Keep feeding?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by letitbee, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    I installed 2 packages on the 17th of April into my hives that had plenty of honey in them from my hive that died out over the winter. I have been feeding the new colonies but last night as I was watching the door, I saw the girls bringing in loads of pollen so I am wondering if I should stop feeding as it seems they have plenty of forage now. Both deeps in the hives are fully drawn with comb and as I mentioned above, there was plenty of honey and pollen left from last year. I have been using entrance feeders and when I lift the jars to look in the bottom of the feeder, there is syrup in them and no bees really taking any of it. The weather in Illinois has been somewhat cool but the bees are still getting out to forage so I am inclined to stop feeding at this point.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The normal rule for feeding a package is... "Feed until they atop taking it"

    Yours have stopped taking it. They are now on their own.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    hi letitbe,
    i 2nd iddee's advice, your girls are good to go especially with drawn combs and some honey stores, and foraging. what is blooming in your area?
     
  4. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Riverbee...we have a lot of flowers, wild and domestic in bloom. Pretty much all the apple and cherry trees are in full bloom as well. We had a freak warm spell in March and it kind of kicked spring in a little early. The weather has been on the cool side but the girls get out when it gets over 55. They were bringing in yellow pollen today by the truck load.:thumbsup:
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    thanks for posting back. yes, sounds like our weather here, march into april, sent me scrambling....many pollen and floral sources 2-4 weeks ahead of schedule, now cooler the last couple weeks. fruit trees and dandelions are in bloom 3 weeks ahead of schedule, just crazy, but with my strong hives and good weather, will bring a good honey crop, wish you the same:wink:
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    The weather in Illinois has been somewhat cool but the bees are still getting out to forage so I am inclined to stop feeding at this point.

    tecumseh:
    sometime with a bit of experience under your belt playing a hunch is not a bad way to go. with not so much experience this can, after the fact, often look foolish.

    in cooler weather bees don't move around so much so perhaps the consumption is more about the temperature than what is coming in the back door? looking at the pollen coming in is pretty unreliable way to determine how much nectar is coming in the front door.

    my spin on how long to feed (and especially for folks starting from a package) is feed them till they are one full box of bees. I would also suggest you toss the entrance feeder and find another means of feeding...
     
  7. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    tecumseh...I spoke with my beek friend on the other side of town and he told me that he quit feeding last week too. He lost three of his six hives over the winter and like me, had to package up this year to get going again. The hitch here is that it has been so cool that I really don't want to go in the hives for fear of chilling any brood and take a look at what is going on. There is still syrup in the feeders but after checking them several times yesterday, the bees are not taking any and it has started to drip out onto the ground. Like you said in your post, I am going to act on a hunch and check the hives when the feeders run dry and see where to go from there. The only question I have, that has probably been answered a million times is why do some beeks dislike entrance feeders so much? The great people I buy my supplies from at Apple Blossom Honey Farm, recommend them but they do sell frame feeders and bucket feeders as well. I know it is easier for the bees to get to the syrup in cooler weather when the feeders are in the top of the hives but our weather hasn't been cool enough that the bees can't get down to the entrance feeders. Is this the reason that entrance feeders are not popular with some of you guys with lots of expirience? I do recall reading that that is one of the reasons not to use entrance feeders. I am buying a nuc in a few weeks and will be at Apple Blossom so I can pick up new feeders while I am there. I kind of like the idea of the frame feeders..what would you suggest given the climate difference from Texas to Illinois?
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""The only question I have, that has probably been answered a million times is why do some beeks dislike entrance feeders so much?""

    It's because they don't pay much attention to the time of year. IMHO, a boardman feeder, aka entrance feeder, is as good as you can get from Feb. to June 1st.

    From June 1st til winter, a boardman feeder is a public invite to all neighboring bees to rob a hive out totally and kill it.
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    letitbe,
    i feed a package until they stop taking it, even with some nectar coming in, this will help them to build up. i myself do not use and will not use the entrance feeders and would not advise anyone to use these for many reasons, pests, critters, robbing, to start. additionally, my 1 cent, do not buy the frame feeders you will have drowned bees and a space bees need taken up by a frame feeder...again my 1 cent. i use a 1 gallon pail over top the inner cover, and place an extra deep over the pail and the top cover over it. you can also use these pails on nuc hives. hope this helps!
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Riverbee, most times I use a migratory top with a hole a half gallon jar lid fits in. Doesn't take up my equipment like an empty box on top, and can be seen from a distance how full it is.

    But in the spring, I will not hesitate to use a boardman. I have never seen pests or critters in a boardman and have never seen robbing with a boardman before the flow ends.
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    hi iddee,
    boardman feeders, some thoughts:
    open feeding
    they leak
    attracts ants, wasps, hornets, deer mice and other honey bees, and 4 legged critters
    raccoons do carry these off
    northern keeps cannot use these in late winter or early cold springs
    cannot use with an entrance reducer unless modified
    1 quart liquid = frequent refilling
    exposed, can it freeze? heat from the sun, would any medication added decompose or breakdown?
    a good use to provide water in summer months

    A personal preference but I don’t care for these. I have had raccoons carry them off, even with water in them. i hear ya on the empty box on top, and equipment storage. I use extra boxes, or boxes that was some other keeps ‘junk’, and also use the extra boxes for other things. Probably not very practical for anyone who keeps many hives, but serves me well for my situation, to minimize problems. Boardman’s can also be 'housed' by a box on top of the inner cover for water or syrup, although I have not used them in this manner.

