Feeding too much?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Quentin, May 22, 2012.

  1. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Have 2 hives started from packages about April 1st.

    Both seem to be doing well, lots of foragers, populations growing.

    Each have 2 medium supers. I think a 3rd super will be needed soon, will check this weekend.

    Each hive has a HT feeder installed.

    Using 1:1 mix with a splash of Honey B Healthy

    They are currently consuming 2-2.5 galloons of feed each hive in 4 days.

    They have consumed about 125- 175 lbs of sugar so far. (I have lost track of the amount purchased)

    They are docile and strong in number.

    Should I continue feeding?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would have stopped a long time ago.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    correction... they have not consumed 125 - 175 pounds of suger but have stored a great deal of this total.

    like Iddee I would suggest you should have ceased feeding once the hive had a good start and most definitely when you had plenty of nectar available for them to retrieve on their own. for most new beekeeper knowing something about the plant life around you is essential. here I have identified certain kinds of plants that once they begin blooming in the spring I know any of own concerns in regards to feeding has passed.
     
  4. Papakeith

    Papakeith New Member

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    I know I'm new at this, but that seems to me like an lot of sugar to be going through for 2 hives. Granted your two are a few weeks ahead of my hives, but I've only been through maybe 25 or 30 lbs in three weeks time.

    Did the syrup usage of the hives spike up after a certain point?
    when you say two supers, are you using medium supers for your hive in lieu of deep hive bodies?

    Since my hives are new, I was planning on continuing the syrup until I placed the first super on my two deep hive bodies. Is this not a good plan?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    "" Is this not a good plan?""

    My routine is to feed 1/2 gallon of 1:1 if there is a flow on. If not, feed until the flow starts.

    THAT'S IT!!
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    quentin,
    you said "Each have 2 medium supers. I think a 3rd super will be needed soon, will check this weekend. Each hive has a HT feeder installed."

    i would have stopped feeding as well, you must have some nectar flow on? also, are you feeding them with honey supers on? or are these medium supers your brood boxes?
     
  7. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Bees shouldn't need feeding if there are lots of flowers or trees blooming. Nectar is way better for them than sugar water or (worse yet) corn syrup. 'Honey' made by bees from syrup is not real honey.
    I will only feed a new nuc for about two weeks, then if there is stuff blooming and they are bringing in pollen and queen is laying, I stop.
    I don't feed at in Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall- I leave them enough of their honey for them in the Fall to survive the winter on their own.
    If you have various things blooming in your area, consider not feeding at all after the first box is drawn.

    People in areas where there is a severe drought or where there is mono-culture farming may have to feed under some circumstances. I'm lucky in my area of the northeast in that there is always something blooming from Spring through Fall, and we are not having severe droughts.
     
  8. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    You've built these two up on syrup far beyond what you'd typically want to do. OK, so now what?

    Unfortunately, you are going to need a lot of woodenware VERY SOON! (nearly double what you now have in service!)

    I believe you'll want to to look into splitting these two hives up into at least four separate colonies. It would be a good idea to break up and push them to use up the "white honey" combs by splitting heavily with lots of new frames to draw out. But not to feed in order to force them to clear out these stores.
    (Too much space could be tricky with a heavy SHB presence though!)

    What is the current prospects of a nectar flow? I know that in many areas of NC, your summers have a distinct, dry spell and strong dearth in forage. If you are not drying out yet you should still likely have time to build up on nectar stores in preparation for this (someone more local will have to comment on this!)

    When doing splits, the upper box should have five "white honey" frames in the middle of each (preferrably uncapped) flanked on both sides by undrawn frames.
    Lower box (you'll want to build up to two brood boxes, if you can't fill them now) should have brood frames in the middle, followed by pollen/brood frames, then undrawn frames to the outside. Any capped frames of white honey you do not have room for in the splits should be frozen for a couple days, then bagged and stored as emergency feed should the summer dearth or following winter be particularly harsh this year.

    Earlier you split these out allowing them more time to build for summer, the better. I wouldn't plan on harvesting until next spring at the earliest.
     
  9. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Thanks for all the good advice.

    Guess this is what I get for missing club meetings and not asking sooner.

    Well off to work on this I go.

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Quentin,

    We were all new-bees once. I fed until I was past my flow last year, but in lesser quantities and with far worse results. I no longer use HBH. I have had to start feeding a little here, to try and get comb drawn out on my hives, and to try to keep the queen laying. May was very very dry. My wildflowers are still blooming and not dead only because of my gardenhose. The surrounding lands are browning up. Fortunately or not, I've now got 4 hives instead of 1, which may put my sugar bill in your neighborhood by the time it rains properly again.

    Gypsi
     
  11. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    I have read several threads on feeding over the last week and have chimed in with some questions on a few; but, I'm still not exactly clear on feeding. I started with a package and an empty box. My main reason for continuing to feed was to get comb drawn out. My bees had at least partial comb on 7 frames of the second box after two weeks of continued feeding. Would they have drawn it out just as fast if I had stopped feeding after filling the first box?

    After reading the earlier threads, I stopped feeding earlier this week.
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As fast? Probably not. One deep or two mediums by June 1st. would likely have happened and would be sufficient.