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Author Topic: Top Bar Hive is down to 2 bars of honey - HELP!!  (Read 2408 times)
annette
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« on: October 20, 2010, 11:39:51 PM »

OK I need help. I have been helping my friend Manny with his TBH is season. We are both learning together and Manny told me about 1 month ago that the bees had lots and lots of honey and were bringing in more.

Well a few days ago he checked again and found only 2 bars with honey. Not a good situation given that cooler, rainy weather is just around the corner this week.

He had started to feed using his bottle feeder that sits on the outside of the follower board and they are simply not taking it fast enough. They took about 3 days to go through one bottle. That just isn't fast enough right now.

Can anyone give me any suggestions on how he can get this hive to feed. I really do not believe they will have time to build up properly so can bakers sugar be placed on the bottom of the hive for the winter?? If so, where in the hive does he place it?? What about baggie feeders??

Need help please!!
Thanks
Annette
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 04:16:23 AM »

You can use a spray bottle and warm syrup (to make it runnier) and spray the syrup into the combs.  I'd use 2:1 if you can get it through the sprayer.  You can also feed fondant or dry sugar when it's too cold for them to take syrup.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 10:08:14 PM by Michael Bush » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 07:44:25 AM »

Annette, how's the population of bees in this hive? Still have a queen? I would make 100% sure they have one, maybe requeen and add additional bees if necessary.

Sounds like they need a kick start.


...JP
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 10:36:13 AM »

Annette, I think you need to explain a little more about your climate there, where you guys live.  I know now is far too late to be feeding sugar syrup, the bees are going into winter cluster and cannot process the syrup to a state where it does not cause too much moisture in the hive.  The only option with us now for any kind of emergency feeding is white sugar or fondant.  We can't feed liquid, that is just a bad thing.  I think that you may not have that long winter clustering happening, your climate is very mild?  I am correct?  I am wrong?  Anyways, I would go with what Michael has said, probably a fondant might work best.  When you feed sugar (grandulated) to the colony, it can be placed anywhere in the hive. Look at Michael Bush's site, he even dumps tons of sugar right into the colony, if I am not mistaken, lots of it.  Check it out, only takes a moment, hold on, I'll do that link to that part for you, hold on..... http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#drysugar .  Go this page of Michael's, it is good.

What I have also done in the past, is place newspaper along the top of the frames, and then put granulated white sugar on it, we use Rogers up here, a common household product. The sugar also acts as a wick in that moisture is drawn from the hive into the sugar.  KathyP also talks about it.  Hoping all works out well with your pal and the bees.  Keep us informed of what is going on.  Beautiful days, to love, share, with greatest of health.  Cindi
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annette
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 11:35:24 AM »

You can use a spray bottom and warm syrup (to make it runnier) and spray the syrup into the combs.  I'd use 2:1 if you can get it through the sprayer.  You can also feed fondant or dry sugar when it's too cold for them to take syrup.

OK this sounds good about the spraying into the combs. At least for now with the weather still in the 60's and 70's.
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annette
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 11:38:41 AM »

Annette, how's the population of bees in this hive? Still have a queen? I would make 100% sure they have one, maybe requeen and add additional bees if necessary.

Sounds like they need a kick start.


...JP

I haven't been able to get over and do the inspections with him lately (he lives about 1/2 hour away) so I am trusting what he is telling me about everything. I think I really need to go over and check it all out right now with him.  He says there is a fair amount of sealed brood on all the frames, so I believe we are ok in the queen area. He has only this one TBH so adding more bees is not an option for him. I will try and drive over asap and see what is up with this hive.
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 11:40:35 AM »

Annette, I think you need to explain a little more about your climate there, where you guys live.  I know now is far too late to be feeding sugar syrup, the bees are going into winter cluster and cannot process the syrup to a state where it does not cause too much moisture in the hive.  The only option with us now for any kind of emergency feeding is white sugar or fondant.  We can't feed liquid, that is just a bad thing.  I think that you may not have that long winter clustering happening, your climate is very mild?  I am correct?  I am wrong?  Anyways, I would go with what Michael has said, probably a fondant might work best.  When you feed sugar (grandulated) to the colony, it can be placed anywhere in the hive. Look at Michael Bush's site, he even dumps tons of sugar right into the colony, if I am not mistaken, lots of it.  Check it out, only takes a moment, hold on, I'll do that link to that part for you, hold on..... http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#drysugar .  Go this page of Michael's, it is good.

What I have also done in the past, is place newspaper along the top of the frames, and then put granulated white sugar on it, we use Rogers up here, a common household product. The sugar also acts as a wick in that moisture is drawn from the hive into the sugar.  KathyP also talks about it.  Hoping all works out well with your pal and the bees.  Keep us informed of what is going on.  Beautiful days, to love, share, with greatest of health.  Cindi



I was telling him about the dry sugar and that we could do that as an option. But I am not used to these TBH's. I know with my hive, I just dump the sugar on the top bars, but with this hive, do I just dump the sugar on the bottom board??? And where do I dump the sugar???  Ok I just read your post more carefully, and you said we could just dump the sugar anywhere in the hive. Now he has a Screened Bottom Board, so I guess we would have to place something down first, or perhaps just a few sheets of newspaper would do it??
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annette
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 11:48:03 AM »

Thanks guys for coming forth with the help I need. I am feeling a bit badly right now about his hive. I should have stayed more on top of it with him, but he was always busy whenever I had the chance to get over there.

Anyway, I kept pressing him to keep track of the honey supplies. He never took any honey from this hive, so I guess they just did not make enough.
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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 01:06:23 PM »

.
I use to pour 1:2 syrup directly into combs. 2 litre is minimum what I give this way.
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 08:05:09 PM »

Thanks Finski for this advice as well.
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tillie
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 10:05:18 PM »

Wyatt Mangum feeds his top bar hives with a bucket of syrup directly in the hive with stuff to float on the top so the bees can get to the syrup - he uses wood scraps, I think, but you can use packing peanuts.  The "bucket" he uses is a small trash can from WalMart that is narrow - like the bottom of the top bar hive and he pushes it right up against the comb.  I know it's almost winter other places but with 60s and 70s it sounds like you could still do that where you are in CA.

Linda T in Atlanta
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annette
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 12:57:29 PM »

Thanks Linda for your response. Does he feed all winter long like this??
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Tommyt
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 08:15:36 AM »

HOW are THE BEES ?? ?? Huh

Tom
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annette
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2010, 11:22:26 AM »

My friend Manny and I discussed the situation and he decided to try almost all the solutions given here. He will pour the syrup directly into the comb, but will also place newspaper down with Bakers Sugar piled up really high for the bees to eat all winter. We feel good about doing this and I am sure the bees will be fine.  Thanks for asking.
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