how much sugar water to feed new hive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by edcisco, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. edcisco

    edcisco New Member

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    I got two brand new hives with one deep each and added package bees with queen to each in mid April--one with Pierco frames, the other with wood frames and wax foundation. Have added extra medium super to each about 4 weeks ago when 5 or 6 frames in bottom deeps were full. I am using Boardman feeders and had been feeding about a quart to each every two days. This week both are using a full half gallon each day. Should I continue feeding this much or does this discourage them from going out to find nectar on their own?

    Also the hive with Pierco frames, the bees in the afternoon are covering the bottom board entrance and several inches up the front of the hive. Is this normal in the heat we are having--if so why is the other hive not doing that? I have these in southern VA about 30 miles southeast of Lynchburg and they are less than 10 feet apart on the southeast side of a grove of trees.

    thanks,

    Ed
     
  2. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    I've always heard for a new hive to feed until they wont take it. They need the enegy to build up comb. I am
    amazed they are taking it since you have so many "honey sources" blooming there when I was NC the other day. Remember though that when feeding them they are putting that sugar water in the comb so its not really 100% honey if your wanting to sell or bottle it. If you can afford it, keep feeding them and build more comb, at least until you have enough for winter stores or at least fill up the 2 hives bodies you have on them.
    Good Luck
     

  3. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Seeing as you're in N.C. maybe Iddee can help better than I can, but typically there's a connection between feeding and how you plan to overwinter your hives. Here in the north, we winter in 2 deeps, so for a new colony, I feed until they have comb drawn out on both. The 2nd deep is added once they have drawn comb on 80% of the first box.

    Once honey supers are added, no more feeding.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They will choose nectar over sugar water when it is available. Keep feeding until they stop taking it.

    Plastic may retain heat differently than wood, therefore bearding will be different. Bearding, to me, isn't a problem.
     
  5. dogsoldier13

    dogsoldier13 New Member

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    my girls never stop taking syrup,and they love dry sugar/megabee mix in the top on a piece of wax paper,i keep 2 2.5 gallon feeder pails with fresh water close by on cinder blocks with 2 chocks of wood to keep the pail up where the bees can get to it,idealy,you would have fed fumigillin in the first jars of syrup
     
  6. edcisco

    edcisco New Member

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    thanks for the info. I will keep an eye on them to make sure they fill out 80% of the top super frames before adding any more. I have not medicated these hives at all yet and did not use fumigillin when I started with the syrup. Should I do that now? As a newbe, there are a lot of things I am not sure about!
     
  7. dogsoldier13

    dogsoldier13 New Member

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    i only use fumigillin with the first spring feeding,it helps with nosema,both types,so it wouldnt hurt to give them a dose now,the dry sugar/megabee i use in the top builds colonys fast,you would be amazed,i really noticed it this year(my second year). this spring my wintered over bees built amazingly fast,and the 2 nucs i got from iddee already have a honey super being filled,megabee really works...good luck
     
  8. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    I caught a swarm last Friday. We put a feeder on it for 2 days and they didn't touch it. However today I was in the hive and they had only 2 frames pulled out and some other weird shape on the third frame. I moved those to the middle because they were on the edge of the frames in the hive body. I was reading your post about feeding and building comb and wondering if I should see if these guys would take feed (1:1)?? now that it has been a week. AND if they do take it (by using a Boardman feeder) could I switch to my regular top feeder like I use in the winter because we are going to be gone for about 6 days?? I only have a top feeder (tray that sits inside a shallow super) and a Boardman feeder. The queen that went with the swarm has already started laying eggs in what they have built.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would feed until they have two boxes filled. Just watch for robbing and be prepared to take action if it begins.
     
  10. edcisco

    edcisco New Member

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    The bees have filled out all the frames in my top super and I have just added a honey super filled with foundation only that needs to be drawn out. I had been feeding this hive half a gallon of 1:1 sugar water a day. As a new beekeeper, I had heard to never feed sugar water when you have a honey super on. Should I continue feeding until they get at least some of the frames filled with comb or stop altogether?
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    A honey super in that case is honey for the beekeeper. You don't want sugar water in your honey. You can feed with many supers on if they are going to be left for the bees.
     
  12. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    Seriously, will they stop taking sugar water? Caught a swarm last week and started feeding it to help get it established. And since this hive is pretty close to a feral swarm hive I caught almost 2 months ago, I started feeding that hive also and right now, both hives are taking on about a quart a day? I had pulled the sugar water off the feral swarm after about 4 weeks (they were still taking on sugar water at the time, but not much) and they seemed to be handling it alright and it was right in the middle of the main flow here. Main flow is pretty much over here now, but there is still clover and lots of other little flowering things.
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They will take all you give them when there is no nectar to be had. They will store it for later use, so there is no limit to how much they will take. The only time they stop is when there is nectar enough to keep them busy.
     
  14. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    If the bees are drawing comb, not alot of honey is being stored in any event, between making wax to draw comb, feeding themselves, and the brood, alot of honey is consumed. They will spread out the sugar syrup, storing it in the comb to condense it, like honey. If the bees are taking the sugar syrup, then the nectar flow is somewhat light, as they much prefer nectar to syrup. In short if they are using it then fed them if they sulk it stop.