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Author Topic: Spring feeding  (Read 1431 times)
Bush_84
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« on: February 15, 2013, 10:59:03 AM »

So right now I have some fondant and dry sugar on my hives.  One looks pretty empty and the ther two still have some honey.  I would like to feed some protein supplement from Mann lake next month, but I am not sure if I can replace the sugar with the patty or if I add it in addition to the sugar.  Most patties seem to have a fair amount of sugar in them.  So I suspect that I can use these instead of the sugar, but I wanted to be certain.  So here I am asking.  Thanks in advance.
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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 11:19:40 AM »

Last week I put some patties on as a test on some weak colonies, I really think it is too early.  The Global Patties I used are 15% real pollen and I am hoping that will allow the bees to produce whole healthy brood.  I was able to take my hive tool and work it under the now hardened white sugar and pick it up like a pancake and slide the pattie in underneath it.  I made sure that the pattie contacted the cluster.  You might see if that works for you.  The disclaimer on the product I purchased said that bees raised on suppliment should emerge to find fresh pollen coming in.  I am a brood cycle early hee probably.
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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 11:31:46 AM »

Last week I put some patties on as a test on some weak colonies,

Weak colonies do not get advantage from patty. Only way is to nurse big hives, and when they get new brood frames, give a frames of emerging brood to the small hive. It accelerates its build up.

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Bush_84
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 12:23:32 PM »

So to answer my question, does that mean that I must add the patty in addition to the sugar? 
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 12:33:35 PM »

I don't know that much about your weather but it seems like it would be a bit early for your area. Bees are not going to use the patties to survive the winter, they will use it to raise brood. If they are not starting to build up it is not going to help.
Jim
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Bush_84
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 12:44:26 PM »

Yes still to early, but I do not plan on adding them yet.  I am planning on adding them in about a month to maybe a month and a half.  First dandelions came about middle of may last year.  I have read that you want to start adding the patties around 6 weeks from first flow.  So I figure that the middle to end of march is a good idea. 

Is it maybe a good rule of thumb that you shouldnt add the patties until you can feed syrup?  Cause I still don't know if I can replace sugar feed with a protein supplement. 
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 12:55:18 PM »

So to answer my question, does that mean that I must add the patty in addition to the sugar? 

Sugar does not help in spring build up
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 01:00:24 PM »

So I figure that the middle to end of march is a good idea. 



When do your willows start to give pollen?

I start my patty feeding when home yard is 50% bare from snow. Bees must get water from ground.

Then I have 3 weeks to start of willow blooming. Emerging bees get fresh pollen.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 01:32:14 PM »

To be honest I do not know when willows bloom.  These last couple of years I have observed what I could around my house, but I do not have a close willow to observe.  I will have to see what I can find this spring or find somebody who knows. 

The main reason I am concerned about keeping a sugar source is starvation.  Two of my three are ok I believe, but one I think is light on stores.  I want to make sure that I have some sort of insurance policy on this hive to make sure they don't starve, but at the same time I would like to give them some patties.  Maybe it's a bad idea for a colony that's light on stores, but if the sugar in the pollen patty is enough to fend off starvation then maybe I can kill two birds with one stone. 
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rdy-b
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 04:07:47 PM »

So to answer my question, does that mean that I must add the patty in addition to the sugar? 

 the patty will fill protein needs -the other side of the coin is carbohydrates--sugar syrup
 is what provides this-dry sugar is not ideal-they dont store dry sugar like syrup-
the bees will store the protein in the form of body fat(vitelogene) and also hypergenal glands
full of royal jelly-you will need a form of carbs to get the most from this event--your emergency sugar
wont give you what your looking for-- and the sugar thats in the patty is for consumption -not to fill carbs cool RDY-B
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Vance G
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 04:16:41 PM »

I would wait for at least a couple weeks as I doubt you will have fresh pollen at Brainerd until at best  late March.  maybe the middle of April.   I grew up along the Canadian line in N.D. and understand your climate.  The sister in law in Detroit Lakes says you folks are having a real winter this year.  Whenever you do start feeding the suppliment, you must not let them run out until they quit taking it.  Don't let your dry sugar run out either at least til you can make syrup with it that will stay above fifty so they can use it.  Like the man said, they won't store dry sugar, but it is much more nutricious than a snowbank. 
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Bush_84
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 03:27:58 AM »

Ya a proper winter indeed.  Seems like we got dumped on this past Sunday with at least a foot of snow.  The snow doesn't stress me, it's the multiple days in a row of below zero temps.  That's what kills hives with stores inches from the cluster.  Last year we were spoiled so I guess we have to pay this winter. 

