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Author Topic: Package timing...  (Read 808 times)
New Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 33

Location: Wyoming

« on: November 29, 2011, 10:14:56 AM »

Hey Folks,

Ok, as a gardener, my suppliers usually time their shipments to the right time to plant in MY area.  For some reason, I don't necessarily get the feeling the package bee suppliers behave the same way.  I bet they do their packages when they do their packages and my timing is of no regard to them.  My question then is when is the best time to install and is there any real timing possible since the bees can only be in the package for so long.  My concern is that here in Wyoming, the tulips poke out of the ground around March 15th but we can have serious and random snowfall into the first week of June, and I mean SERIOUS.  I know I will have to feed for a bit after installing but how do I know when to stop?  Do I stop when I see nectar stored?  How will I know it's nectar and not syrup?  Will the girls bother to store syrup or do they just eat it directly?  Like in the fall, am I feeding them syrup so they make honey for winter or am I feeding them syrup that they consume as syrup?  I guess it's more than one question but you get the point.  I am trying to know when to install (if I have any control over that) and how to tell when to stop feeding the girls because they are now self sufficient.


Rene huh
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 855

Location: TampaBay Fl

« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 07:30:35 PM »

 I would make this post again in the general bee forum
IMHO you will get all your questions answered faster and detailed
I will give you my input on one..
When you  feed a package they will tell you when to stop,
They will stop taking it, or slow way down,its then the time
to pull the feeder till fall,If needed
 Welcome to Beemaster Smiley


"Not everything found on the internet is accurate"
Abraham Lincoln
House Bee
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Posts: 274

Location: USA

Poke a meek dog enough times.........!

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 01:29:39 PM »

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for asking questions. I enjoy the company! I hadn't even considered winter feeding. Package timing seems to be at the discretion of the supplier. I think staying with a northern supplier would be best. Just my $0.02, I haven't ordered my bee yet. embarassed

Live long and prosper!
House Bee
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Posts: 385

Location: Carrboro, North Carolina

Nothing sweeter...

« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 04:35:19 PM »

As long as it's for the bees, and not for human consumption, you don't need to worry about what's nectar and what's syrup.  The bees will eat some of either on the spot and convert the rest into honey.  Obviously you wouldn't want to sell honey that's made while you are feeding.

Feed your package in the spring until you see capped stores.  Capping means they have enough that there is a surplus.  Stop feeding when you have at least a frame of capped stores.  Put honey supers on before/during the main flow.  Don't feed when your honey supers are on.  When the main flow is over, decide if you want to harvest any honey from your supers.  You can leave it all for them if you want.  Then figure out about what weight you need the hive to be at to make it through the winter.  Other beekeepers in your area can help you figure out what the weight should be.  Then feed the hive until they make weight.  If there is nectar available, of course the bees will keep gathering and reduce the amount you have to feed them.  Once you have the desired amount of stores for the winter, you can stop feeding again.

In short, feed when the bees need food.  If they don't need more food, don't feed them.  Smiley

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
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