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Author Topic: Running out of space  (Read 1053 times)
Bheckel169
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« on: June 07, 2011, 12:23:43 PM »

My bees have built comb on about 20 top bars of my 24 top bar hive.  I'm beginning to wonder how I manage the next steps.  My bees are going through sugar syrup every day and a half and my feeder takes up the last 3 bars of my hive at the bottom of the hive.  I'm thinking in about a week they'll be getting pretty close to wanting all the space available to them and so my question.  The bees obviously need the syrup but where do I place the feeder when they start using that space?  I'm trying to make sure there's plenty of capped honey for them so I think it's premature to start harvesting just yet.  Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Bruce
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2011, 12:59:13 PM »

I think it is time to cut the apron strings and let them find their own forage!! Wink  They don't need feed anymore!!  They don't need the capped honey right now.

You probably won't want to harvest any of the capped honey in there since it has copious amounts of sugar water in there, so I'd recommend (if you can keep them safe)when they are capped taking a few of the oldest honey combs out, freezing them, and then replacing with empty bars.  Then they can draw comb and fill it with real honey.

That way in the fall you can take extra honey (the real stuff) out and replace that with the capped "honey" from the freezer.

Rick
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Rick
AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 02:42:19 PM »

Ya, you should have quit feeding them a long time ago.   What are you going to do with 24 frames of capped syrup?   Split the hive if you have enough brood.
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Bheckel169
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 04:24:45 PM »

What interesting replies.  On another bee forum they continue to tell me to keep feeding them especially since this was an April 13th package of new bees; that there's no harm in making sure they
can make it throught the Winter.  I'm looking forward to more replies here to see if this is what most people think I need to do.
Keep in mind, I never said I had all capped honey.  I would say there is about 6 bars of various stages of honey right now.  The rest is brood, capped brood, pollen and nectar at various stages of development.
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 04:37:59 PM »

If you feed syrup, you don't have honey.   You have syrup.   Capped or not.   Sounds like you have plenty of numbers with bees.   
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caticind
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 04:45:12 PM »

I agree that you really could have stopped feeding a while ago.  Spring feeding isn't supposed to provide their entire supply for the winter, but just to give them some fuel to use for drawing comb and to keep them going until they build up their forager numbers.  Which it sounds like yours have!

Generally, I'd say feed a new package until they have some capped stores of sugar.  Then see how the flow goes.  I had 8 packages delivered April 10 this year.  Stopped feeding the first week of May.  All are doing well and have 4-6 frames of stores.  If they don't gain enough, you can always feed again in the fall, but why use all that sugar in the Spring if they can forage enough for themselves.  Also, if you continue to feed and they run out of space to put stores, the bees will backfill the brood nest and then swarm.

You won't be able to harvest anything from this hive for human consumption this year, as it will be condensed sugar rather than honey.  But you can give them some space by doing as Rick suggested and freezing some of the capped sugar to give you space for empty bars.


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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
luvin honey
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 12:09:17 PM »

What interesting replies.  On another bee forum they continue to tell me to keep feeding them especially since this was an April 13th package of new bees; that there's no harm in making sure they
can make it throught the Winter.  I'm looking forward to more replies here to see if this is what most people think I need to do.
Keep in mind, I never said I had all capped honey.  I would say there is about 6 bars of various stages of honey right now.  The rest is brood, capped brood, pollen and nectar at various stages of development.
I think the problem is that they are storing so much that they are running out of space. Do you have another body that you could make a split into? Or, can you take out some of the capped syrup and feed in a bar or 2 of empties into the broodnest to keep them (possibly) from swarming?
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 01:43:48 PM »

  The bees obviously need the syrup but where do I place the feeder when they start using that space?


In storage where it should have been placed months ago.

Once again, this is where I say that 'feed until they quit taking it' is on the Top 5 List of Bad BeeKeeping advice. As already stated, you dont honey, you have capped syrup-harvesting would be out of the question.
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