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Author Topic: To feed or not to feed that is the question  (Read 2284 times)
hankdog1
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« on: September 12, 2011, 09:40:01 PM »

Okay so I'm wondering how many of you people beleave in feeding and how many thinks it's hog wash and makes lazy bees?

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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 09:53:47 PM »

I hate feeding bees but won't hesitate especially with a swarm or small colony and of course it depends on the time of year. I try and leave all hives with honey stores going into winter.

Instead of feeding sugar syrup, honey frames go a long way and can't be beat. I keep honey frames in a freezer when I need something now as well.


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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 10:26:47 PM »

i don't think it makes lazy bees, but i'm with JP, i'd rather not do it.  after a disappointing early flow and then sudden dry for the last 6 weeks, i am feeding.  don't think i needed to do fall feeding last year.  just early spring.
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hankdog1
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 10:33:46 PM »

I feed when they need it most of the time it is middle to late Feburary though.  More of a stimulative feeding then anything to make sure they make it into spring with good strong numbers.  Just curious about it cause it seems I run into more and more beekeepers that thinks it makes lazy bees.  Just a topic that poped into my head out of boredom.   evil  Hope nobody decides to pluck me for it.   grin
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 10:56:20 PM »

Okay so I'm wondering how many of you people beleave in feeding and how many thinks it's hog wash and makes lazy bees?



that it is not believing or hating question.  with my experience I know when they NEED feeding.

In autumn I rob all honey away and replace their winter stores with cheap sugar.
In another cases I give sugar even in June if they store is too low.

If bees starve they are allready dead. It is on off situation not prolonged starving.

I DO NOT ENCOURAGE BEES WITH SUGAR FEEDING. It is needles.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 11:13:48 PM »

When i went to feed this Spring, to stimulate, they didnt want it due to an early Spring flow.  I never tried to feed them after that.

I now have a bunch of colonies going into their first winter.  Them I am feeding one gallon a week until i they have enough stored.  We are in a nectar dearth but have lots of pollen.

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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2011, 11:26:36 PM »

When i went to feed this Spring, to stimulate, they didnt want it due to an early Spring flow.  I never tried to feed them after that.

I now have a bunch of colonies going into their first winter.  Them I am feeding one gallon a week until i they have enough stored.  We are in a nectar dearth but have lots of pollen.



We are giving now winterfood here on Alaska level . Why do you feed for winter in Virginia?

When I feed for winter, i feed 4 gallon a week.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2011, 11:46:54 PM »

I feed a new colony to get them some comb and stores.  I feed if a hive is light going into winter.  I don't feed if there is a nectar flow.  I don't feed if they have adequate stores.  I have a hard time believing anyone who is serious about bees does not believe in feeding when there is a reason to... you steal their surplus, so the least you can do when things don't pan out the way you expected is give them some food back.

I don't do stimulative feeding in the spring.  I don't feed a package incessantly.  I try not to feed in a dearth as it sets off robbing, but if they are going to starve I will do something, but that will probably be stealing some capped honey from a heavy hive for the one that is going to starve.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm
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Hemlock
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 12:20:26 AM »

We are giving now winterfood here on Alaska level . Why do you feed for winter in Virginia?

Our bees here will cluster from December to April.  They need two Deeps or three Mediums worth of reserves to get to Spring.  The last two Winters were harsh for us.  The bees came all the way up to the top of the hive looking for food.  Had to give the bees frames full of honey we had fortunately stored for spring.

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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 05:40:20 AM »

.
 Interesting that they are in cluster in April. So we have too.

In first of May willow starts blooming. Bees are tighly around brood.
If they do not  have brood, they are on in cluster in spring.

Our flow ceases about 10.8.  because plants start to prepair themselves for wintering.
Flow ceases but bees still rear winterbees with the store which is in the hive.
They do better if they are near blooming red clower.

I cannot give sugar in late summer because supers are full of honey and still on hives.
I am able to take boxes off when bee population dies mostly during August. The hive size drops then from 5-6 boxes to 1-2.

I have no opportunity to feed them earlier because size of the colony.

Professionals start to feed quite early because you cannot feed 700 in one week.
Work is hard: honey off, syrup in, exraction as rapid as you can.

.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2011, 07:26:01 AM »

Interesting that they are in cluster in April.

