Feeding

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by james007, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. james007

    james007 New Member

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    I am in Tennessee and new. This is my first year and im not sure how much to feed. It seems like everytime I try to feed the bees swarm. I fed 2 gallons to one of my hives that swarmed earlier and found it full of swarm cells this week. I have two deep brood chambers with about 3 frames of sealed brood and probably 4 full frames of honey-nectar. The rest are mixed. This hive has already swarmed twice this year and now im afraid to feed and afraid not to. Thanks for all the good advice.
     
  2. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    1. So, how do you come to the decision to feed right now? In absence of other information, in your location, I'm thinking you shouldn't need to feed at present.
    2. What methods are you using for swarm prevention/interruption?
    3. Is this the same hive you have been having trouble with all season?
    4. Are the others doing ok?
     

  3. james007

    james007 New Member

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    I guess im just guessing. Ive heard horror stories about others losing half their hives from running out of honey. Guess I really dont know what im doing.
    As for swarm prevention I split the one with the swarm cells and they seem to have gone back to work for now.
    Yep this is the same one. Im just too stubborn to just blow it up. My plan is to requeen this hive and another one next month. Hope that helps.
    Everybody else seems to be doing fine. Probably no honey to speak of this year but im hopeful for next year. Thanks and great to hear from you. Sounds like im just feeding too early.
     
  4. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    You just started, you are not supposed to know what you're doing, else, you would make the rest of us look like a bunch of old fools. We've been at it for years and still don't know what we're doing.

    IMHO:

    My hunch is that you are through the summer dearth already. They have immediate stores, and they have until mid November to forage. So, yeah, save your suryp.

    That one queen of yours is already batsh** crazy, not too bright, and now she's confused as well. So, just stop. Even I remember that about certain Hyw 45 women.

    Even if you have to supplimental camp feed for Christmas, it would not be hard. They'll be foraging by February 1st. I would think it would be hard to starve bees out in your location.

    You could still resonably split NOW in your location, at least into a nuc-- though you would still have the same genetics. Or, since this colony seems to have their own ideas about things, just leave them to work it out on their own. Like real children, sometimes you can love them to death. If they insist on spliting, tell them to write when they find work. Look at all the drawn comb they'll leave behind for bees who will appreciate it next spring.

    If you requeen, I would do it NOW. PM if you need sources.

    Rejoice. You have other sane hives, regardlesss of what happens to this one. You have had a good first year. 2016 will be here before you know it, and you will be going into an early Spring with established hives.

    Relax.
     
  5. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Thanks for the great advice and youre right about the hwy45 women. I will wait to feed. The truth is they already have quite a bit of stores I think. Thist first year stuff is scary. Everything you see is the first time and its hard to know whats normal. Anyway thank you foe the great advice as always. Oh yeah one last thing. What would you think would be the latest I could feed with a hivetop inside the hice feeder? Hope I said that right. Thanks again.
     
  6. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    Latest to feed... hmmm. Two or three, ok, four, five, factors, assuming you even need to feed... you don't want to confuse the queen into thinking there is a flow on if there isn't in late fall. You want stores; babies, not so much.

    • By temperature, you could keep the hive top feeder through Thanksgiving. Even if it freezes, it will thaw during the day. But, all of that is hard on the plastic, and those things are expensive.
      • An alternative, during what passes for cold weather in the mid-south, I use a modified "mountain camp method," which for me is grocery store granulated refined sugar on the top board with a 2" rim (you can knock them together with 1x2s instead of buying) under the top cover. I like using the top board because I can peek without disturbing the bees much.
      • You can also use newspaper on top of existing stores, or in emergancy, directly on top of the cluster, but that seems unnecessarily invasive in cold weather if you want to check on them. At any rate, the theory is the cluster moves up and will find it as needed. (see below on cluster)
      • Sometimes you need to spitz the sugar with a little water so it gets crusty, or the housekeeper bees will try to take it out of the hive entrance as trash.
    • FWIW, barring a cold snap, I start syrup stimulus feeding the last few days of January in town (on the Tennessee River), and Valentine's Day on the mountain. I use these and have never found them frozen.
    • The other issue is whether the bees will even leave the winter cluster to feed, but this seems to be more of a problem with colder climates. My north Alabama bees seem to be happy to break cluster for a snack (at least the sugar is gone and they are singing and dancing when I open on a warm day) and I am guessing yours will, as well.

    Don't let too much information spook you. I heard an elder at a bee meeting say, "The warst thang that ever happened to beekeeping is the dat gum inter-net, especially that YouTube." ...all beekeeping is local.
     
  7. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Thanks for the links, the good information, and the reassurance. As always it is very much appreciated. I would have never guessed there was so much to this. Thanks again!
     
  8. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Just read about mountain camp method and again thank you.