What you say about first pollen goes along with my assumption.  First serious nectar flow mid may from dandelions and pollen about a month before that.  So I will continue with my plan to feed pollen patty mid to late march.  I got a huge tub of stuff for Christmas.  I plan on using it! 

As far as the sugar syrup.....is it any good to give them a huge wad of heavy syrup in hopes that they may store it like they would in fall?  I have no interest in using syrup to stimulate bees, but will keep the syrup on the hive if it needs it.  It sure would be a whole heck of a lot easier if I could give them a hefty dose of thick 2-1 syrup and forget about it for a few weeks compared to tinkering with keeping the feeder full. However the hives are in my back yard.  So it'd be doable.
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dfizer
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 11:57:12 PM »

Have you considered using the honey balls?  They are quite simple to make in that all you need is some left over honey and sugar.  Mix it to the consistency that is not sticky and is still malleable.  I have taken the honey balls and flattened them out into a honey pancake.  This i placed directly on top of the frames and under the inner cover.  The bees seem to love it. 

It couldn't be simpler and is really easy to install.  Whenever the temps get above 40 (Tuesday for us) I'll check it again to make sure they don't need more.

David   
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Bush_84
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 01:06:12 AM »

Do you have a recipe or is it just one of those wing it until correct consistency things?
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 02:11:21 AM »

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Do you have enough sugar stores in the hive?


It is February and hive should have 3 frames full of food. It means about 7 kg sugar.

It depends on amount of brood, how much hives use during winter months.

If the hive has 2-3 frames, do not feed, and if not, give at least 5 kg sugar as syrup.

Extra food constricts brooding area and there must be room to store pollen too.
If hive has too much brood frames, take one or two capped frames off.

So it goes. No one in internet knows what is the situation in your hives if you do not look inside.

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rbinhood
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2013, 12:37:14 PM »

Here in central Alabama popular and red oak are starting to bud and the girls are bringing in tons of pollen, looks like and early spring is on it's way.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2013, 01:52:10 PM »

Natures nectar has a good blog.  They are a little ways south, which actually will see a good week or two difference in spring arrival.  They seem to add their patties the first week in march.  I went back in their blog the last three years and it varied, but that seemed to be average.  So I will plan to watch their blog to see when they do it or maybe try around middle march. 

As far as sugar...for now I will keep dry sugar handy.  Once weather starts to be reliably around 35 f I will feed a 2-1 syrup once.  Not to stimulate them, but because they are short.  I am hoping that if I feed concentrated syrup and just do it as they need it, they will not be stimulated and just store the syrup.  Also do you think that if I were to surround an inverted pail with a heat source, the bees would be more apt to take it?  I know they won't take cold syrup but maybe if a few Christmas lights keep it warm it will go down easier. 
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2013, 03:35:58 PM »

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Pour 1:2 warm syrup directly into combs and that's it.

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dfizer
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2013, 04:07:16 PM »

Do you have a recipe or is it just one of those wing it until correct consistency things?

I usually put the sugar in the bowl then start mixing in honey - you'll be able to see that the mixture will start absorbing the sugar pretty quickly - I start by stirring the mix with a spoon then once it starts to get the consistency I want I usually just start working it with my hands.  I continue by adding sugar until the ball is not sticky any longer.  I want this ball to be malleable so that I can flatten it out and place it under the inner cover resting right on top of the frames. 

I have had very good results with these so far - the best thing about these is how easy they are to prepare and install. 

David
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hvac professor
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2013, 05:28:00 PM »

dfizer, I see you are from Ballston Spa, I work in Saratoga, but live in Granville. I would like to keep in touch with you, as many beeks are from a differnt climate. I have not been on line much lately, but as we get closer to spring I will be on more. It would be nice to share some experiences.
Thank you
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