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Author Topic: Feeding Question  (Read 960 times)

Offline comebye

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Feeding Question
« on: June 30, 2010, 12:11:59 PM »
 Hello everyone, I am brand new to beekeeping. Wow do I have some questions. Ive read every book and realized there is no substitute for experience!  I started this year with two hives. 3lb box into each 10 frame deep. I have a "strong hive" and a "weak hive". My question concerns my strong hive. I call it strong because it has been about a month and it looks robust. The frames are almost full of pollen, honey, cappped brood, and lots of tightly grouped eggs. When they started working on frame 9, I put another 10 frame box on top. I have been feeding them sugar water the whole time. Now, since I added the second 10 frame box, it seems they are not using as much sugar water. Is it time to stop feeding them? What is the rule of thumb? Thanks Ken. :-D

Offline harvey

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Re: Feeding Question
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 12:32:42 PM »
Not sure where you are at but at this point in Michigan there is so much blooming that the will forage for all there food verses take syrup.  I started two packages this year mid april and they are doing very well.  I made the decision this year that I was not going to feed at all.  Let them go slow and build there own comb naturally, no foundation.  So far the hives are doing as well as the one I had last year that I fed and had on plasticell foundation.  Actually they apear to be doing better?  Time will tell.  I know that there own comb if much more facinating to me and since I am not trying to harvest tons of honey rather looking at having healthy colonies that make it through the winter I can let them go at there own pace.  I don't claim to be right or know all that much bout bees but I am very curious if they will be better off the less I do for them and the less I manipulate them.  I will probably end up with more swarms with my way of thinking but that is ok for now.  Specially if I can catch them and start good healthy colonies from them.   

Offline D Coates

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Re: Feeding Question
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 12:43:50 PM »
Welcome to the site.  They'll stop taking syrup when there's adequate nectar flow going on.  They prefer nectar to syrup.  If you're trying to get the deeps drawn out you can leave them alone during the flow then go back to syrup if they need to finish drawing out any frames.  They should do fine without it though.  Also rotating the outer frames that don't always get fully drawn out to the center is a great way to give them more space and ensure the frames are completely drawn out.
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Offline kathyp

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Re: Feeding Question
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 12:45:59 PM »
put your location in your profile and someone local may be able to give you a good idea about the nectar flow in your area.
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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Feeding Question
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 01:28:46 PM »
Right now you shouldn't need to feed.  Here there is lots going on...linden, white and yellow clover.

The danger with feeding too much right now is that they get honeybound.    If they have a lot of "honey" stored in the bottom box, it is time to stop feeding otherwise you might end up with a swarm.

Rick
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Offline comebye

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Re: Feeding Question
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 09:05:23 PM »
Thanks everyone. Great Informaton.

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Feeding Question
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 10:00:13 AM »


The danger with feeding too much right now is that they get honeybound.    If they have a lot of "honey" stored in the bottom box, it is time to stop feeding otherwise you might end up with a swarm.

Rick
I've been wondering about cause and effect on the "honeybound"  issue.  Do the bees, who may have lots of space in a super, just get confused and put the honey in the brood nest?  And that causes a swarm? 

Or is it that the bees were already planning to swarm and they move honey and diluted honey into brood space (which is no longer needed for brood since they are swarming) so it will be convenient for gorging as they leave the hive?

I find it hard to believe the bees would mess up the brood nest if they wanted to stay.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Feeding Question
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 12:26:20 AM »
If things are blooming, and they have some capped stores, I would quit feeding them...
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
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