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Author Topic: How much to feed?  (Read 644 times)
LindaL
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« on: September 09, 2013, 06:28:23 AM »

First off since most of you are in the USA i will say that i live in Denmark weather we are like the North East USA.   Last night it got down to 57 f.

I'm wondering how much I should feed my bees.   Both hives are from swarms in June, they don't have much stores i think they are probably up to around 20 pounds each but that's a guess.   I have been feeding them sugar syrup and fondant.    Thursday i gave them each 1.5 liters of sugar syrup by Saturday it was gone.   Sunday i made sure they both had 3 liters of sugar syrup.  I want to make sure they have enough to over winter on but I don't want to annoy them.   The feeders I have only take 3 liters so i i have been putting on another 4 pounds of fondant at the same time.

My question is.  Should I be checking them every few days and filling it up?  or is this going to annoy them to much?

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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 11:31:45 AM »

For your climate, a full size 10 frame deep brood box will need approximately 70 pounds of honey for the winter and they need pollen stored up for the spring. You might try feeling how much an empty hive with the frames, wax, tops and bottoms feels and compare that to your hive. My father-in-law lives in PA and that is his normal goal for his hives. I pick up the back of the hive to see if they have enough food. If you do it on a regular basis when you have been in the hive to see how much food they have, you will be better able to judge how much stores they have.
Jim
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derekm
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 01:31:02 PM »

in the uk recommended for wooden hives is 24kg of stores. Highly insulated hives can be less than 1/2 that
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 10:24:39 PM »

I would feed them as much as they would take.  Is there still nectar and/or pollen for them to bring in.  Also how much of the deep has drawn comb.  Sugar syrup should help them build comb and then fill with the syrup.  If they have a flow maybe they will fill comb with honey and pollen.  Good luck



Joe
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Caelansbees
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 11:39:14 PM »

I'm northeast/south border, Washington, D.C. Area.
I am feeding mine as much as they will take.  At least a gallon every 2 days and that is being used for brood with some stores.  Still feeding 1:1 with patties. Will switch to 2:1 in next two weeks.  Just make sure you take note to what they are doing with it.  Mine are not storing but a small bit and consuming the better share.

I run 1 & 1/2 (deep and med) they should weigh close to 90-100lbs going into winter in my opinion.  I keep Russians so get by with a smaller cluster come dead of winter.  They will get by with less than the Italians will.

This is the time to remember how much that honey you took sold for and how cheap sugar is compared per pound.  Make sure you are prepared to give back in equal weight.  A few extra bags of sugar costs less than new bees in the springtime.
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LindaL
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 04:08:06 AM »

I have trugstader so they are not exactly something you can lift to see how much stores they have.  But they are well insulated and look nice in the garden its why i picked that type.   They are very popular in Denmark.    They only have around 10 frames of drawn comb the smaller hive has started to draw out another frame.   I also noticed when i was in there last week that they have started putting stores in the brood comb I guess the queen isn't laying as many eggs.   There is still activity in the hives even though its getting colder at night.  I think over the next month i'm just going to have to keep making sure they have extra food until it gets to cold to be opening the hives.

Next question: The fondant i bought (it was made for bees its not the baking kind)  came in a 15 kilogram block.  I have been cutting it up into more manageable chunks and rolling it out between wax paper.  The bees have been tossing the wax paper out of the hives.  Should i just put it in a plastic bag with a hole in it?  I'm a little worried they are going to get wax paper stuck in the hive and be unable to get out.

Thanks for the help guys. 

linda
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 11:19:40 AM »

Do not worry about the wax paper, they can get it out. They can remove an entire sheet of news paper in a few days.
Be carefull what you are feeding them. If they have too much water in cold temperatures you can cause condensation problems. What is your water to sugar ratio on the sugar water?
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
LindaL
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 12:18:09 PM »

3 kilogras of sugar to 2 liters of water.   Is my sugar syrup recipe.

I just checked the larger hive i didnt go all the way into the brood nest but they have 10 frames of stores now.  I gave them more food and left them to do what ever bees do in the fall.

Linda
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 08:51:18 PM »

3 kilograms of sugar to 2 liters of water.   Is my sugar syrup recipe.

I just checked the larger hive i didn't go all the way into the brood nest but they have 10 frames of stores now.  I gave them more food and left them to do what ever bees do in the fall.

Linda
Linda,
2 liters of water equals 2 kg. that means that you have a 3/2 ratio. That is a bit thin for putting into a hive going into winter. I recommend at least 2/1 ratio or 4 kg of sugar to 2 liters of water.
This requires less drying time and puts less moisture in the hive. Heat the water, remove from heat and add the sugar. Carmalized sugar will make your bees sick.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
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