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Author Topic: feeding during a dearth  (Read 1481 times)

Offline Zoot

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feeding during a dearth
« on: August 25, 2006, 04:32:49 PM »
I am curious about the general consensus on this:  If it becomes necessary to feed during August and there is a subsequent flow that produces excess honey (not likely here as it is the driest summer in many years) what is customary with regard to harvesting honey?

Will it be considered adulterated due to the fact that syrup was fed at one point?

Is the syrup that is consumed during a dearth largely consumed during that period (food for brood, comb buiding, etc)?

In the past when I kept hives I never gave much thought to this. Now I wonder about the many people in the suburban areas of our county (Montgomery, just adjacnt to Washington DC) who keep small numbers of hives in an environment that ususally never has a fall flow that amounts to anything.

Offline DENNIS

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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2006, 05:27:38 PM »
That a great question as I'm doing that till fall flow comes in if any. I know that its done when help is need. I wait to see what people say
Dennis nj

Offline tom

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I am feeding mine now
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2006, 10:52:27 PM »

  I see that i am not the only one that wish for some good rain but i am feeding now all three of my hives are being fed. I feed them i the open out of the yard. But i have fed them tonite in the yard they are working pollen but now that seemd to be slowing down and so i got some pollen substitute and i saw a couple of my girls gathering it so i will do what i have too until something comes.


Offline BEE C

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feeding during a dearth
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2006, 06:30:02 AM »
That is a great question...I would assume that any supers that are on while supplimental feeding takes place would contain some sugar.  Luckily, I'm a week away from breaking down the hives and haven't had to feed.  Lots of pollen frames, and brood has picked up again.  I did notice today that some of the remaining frames of uncapped honey were emptied out in the middle.  The hives were queenless during the tail end of august, so I assumed the honey frames being emptied in the center was because there is a LOT more brood now and that the bees were making room.  It occurs to me now that perhaps they are just hungry...but why the center being eaten?

Offline Brian D. Bray

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feeding during a dearth
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2006, 09:06:59 AM »
If you're feeding during a dearth it is probably because the stores in the hive are very low throughout.  What was in the supers has been used up and what is in the brood chamber is non-existent.  Feed only enough to resupply the brood chamber which is best acommplished by removing the empty supers.  This way, if a flow does occur feeding can stop (if not stopped already) and the supers can be replaced to gather the new honey crop.

Yes, sugar syrup mixed in with the honey means youu can not call it pure honey.  Syrup is seen as an additive so you want to keep it out of the harvestable honey.
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Offline thegolfpsycho

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feeding during a dearth
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2006, 04:38:19 PM »
I agree with Brian.  Have a look in the brood nest for their actual condition.  There is usually quite a bit of stored honey at the tops of the brood frames in a well established colony.  This is not to say that they won't need syrup to get through winter, but to consider whether your honey year is over or not.  I don't have a measurable fall flow here, and after pulling my honey in late July, early August, the lack of nectar signals the bees to slow brood production.  I squeeze them back down to 2 boxes, and leave them to their own devices until it is time to feed them up for winter.  If I was planning to harvest a fall flow, I certainly wouldn't be feeding them, unless I found them on the verge of starvation.

Offline Zoot

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feeding during a dearth
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2006, 12:08:07 AM »
There was some honey around the brood in both of my hives including the "weaker" one which has rebounded nicely with it's new queen. The reason I opted to feed was more due to the fact that I started everything with foundation in may - no large amount of excess drawn comb yet- and wanted to see if it would stimulate comb building. The brood in both hives is spread throughout four 8 frame mediums.