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Author Topic: Stimulative Syrup Feeding Fact or Fiction?  (Read 5339 times)
VolunteerK9
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« on: February 23, 2011, 09:13:28 AM »

This is my first Spring and I don't care to say that I'm maybe one step above being clueless as to what to do. With that being said, what would be considered the primer for a colonies brood rearing? Would it be an increase of availability of pollen coming in or pseudo-nectar in the form of early syrup feeding? Or is it a combination of the two? I checked all my hives the other day, and with the exception of one, all had plenty of syrup stores. I had also placed a pollen supplement patty on all and about half had consumed all of the patty and the other half didn't even touch it. I'm wanting to set aside a couple of hives for a honey crop-the rest I plan on splitting the hound out of them to increase my numbers. So I guess the question is if they have capped reserves do I still need to feed syrup to trigger brood rearing earlier (as in open feeding) or is Spring brood rearing based more off of pollen availability?
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 09:35:12 AM »

When nectar and pollen begins coming in, it signals them to start brooding.

The pollen sub and 1:1 sugar water does the same.

The one main caution:
Once pollen sub and sugar water is supplied, you can kill a hive quickly by letting it run out. Once started, you must keep it available to them until the flow.
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 09:46:16 AM »

Yeah, I think I read you saying that somewhere before-basically "feed anytime after Dec 21 however you can't stop after you start". I know it depends on hive size-but how quick on average will they burn through their reserves? (generically speaking of course) As in real danged quick, pretty quick, or not that quick  grin
My hives arent busting at the seems coming out of winter population wise-3 mediums with one medium being completely empty on the bottom.
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 09:57:52 AM »

After she begins laying you can figure on 1500 new mouths to feed each and every day. 10 days of egg laying can mean 15,000 new larva to feed. And it continues every day until they can find food in the field.

They can consume a lot in that period.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 10:07:00 AM »

Thanks for the info.
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 10:33:02 AM »

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Syrup feeding does not help brooding. They need pollen every day or substitute.

Syrup only stuck the hive and takes room from brood.

If the hive has nosema, it cannot eate patty.
Then give from bigger hives emerging bee brood frame and brood rearing can begin.
Nosema spoils the workers' gut
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rdy-b
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 09:04:59 PM »

one of the negative side effects of STOPING the protein suply-pollen sub in this case
before a natural source is available - is they will start to rip out and cannibalize there own brood
that will put you behind the eight-ball-once you start keep feeding intill they find a source-RDY-B
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Countryboy
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2011, 09:14:28 PM »

It takes a frame of honey, a frame of pollen, and a frame of water to make a frame of bees.  A hive can double in size in 5-6 weeks.  Going by how many frames of bees you have now, you can get a rough calculation of the amount of feed they need for a certain time period.  I assume one gallon of syrup is equal to two deep frames of honey for my calculations.  Don't allow them to get below 15 pounds of stores at any time either.

Some bees are slow to brood up, even when you give them patties and syrup - Russians, for example are hard to stimulate until natural pollen and nectar starts coming in.

If patties are more than 2 inches from brood, bees eat them slower.  If the cluster is not in contact with the patty - forget about them eating it.  If you make your own patties, if the bees eat it slow, increase sugar % in the patty to get them to take it down faster.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2011, 09:15:20 PM »

I think internal feeding is an insurance for those hives that start to brood, and get a late cold snap or a period of bad weather, and guards against brood starving and the bees ripping everything back out.

I have never seen the huge increases some suggest in my cold climate based on internal feeding while it's still cold outside and the bees are not flying. Without nectar and pollen being brought in from field bees, bees are very reluctant to raise brood beyond a small amount.

Same as I see in the fall. After bees come through the summer dearth, you can feed to add weight. But you want to stimulate brood, make them go out of the hive and get it.

While bees will start brooding in my area with the first maples and other early blossoms, this time period is also seen with days if not weeks of cold weather to follow. So I feed sometimes to maintain the brood production and keep them starving or cannibalizing the young.

But I don't think bees are inclined to raise massive amounts of brood in cold weather for the mere fact you throw in a patty or put on a feeder. That's just food for the bees. Not really a trigger mechanism to all of sudden have bees think they should be raising brood.....when they are not even flying.

I'm sure feeding in areas where it's bit warmer, and perhaps even with little actual nectar being produced, that bees will brood more based on some feed. but the warmth, the bees activities, and other factors all contribute also.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 11:54:20 PM »

I'm sure the effectiveness of stimulative feeding differs by locale.  In mine, as in Bjorns, apparently, and probably most Northern locations, it is of questionable value.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#stimulativefeeding
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2011, 12:15:38 AM »

Here's the way I answered the question on a different thread.

Un-predicatble weather patterns, and the fact winter is only half over, is one of the problems with trying to feed bees in February to get a jump on the season.  Feeding fondant or syrup and pollen patties is a good way to prompt the bees into enlarging their brood nest for an early buildup.  On the down side is what has just happened here in Western Washington, just as it has for the last 3 years, we get a nice moderately mid-February and many beekeepers start feeding their bees, then comes the 2 week hard freeze with snow. 


A sudden prolonged cold snap/snow that prohibits the beekeeper from continuing to feed his bees plus the fact that the bees most likely won't break cluster to move stores or feed on what was placed in the hive can mean disaster.  Especially considering that with the feeding, the bees began a large commitment to and expanded brood nest.  This uses up a lot of the feed and stores the bees had and could prevent them from going into a tight cluster needed to survive the sudden cold spell. 