I should have said 'Through March'.  April is warm enough for the bees to come out of cluster.  For several years now the Winters have bees harder than usual.  The bees have been flying as early as the end of February but the bees cluster each night until mid or late March.
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caticind
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2011, 09:24:08 AM »

I feed new packages just until they have capped stores, usually 3 weeks or less.  If a hive doesn't have enough coming out of dearth (the hard dearth starts in July and ends for me in September thanks to town ornamentals and a plant nursery down the street), I feed until they make weight.  This year I did a lot of small splits to build up fast, so I am feeding now.  Will pause when the goldenrod starts in a couple of weeks, then reassess after it ends to see if they have stored enough.
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Finski
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2011, 09:44:49 AM »

.

Dearth from July to September ?

Yes I have here areas too which do not give yield. Only way is to move to the places which give yield.

Of course you may feed them, but during that pediod they do not make money to you.

Goals are then like a duck,
when feeding it has arse up
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2011, 11:23:07 AM »

Quote
Goals are then like a duck,
when feeding it has arse up

 lau
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
AliciaH
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2011, 11:41:01 AM »

I have some hives that have stored well over summer.  Some, however, have not.  The hives that have stored REALLY well are helping supplement the weaker ones, but I'm going to end up feeding everyone to discourage the robbing a bit.

It can be a tough call sometimes, I think, at least for me.  I had a couple hives last year that I let go because their lack of ability to forage and store was so profound that I didn't see the point in letting them continue.  Even with syrup, they'd only consume what they immediately needed and not store anything.  I'm still seeing signs of that in my apiary, but making progress in weeding it out. 

So, no, I don't think it's hogwash to feed.  But I think there is some selection involved.
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hankdog1
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2011, 08:34:11 PM »

Hemlock stimulative feeding should start in mid Fedurary that means more then just sugar your going to need pollen sub.  The pollen sub supplies much needed protein during the brood rearing process.  If I have honey I'd much rather stick that on but sugar is better then nothing and HFCS is probably the last thing you want to feed but is better then nothing too. 

I feel the same way about feeding if they need it and they are my bees a good beekeeper should try his or her best to help them make it through the tough times.  To say because of drought or other reasons when nectar and pollen is not avalible that your bees are just lazy seems to me to be like having cows and not feeding them once the grass dies or is covered in snow and saying well they should have gotten fat enough during the summer.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2011, 09:01:04 PM »

I'm going to end up feeding everyone to discourage the robbing a bit.

If you are feeding internally (or externally in the vicinity of the hives) I don't think that feeding all the hives works to discourage robbing.  The best idea is to feed the strong hives internally and then move the capped frames to the weaker hives.  Or open feed at a distance (100 yds).
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rail
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2011, 10:32:56 PM »

Has anyone added pollen substitute to 2:1 syrup and fed in liquid form?
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Sirach
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2011, 11:48:19 PM »

Pollen and syrup are two different products that fill two different needs.  An adult bee does not need pollen.  Nurse bees that are feeding young do.  You would force them to try to sort them out.  Pollen is stored separately from honey in the hive for this reason.  You would be mixing those two that they need to keep separate.
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Michael Bush
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Finski
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2011, 01:56:13 AM »

Has anyone added pollen substitute to 2:1 syrup and fed in liquid form?


that makes no sence. Even if many guys has made what ever.

Bees have a sieve in stomach which catch pollen from nectar.

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rail
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2011, 05:08:41 AM »

 http://www.megabeediet.com/mixinginstructions.html

Feeding sugar solution with pollen substitute - liquid form.
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Sirach
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2011, 06:18:33 AM »

30 degrees (F) this AM.  I've been open feeding 2-1 syrup for two weeks (they're just now starting to take it fast).  Feeding can/does prevent starvation.  Today I will also place some 'dry' pollen out.  

The goldenrod is nearly done up here with little more than the 'dreaded' mexican bamboo providing nutition for my bees, they love it a lot.  

This is the end of our season.  Wrap up time for my colonies is coming (too) soon.

thomas
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 06:41:23 AM by T Beek » Logged

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wheeler
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« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2011, 12:28:09 PM »

Going to have to start feeding mine soon as they don't have any honey stored. All are new this year starts. I've seen some strange things happen with the bees this year, and I see no choice another than feed them......
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T Beek
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« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2011, 05:19:02 PM »

I don't like having to feed but it sure beats watching them die.

thomas
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2011, 12:46:24 AM »

>Feeding sugar solution with pollen substitute - liquid form.

I've seen the product advertised as such for several years now.  I still think it's a very bad idea to mix them.  But then I think pollen substitute is a very bad idea to begin with.  Mixing it with syrup is just a worse one.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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