A little worried about my bees..should I be?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by litefoot, May 25, 2012.

  1. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Hello. I'm a new beekeeper in Utah and I'm a little concerned about feeding my bees. I started with a plastic entrance feeder and boy did my new package of bees love that. It was hard to keep it full. But it started attracting outside bees. Of course, the battling at the entrance was incessant and I had piles of dead bees on the ground. I reduced the entrance and ordered a Mann Lake top feeder. In the mean time, I cut plywood to size with a hole in top and a 10 can with holes punched as a top feeder. With the can full it seemed to drip too fast, but when it got half full, it wouldn't drip at all...hmmm. Anyway, never at any time did I see very many bees when I tilted up the can to see underneath. Well, the Mann Lake top feeder arrived and I placed it atop the brood box, but the bees don't seem to be interested in it.

    I feel like the bees aren't feeding the way they should. Is it possible that nectar flow is reducing their interest in the sugar syrup or have I just confused them too much? Maybe I ought to go back to the entrance feeder and see if they starting feeding again. Any thoughts?
     
  2. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Is there a nectar flow on now, I would think so, if so, the bees will slow down to a stop in taking sugar syrup. As the nectar flow fizzles out they will start up again with a passion. The general rule about feeding, feed till they take no more, then stop.
    Barry
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Relax. It's the nectar flow. They will always choose nectar over sugar water.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    By the way litefoot...............Welcome to our friendly forum. :hi:

    You have found a great place to get timely answers to questions as well as a great place to look around and pick up all kinds of information.
    We have a great bunch of members that enjoy bees and fun as well. :mrgreen:
     
  5. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    OK, now that leads to another newbie question...how do I know if there is nectar flow in my area?
     
  6. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Welcome litefoot, hope you enjoy your stay great place to talk about bees and get advice.

    kebee
     
  7. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

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    Welcome Litefoot! Usually when everything is blooming tree's, flower's, wildflower's, etc. is when its flowing good! Just feed til they quit taking it and you will be OK.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You know there's a nectar flow on when they quit taking sugar water. :lol:
     
  9. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Warmer weather and flowers in bloom? You are in a flow.

    Dry grass and not enough recent rain for the flowers to bloom and you are in a dearth.

    Raining incessantly (with or without blooms) you are in a dearth.

    Once the rain quits, if there are blooms present, they will be producing nectar and you are again in a flow (BTW: this is the best time, particularly if it warms!)

    Too cold out, then plants do not produce much nectar. Again, dearth.


    Beekeeping will turn you into both a weatherman and a botany student very quickly!!!
     
  10. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    I guess I asked for that one, didn't I? LOL!
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    how do I know if there is nectar flow in my area?

    tecumseh:
    there are several ways of telling. first the flight traffic at the front door should be fairly brisk.. looks a bit like LA airport on a busy afternoon. secondly there is the splash test.... you take a frame at the periphery of the hive, hold the face side of a frame horizontal directly over the hive, give the frame a bit of a jostle (a flip of the wrist kind of motion) and see how much nectar falls out. thirdly... the drawing of good quantities of foundation that at some fairly early stage gets 'frosted'.

    most beekeepers I have known rely to some degree on all three of these.
     
  12. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    OK, the "LA Airport" comment really helped me feel better. In the morning on the sunny days, their launching like rockets off the landing area so I guess the nectar's on. I have noticed, though that the comb building has slowed considerably since they stopped taking the syrup.

    Thanks everyone for the excellent comments and the well wishes. I'm really loving the bees and wishing I had decided to do this when I was younger. I mostly wish my late father had been introduced to beekeeping. He was fascinated with nature even down the intricate workings of an ant colony and would spend hours studying how things "in the wood" all worked in harmony. Bees would have a source of great pleasure to him.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    OK, the "LA Airport" comment really helped me feel better.

    tecumseh:
    excellent... imho reading the external clues to what is happening inside a hive should be the first thing a new beekeeper should focuses their attention on... a lot can be known without ever cracking a top or removing a frame. the coming and going can vary significant since all plants do not produce nectar at all hours of the day. for example... at this time of year here (we are kind of on the down hill slope of the primary nectar flow) watching the bees flight density early and late give you a better idea if something is coming in. during the mid day heat the activity slow significantly.

    and good luck...