    I sometimes can’t check my bees for 2 weeks so the 1 gallon pails(or larger) work great, I don’t have to be concerned about refilling a boardman.

    I use a fencer to keep the bears out, but there are times I will move a new hive to a neighbors some piece down the road in the toolies. I can ratchet strap the whole works down on a pallet and don’t have to worry about a curious coon dragging off a boardman feeder. (hope and cross my fingers the bears don’t find the hive).

    In late winter or early spring, for my climate, boardmans are not very practical if temps leave the bees clustered. I also leave the entrance reducer down for a bit, until it warms up. reducers do not accommodate a boardman, unless you make or modify your own. Temps dip down plenty, and I can pack insulation around the pail with the box on top, and bees can still feed from this.

    For me, it has been practical and cost effective, to use 1 type of feeder year round that is not problematic. As far as robbing during a flow, am just the careful sort, as we all are, don’t care for it anytime of the year and bees can be robbed out regardless of the type of feeder being used. My observation is that Boardman’s seem to be more susceptible to robbing.

    Just my keeps nickel on boardman feeder’s.:grin:
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    "open feeding"
    NO. A boardman and a wood block from the feeder to i in. from the opposite end of entrance means NOT open feeding/

    "they leak"
    No worse then any other inverted container

    "attracts ants, wasps, hornets, deer mice and other honey bees, and 4 legged critters
    raccoons do carry these off"
    Never had it happen and never heard anyone else have the problem.

    "northern keeps cannot use these in late winter or early cold springs" That's why I live in the south. :thumbsup: :lol:

    "cannot use with an entrance reducer unless modified"
    See "open feeding"

    1 quart liquid = frequent refilling
    2 quart mason jars. Not so frequent and can check from a distance.

    "exposed, can it freeze? heat from the sun, would any medication added decompose or breakdown?"
    Is your cover box insulated?

    "a good use to provide water in summer months"
    Hey, ya gotted one rite!!

    Hey, this is fun. TAG, You're it.
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    Well, I see a ‘tag butt kicking’ coming…….or did I just get one? :think:........:lol:

    IddEE’s reply:
    "attracts ants, wasps, hornets, deer mice and other honey bees, and 4 legged critters
    raccoons do carry these off"
    Never had it happen and never heard anyone else have the problem.

    riverBEE says:
    now you have. when you have to go looking for these in the weeds, bushes or next to the creek or riverbed, or slosh across that creek to retrieve them you might not use them, oh btw, including the base.:lol:

    IddEE’s reply:
    "northern keeps cannot use these in late winter or early cold springs" That's why I live in the south.
    riverBEE says:
    lol, good point.

    IddEE’s reply:
    1 quart liquid = frequent refilling
    2 quart mason jars. Not so frequent and can check from a distance.

    riverBEE says:
    are you using binoculars iddee or maybe a cam hooked up to your pc?
    :grin:

    IddEE’s reply:
    "exposed, can it freeze? heat from the sun, would any medication added decompose or breakdown?"
    Is your cover box insulated?

    riverBEE says:
    yes, I will insulate the cover box.

    IddEE’s reply:
    "a good use to provide water in summer months"
    Hey, ya gotted one rite!!

    1 out of 8, YAY! I get a big STAR!!!:yahoo:
    [FONT=&amp]
    [/FONT]
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    IddEE’s reply:
    "attracts ants, wasps, hornets, deer mice and other honey bees, and 4 legged critters
    raccoons do carry these off"
    Never had it happen and never heard anyone else have the problem.

    riverBEE says:
    now you have. when you have to go looking for these in the weeds, bushes or next to the creek or riverbed, or slosh across that creek to retrieve them you might not use them, oh btw, including the base.:lol:

    Most of our local raccoons went to freezer camp during the winter, so no problem there.

    IddEE’s reply:
    1 quart liquid = frequent refilling
    2 quart mason jars. Not so frequent and can check from a distance.

    riverBEE says:
    are you using binoculars iddee or maybe a cam hooked up to your pc?
    :grin:

    No need for the 100 ft. from my back porch to my hives.
    IddEE’s reply:
    "exposed, can it freeze? heat from the sun, would any medication added decompose or breakdown?"
    Is your cover box insulated?

    riverBEE says:
    yes, I will insulate the cover box.

    Again, That's why I live in the south.


    Letitbee is going to shoot us both for getting off topic, so to end it, I'll just say ""all beekeeping is local". It's still fun, tho.
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    it is Iddee and Letitbee is getting an education with some humor in between,
    especially yours:grin:

    nevermind us letitbee!
     
  16. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Gosh:shock:...I think I'll keep one boardman in one hive and bag feed in the other:grin:. I guess I'll be a little more careful about the questions I ask in the future:lol:. Now THAT was entertaining gentlemen! By the way, does either of you have any advice on screened bottom boards:aikido:
     
  17. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    letitbe,
    you fire away anytime, and some of us may get carried away, btw this 'gentlegirl' doesn't use screened bottom boards:grin:
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    She got another one right. I don't use them, either. :D :D :D
     
  19. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    So let me see if I've got this right Iddee?
    You only live in the south so you can use entrance feeders?
    (I knew there had to be some reason) :lol:
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Perry, where did you see "only"? Your glasses adding words to what you read?