest honey maker is Tulip Poplar, wild black berries and a few other. If I don't have my honey by June 1st, then I am out of the game. Usually the bees store honey and pollen in the brood chamber with their winter stores. This is arranged different than what is stored in the honey boxes. I very seldom get pollen in honey supers.
I have put out plain wheat flour once or twice in the 10 years I have been at it.
If you stand at the entrance and watch the incoming traffic you will get a general idea of how much pollen is being harvested. You also get to see the different colors. :)doak

When does your nectar flow usually start?
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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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doak
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 11:47:12 AM »

One of the first things to do the first and second year of bee keeping is to make a calendar. I call mine the bloom time calender. You will take notice to things that you paid little attention to before you started keeping bees. The first couple will give you a general idea of blooming times for different things. Don't put the out come of the first couple years in stone. Every Spring may not be the same.
It's a good guide line. Most all other things in beekeeping can be the same. This is one of the exceptions, You will have to adjust your "calender" to "your" location. In a good early spring I can do a split as early as Mid March, have had swarms in march. I don't think that is the case where you are.
 :)doak

To David LaFerney
I am 35 miles north of Macon. By the 20th of April "here" the Tulip Poplar is in full bloom and last 3 to 4 weeks. With a 2 deep strong colony during that time I can get 2 to 4 medium supers of honey.
That event took place about 4 years ago when I had 8 or 10 colonies, forget exactly, around 600 pounds that year.

This "can not" be done with splits and/or swarms. Although that was the year I got 4 boxes of honey from a swarm, "BUT" it was the biggest swarm I have ever seen. It took 2 deeps and 3 mediums to hive it. They rejected it twice with two deeps, then 2 deeps and one medium. The day I added the 4th and 5th mediums they took it.
This was on Easter week end, some may  remember my post about it.doak
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 11:58:42 AM »

Thanks Doak,

I actually started last year keeping track of when things bloomed - the first thing I noticed was maple on March 6 - before I even got my package of bees on May 10.

I'm not planning on doing any splits this year until the main honey flow is over, In fact I'm planning on combining my two hives (except for a bit to sustain the second queen in a nuc) at the beginning of the flow to make one hive as strong as possible. 

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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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doak
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 12:52:14 PM »

After combining, make sure to keep close watch so you can give them more room as needed.
When combining it is very easy to let it slip up to the point they will swarm if enough space is not provided when their notion comes to think they are running out of space. Guess I'm just getting spaced "out". rolleyes

In doing it the way you are talking about, it will be very easy to make a split from a large colony at the end of the flow, plus you have your other queen which will have expanded her domain by then. Presto, 3 colonies from one in a season plus Honey. I think that would be a good way to make increases and harvest some honey at the same time. :)doak
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 04:39:02 PM »

After combining, make sure to keep close watch so you can give them more room as needed.
When combining it is very easy to let it slip up to the point they will swarm if enough space is not provided when their notion comes to think they are running out of space. Guess I'm just getting spaced "out". rolleyes

In doing it the way you are talking about, it will be very easy to make a split from a large colony at the end of the flow, plus you have your other queen which will have expanded her domain by then. Presto, 3 colonies from one in a season plus Honey. I think that would be a good way to make increases and harvest some honey at the same time. :)doak

Man, that's exactly what I'm hoping.  It makes me feel better about it to hear you say so.  cheesy
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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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doak
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 05:45:49 PM »

Come April 1, depending on how my two best colonies are doing, if they both survive, I may do that very thing. Not expecting the third one to make it. Cry :)doak
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2010, 08:49:56 PM »

Come April 1, depending on how my two best colonies are doing, if they both survive, I may do that very thing. Not expecting the third one to make it. Cry :)doak

Well, baby them a little and maybe they'll surprise you.  Good luck.
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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

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
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