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Author Topic: Feeding for buildup.  (Read 869 times)
RHBee
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« on: March 12, 2013, 10:30:43 PM »

When you are feeding to build population and draw out foundation is there a point where a colony will back fill the brood chamber? I will monitor their progress and add supers of foundation but I want to know if this can backfire on me and cause them to swarm.
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Ray
Bush_84
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 10:56:38 PM »

Yes it is possible.  I did it with a tbh two years ago along with a strong flow.  It was my first year.
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dfizer
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 11:21:03 PM »

Absolutely this can/will happen... if you feed limitless amounts of sugar syrup.  I experienced this last year.  Fed the colony to give them a "good start," and a month later they swarmed - this was due to then colony running out of room in the brood chamber given they were full.  Now I'll only feed if the colony is in need of it - too many bees; not enough food.

David
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RHBee
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2013, 11:37:00 PM »

Thanks for the heads up. If this is the way it goes,  how do we get them to draw out foundation?  I'm missing some bit of information.
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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 12:51:51 AM »

ray, have you started a package on foundation, are you supering or have you expanded a nuc with frames of foundation?  i'm not clear on exactly what you've got going on. 
i'm thinking you may have your expectations set a little high for late winter.  my bees are bringing in a little nectar but i haven't seen any sign of "new" wax yet. 
 
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RHBee
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 02:38:24 AM »

ray,  i'm not clear on exactly what you've got going on.  
i'm thinking you may have your expectations set a little high for late winter.  
10framer thanks for asking. I'm under the impression that in spring when they start dragging in a lot of pollen, bees can be influenced to begin drawing out comb and the queen to begin to lay by feeding 1 to 1 in essence simulating a nectar flow.
You need to understand I haven't completed my first cycle yet and all I have is book knowledge to work with. I may have misunderstood what I have read. Wouldn't be the first time.
What I want to accomplish is building up my colonies as much as possible prior to splitting. After the equal split I want enough population to reasonably expect queen building and survival for the queenless half and rapid build up and foraging for the queenright half.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 02:51:38 AM by Ray Bayless » Logged

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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 09:12:39 AM »

ok, i went back and read another thread and saw you supered.  i'd say keep doing what you're doing but make sure they aren't crowding out the brood comb.  if this is happening you're actually backing up.
my hives with the exception of one all had two to three frames of brood in mid january and now the strongest ones have doubled that (or more) and those hives haven't been fed.  
good old italian mutts will start building up on their own.  i like what i call dark italians.    
i checkerboard chambers on the strongest hives last week.  i'll probably super most of them in the next 10 to 14 days.
i think you guys run a couple of weeks behind us.  what are your high and low temperatures on average lately?  
we're getting somewhere around 70/45 expect for tonight and tomorrow we will dip into the 30's with a high around 60 (still warm enough for the bees to work).  if your highs are still just topping out in the mid to upper 50's you're going to have to be patient for a couple more weeks. if your lows are still dipping into the 30s every night you may be forcing the bees to work harder to keep the cluster warm with that empty super over it.  remember heat rises.
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RHBee
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 01:07:42 PM »

10framer,
I compared the weather in Butler to here and they are almost identical. Geography I'm east and slightly north but closer to the coast. Anyway, yes, I have added a foundation filled super to each of my colonies. I'm only feeding the weakest one. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to force swarming before I continued. I'd rather do nothing than cause that.
Right now I have a three stack, two deeps and one medium. The deeps are 16 frames pretty well covered with bees. I'm not sure exactly how much brood because I don't want to slow them down by disturbing them with an inspection. When I rotated the brood boxes late in February I found that the population was full in both boxes. Drones were already abundant, drone comb had webbed the frames together. I think that the only thing that has been holding them back is the low temps.
This is why I've been asking all these questions. I've done my homework but I'm on unfamiliar ground. Nothing takes the place of experience.
That's where you guys come in.
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 03:09:21 PM »

. I'm only feeding the weakest one.

I do not knowwhat is weak nthis case but to me weak is if bees do not occupy the whole langstroth.

Best way  to help up a weak hive is to give a frame of emerging bees from a big hive.
That is the reason to accelerate big hives that they may support smaller.

Artifial swarm clipped queen  is a good way to handle swarming

.
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RHBee
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 03:29:33 PM »

I do not knowwhat is weak nthis case but to me weak is if bees do not occupy the whole langstroth.

Finski, What I mean by "the weakest one" is one of my colonies is a little behind the others in population. Langstroth hives, two deep 8 frame, of 16 frames 12 are completely covered with bees. The others all frames occupied.
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Ray
Finski
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 04:51:10 PM »

.
Ok, then it has passed the stage "weak".

It is essential how much they have brrod frames.
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10framer
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 07:33:25 PM »

sounds like your bees are ahead of mine.  what's clover doing up there?
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RHBee
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 07:23:11 AM »

sounds like your bees are ahead of mine.  what's clover doing up there?

I planted some last year in my front yard and if thats any indication then it's in full bloom.
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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013, 01:16:43 AM »

yes, you are ahead of me.  clover started blooming in town a couple of weeks ago then the cold snaps kind of stunted it and it hasn't even started blooming in butler.
if clover is in full bloom and you have had several drones in your hives for at least a week i'd say go ahead and split your strongest hives.  clover is usually in when they start swarming down here. 
i usually get my first call around mid march right after the last cool snap, i'm expecting calls this week.
i went through a couple of hives late this evening and found a good bit of nectar being stored, some white cappings and i culled some bad comb and replaced it with foundation last week and they are starting to draw it out.  i also put a frame in with a starter strip and they were working it too.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 10:16:23 AM »

>n is there a point where a colony will back fill the brood chamber?

Usually.  Yes.
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Michael Bush
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