I've seen a lot of hives die that way in early spring and some have wrongly called it CCD.  It's not CCD, not when the stores are used up and the bees are head down in the brood cells having cannabalized every egg, larva, and pupae still in the white.

We just got 8 inches of snow since yesterday with as much forecast for the next 48 hrs and sub-freezing temps for the foreseeable future. Just the kind of think that manufactures deadouts from fed bees.
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2011, 01:34:02 AM »

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I have feeded 20 years bees with pollen patty before the nature gives pollen.

It took me a lot of work to find out how it should to do. In Canada spring build up with patty feeding is highly recommended.

First thing is that when I give a complex receipt  how to beed them, others give some simple recipe which is not palatable to bees. I have got advices to my recipe from US laboratoty researches.

If snow covers the ground over 4 days, bees do not get drinking water and all larvae will be destroyed.
To be that have happened once in 20 yeas.

At the beginning I started to early and larvae become sick because bees get no water from snow.

Five frame colonies become sick for patty feeding. Perhaps the opening of the hive cools so much the brood that they got chalkbrood.


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Finski
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2011, 01:35:42 AM »



See more from a Finnish beekeeping forum

http://bee.freesuperhost.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1144910827
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BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2011, 03:11:36 AM »

Finski, I checked out your link to the Finnish bee keeping forum.  Youíve got some great information, as always.  I could read your page, but the rest of the forum I didnít have clue about.

You are to be congratulated on how well you communicate in English!  Very good.  Iíve tried to learn Spanish, but it was a hopeless cause.  Iím lucky to be semi coherent with English.

Iím curious what prompted you to experiment with your aquarium heaters for added spring boost?  It sounds like a logical idea to me (hypothesis that heat allows for an expanded brood area), but I might be in a minority on that opinion.  Is this common practice in Finland or Sweden?  Have you measured how warm it is inside the hive when you have 15watts running?

If I read your link correctly it sounds like you donít see much gain from the 15watts until the Willows bloom.  Then you keep running your 15watts until the days are above 15C.
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2011, 11:39:56 AM »


 Is this common practice in Finland or Sweden?  


I do not know about Sweden.  Electrict heating is not common at all here. Only few use. Very few use patty feeding too.

Quote
If I read your link correctly it sounds like you donít see much gain from the 15watts until the Willows bloom.  Then you keep running your 15watts until the days are above 15C.




You noticed that right.

I start about 7. April when snow has melted.  Then it takes 3 weeks and willow starts blooming 1.5.
At first clearly lack of nurser bees limits the brooding but when new bees have emerged the blooding burst out.

Without patty feeding brooding starts 4 weeks later when willos start to give pollen.


I did not understand the meaning of heat untill I started to use heaters.

Greates mystery is that biggest hives get the best advangae from this. The reason is the formula of "Volume of the Ball" =

Brood area is not [/b] actually an area. It is a ball

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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2011, 11:46:19 AM »

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The volume of brood means the numbers of bees when you measure the radius.

When you look the heat loss from cluster, then you may study what radius means to the surface of the ball.

A brood produces as much heat as a resting bee.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2011, 12:45:16 PM »

Finski makes a good point.  The surface area rises with the square of the radius but the volume rises with the cube of the radius.  So as the radius increases, the ratio of surface area to volume goes down.   That means that for a given volume of bees, large clusters have a smaller surface area and lose less heat.   So when it comes to heat, bigger is better.    Did I get that right Finski?

BTW, this is the reason that Ice Age mammals were very large.... mammoths, bison, sabre tooth tigers, etc.   Small animals lose too much heat.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2011, 12:46:00 PM »

All good info. Thanks again. I had placed all my patties directly over the brood nest, it was just weird that some were completely consumed on some hives and not even touched on the others. The weather here is tricky to say the least. Several times in years past, my peach trees have bloomed only to get killed later by a late April frost. Currently we've had weather ranging from the high 60's with low 40's at night. And the bees are bringing in pollen in a pretty consistent basis (red and deep orange to light yellow in color). I guess I'm guilty of trying to 'pimp the system' by feeding syrup/substitute in late February so if it blows up in my face, it will go down as another costly lesson learned.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 12:51:24 PM »

A sudden prolonged cold snap/snow that prohibits the beekeeper from continuing to feed his bees plus the fact that the bees most likely won't break cluster to move stores or feed on what was placed in the hive can mean disaster.  Especially considering that with the feeding, the bees began a large commitment to and expanded brood nest.  This uses up a lot of the feed and stores the bees had and could prevent them from going into a tight cluster needed to survive the sudden cold spell. 

So will the nurse bees not abandon brood in the event of a cold snap in order to cluster?
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2011, 01:06:17 PM »


So will the nurse bees not abandon brood in the event of a cold snap in order to cluster?

I have not seen that in spring. In autumn I have seen it.

In April I have 3-4 frames brood in normal hive. At night temp may be -6 and by day near 0C.
Bees not go anywhere and abondon brood. They make a tight cluster over the brood.
If bees are not in tight cluster in early spring, it is a sign that perhaps they have no brood.

Bees start brood rearing often in February even if temps are -20C. Broos patches are very small.
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