drowning bees

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Royalcoachman, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    I have a top feeder with so many bees in it even when empty that I can not add syrup without bees drowning. Any suggestions?
     
  2. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    what kind of top feeder? it should have a ladder for the bees to crawl out, add the syrup slow and the bees should move, but if a few drown theres not much to be done, I havent had that issue as they seem to know food is coming and move out of the way as the level rises..
     

  3. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    It has a open center for entrance and exit with two sides for syrup. There are frames on the bottom of the reservoir with small slats for the bees to stay above the syrup. The problem is that the bees get under the slats when the reservoirs are empty and do not get out of the way of the syrup as it is added.
    I try going slow. If I go to slow I am afraid of robbers with the top off. I went very slow this morn and still had to dig 5 bees out from under the slats. I feed daily and think that is to many.
    Is there an alternative to the slat system I have?
    Thanks !
     
  4. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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  5. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    yes, I use these and they are great... they hold over a gallon of syrup so you dont have to add for a week or more.. https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all-categories/hive-colony-maintenance/feeders/pro-feeders
     
  6. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    Hi,
    I add 1 qt. of syrup with HBH each day. It is gone before evening. Hundreds of bees are in my feeder when I open it in the morning, licking up the residue.
    I think the Mann Lake feeders would not satisfy my hive. If I put two in a super it would not feed them adequately. There is not enough room for all the hungry bees. That may be why a gallon lasts a week.
    Is there such a thing as over feeding ? Am I ?
    I use a piece of bent grass stem to help bees to get out from under the slats. This morn there were 14 I had to rescue even though I poured very slow.
    I guess I am still looking for a better way.
     
  7. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    Update: I have found what looks to be a better feeder. No drowning, do not have to open hive, holds 1 gallon. It is sold by the GloryBee supply co. Whether it will feed an adequate number of bees will remain to be seen. The web site did not post any negative replies??? I ordered one, will update as I put it in use.
     
  8. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    do you have any honey stores in your hive? are you sure you arent being robbed? feeding during the season I believe should be supplemental along with bees going out to get pollen, do you see any bees coming back loaded with pollen?
     
  9. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    Hi,
    The last I checked, about 10 days ago, I had 2 about full medium supers above the brood box. There are bees returning with pollen but here in the north there are no more flowers other than some asters still available.
    Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day about 70 but windy. I will check the stores.
    Thanks for getting back!
     
  10. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    Finally getting back, been busy and out of town.
    More questions are coming for you.
    My stores look good, no sign of robbing. 2 almost full med. supers above a med. brood box. I have more capped brood in the brood box than I expected?

    #1. What happens to undeveloped brood once winter gets here? Clean the dead out in the Spring?

    There was some larvae, did not see any eggs. I did not shake the bees off of the frames.
    I have a third honey super still on top of the three bottom supers. The bees seem to be putting all that feed into that. They are still working at capping in there.
    It will not be long until I remove it as the weather is getting back to normal, not in the 70's any more.

    #2. How do I know what frames, from that third honey super, to freeze? Do I use the shake test and keep frames that do not shake out?
    Thanks
     
  11. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    I would think all the larva will hatch, the bees know when to stop laying eggs before winter...why are you freezing frames?
     
  12. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    I have read that any extra frames of partially capped frames can be froze and put back in the hive for feeding in the Spring.
    I do not believe it is recommended to keep more than 2 supers on top of the brood box during winters where it is cold for long periods. I believe it is due to the insulation factor of trying to keep that much more area warm. So my third honey super with some capped honey and nectar can be froze til spring. As long as the frames pass the shake test.
    Any thoughts?
     
  13. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    Im only beekeeping going into my 3rd year, why dont you harvest a few capped frames and move the uncapped frames into there place and let the bees manage the hive...
     
  14. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    I suppose that would be a possibility.
    How does uncapped nectar make for good bee feed during the winter?
    There is the possibility here that winter could start at the first of Nov. and not end until April. Will the uncapped nectar be a viable food source during the peak of winter? Or will it deteriorate?
    The way the weather is now a long winter like that is rare but not impossible.
    I guess I am being extra careful by keeping the 2 honey supers filled with capped honey. I do not have enough info about uncapped nectar during the winter up here.
    Anyone have an answer?
     
  15. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    ok lets look at this from another view..suppose the bees were 50 ft up a tree and didnt have a human to interfere with there hive, do you think they have a good idea on what they are doing and will survive the winter?..most likely...I would leave it alone and they will take care of it..they been doing it alot longer than the 2 of us..LOL..
     
  16. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    OK, great go around we are having here!
    the fact is they are 50ft. up the tree and they are not having any interference so they have all that they put up during the summer. if I interfere and take some of their stores what will they do with the uncapped? will it be edible three months into the winter?
    that is still the unanswered question.
     
  17. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    I dont know..but my best guess is yes ..for the uncapped..
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not know about Michigan, but I do know about Texas. I am less concerned about the uncapped syrup (this isn't nectar or honey, you don't have blooms) than I am about the brood.

    Hopefully the queen has stopped laying and that is why no eggs. what happens when a lot of brood is present and a hard freeze comes and stays: the bees stay with the brood to keep it warm, they do not move up to feed. I have had a hive starve while they covered 4 deep frames of brood. they had a full medium of honey above them, and the cluster starved down between the brood frames.

    I get breaks, after a hard freeze, and it will usually be warm enough to open the hives, and if I have an early hard freeze I will be opening hives and removing any uncapped brood, if we are going straight back into the depths of winter I may even remove the capped. kinda depends, our weather switches around a lot. Last year it went to the teens in mid december and dropped below 32 about 7 times after that until March and spring. If we are looking at prolonged cold, and I get the opportunity without chilling the hive, I would rather lose the brood than a really good queen and a whole hive.

    on top of your 2 frames of capped honey you can put a candyboard, sort of a home made fondant. Actually I make fondant in paper plates about half an inch thick and set it on the frames, but I know every couple of weeks I will probably get a window to check on the food supplies. You don't. Let me see what is in the files or posts and I'll post you a link. I'm sure I put the recipe up
     
  19. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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  20. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman New Member

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    Hi Gypsi, Sounds like I need to get down to the brood box again.
    I am still above normal with the temperature. No good freeze yet. Day time temps in the 50-60 range night time in the 40's. It is about 10 degrees above normal. It should change soon.

    I am planning on keeping the third honey super on as long as possible and hope they are feeding up there.

    I will try the fondant. The one recipe put a bit of feed in it. Should I put a dab of HBH in mine?

    I am planning on using a quilt box this winter. Got it made. Since a inner cover is not used with a quilt box will that affect the fondant? There may not be much moisture due to the quilt box .
    Since I will be using 2 honey supers above the brood box I assume the fondant will go on the top super.

    OK, now to the brood. Do you take out the frames with brood out and replace with another frame? Or, do you scrape off the brood?
    Some of the frames with brood also have capped honey and pollen. I do not want to not use that. So scraping seems to be the answer. If there is a frame without honey and pollen I could replace that frame. Did I answer my own question?
    I am sure there will be a lot of excited bees!
    So far these have been the calmest bees I have ever worked with, that will change if I start scraping. How would you suggest I get rid of the brood without causing a lot mad bees?

    There are a lot of questions. You really opened a can of worms.