No winter here...yet

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by arkiebee, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's the first of February, and we haven't still had much of a winter. A "snow day" :Dancing: would be nice, but we will get out of school sooner without them...Oh well??

    My bees had a full super of honey on top of two hive bodies. Would it be a good idea to feed a pollen patty now? I am having trouble trying to figure out what kind to order. I have made patties before, but they didn't seem to "like" them...and I followed the recipie to the letter. Dadant has patties called "brood builder" and some with Honey B Healthy in them. I have never used patties like this - so not for sure which to use. The bees had such a rough year last year, and I thought I would give them a boost this spring. I am afraid that their winter stores will be used up too quick and we will probably get socked with a cold snap late and really knock them for a loop..

    Second question: since I have 2 hive bodies with a super of honey - when they start bringing in nectar will the bees store it below (like they should) or put it up in the super where they are feeding? :confused:
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    1... Check the hives and see what they need before feeding sugar or pollen sub. Only feed as needed.

    2... Bees will always store new nectar as high as possible and work down.
     

  3. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So what about the honey in the supers? I just don't want the queen laying in the super - or should I just let them store nectar up there and work down and leave that super there till they cap it? I am always in a dilema as to how to handle this when spring arrives when they may be out or just about out of honey and starting to store nectar.
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Depending on just how full the upper super is with honey, you could simply reverse the positions of the entire two boxes or find the queen and just move her and the frame she is on down below.
    In more detail: If the upper super is only partially full, it's good to switch the whole super and put it down. The queen will then do her laying in the lower box (now the brood box) and she'll have honey (and hopefully pollen) nearby for her to continue and expand her laying. As she produces brood, cells will be emptied of their honey and make room for more eggs.
    If the upper super is close to full, leave it above and just find the queen and move her down below on a frame with some brood, exchanging it with any empty frame that you put above. The queen will go to work expanding the brood nest into the adjacent empty frames.
    Brood that was left above will emerge and make room for additional honey.
    While I personally use this method with a queen excluder between the boxes, in principle it should work as well without one.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    arkiebee writes:
    I have never used patties like this - so not for sure which to use. The bees had such a rough year last year, and I thought I would give them a boost this spring.

    tecumseh:
    I would suspect from your description of the hive that honey is not so much in short supply. i would guess that like some of my hives here with the poor season last year (<is that an understatement or what?) some hives might have little in the way of pollen reserves. a through inspection of the hive is really needed to absolutely answer either of these 'resource' related questions. a shortage of pollen will limit early brood rearing + also limit nectar/honey consumption in the production of the brood.

    there are any number of excellent 'pollen like' products out there. mostly you cannot go too wrong in sticking to the products of folks like Dadant or Kelleys (must add at one time I was a pretty much true blue kelleys guy but have lost some confidence in recent times in their service or what they say they are going to do).
     
  6. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks guys - I am going to order some pollen patties from Dadant - I have just always used that company - and put on the hives - probably later this month? We are having such a mild winter right now - but I know from living here in NW Arkansas all my life that old man winter can still show up. Right now I have dandelion, henbit, and various other wildflowers coming up in my yard and pasture. I have seen my bees bring in pollen now. Hope these little gals have a better 2012. Last spring and summer......and fall..... was hard on them.
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Bees are not like people who stuff themselves with food when it apears o their table. :(
    If you are buying the pollen substitute and you are in doubt if the bees need them, why not let them do the deciding? :|
    If they need it, they'll use it. If they don't, they won't. ;)

    Just think what a shame it would be if they need it and you have it but don't give it to them on time.
    As soon as they arrive, put the patties in the hive. Now's the time. :thumbsup:
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ps.... size purchased pollen patties to the size of the hive's population. most time I tend to be real conservative in feeding patties... giving small populations 1/4 of a slab and a robust hive 1/2 a slab. I myself would rather the stuff be picked up and placed in cells and then consumed than to have it become a primary draw for small hive beetles.

    in the most part I think the net effect of feeding pollen patties is extremely marginal <as a once practicing economist this means the big bang here is obtained by using very small quantities.
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I totally forgot about YOUR need to keep the SHB in mind. :oops:
    That's one hive management problem we don't have to think about here--at least for the present. I dread the day when it appears in Israel. Somehow, we manage to pick up all the maladies that turn up every where else in the world. I'm afraid it's just a matter of time---I hope a long long time. :amen:
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I suspect efmesch as dry as you describe your local climate that you already have some significant protection against the shb even without god's direct intervention.
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don't worry efmesch, they aren't that bad.
     
  12. kebee

    kebee Active Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I will not be getting my bees until the middle of April and as warm as it is I think every thing will be bloomed out by then, should I get some pollin patties for the new bees. How long should I feed sugar until they stop eating it. I just want to be sure I have everything on hand for them to make a good go of it.

    Kebee
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Kebee,
    With a new hive, feeding syrup should be seen primarily as a means of stimulating your bees to build combs--something you'll need desperately at the start of beekeeping. Usually the delivery of new hives is timed to the season when there should be local flowering. If that works out for you, then you should need minimum feeding. However, as to your fear of being "bloomed out", your best bet is to contact local beeks or a local agricultural advisor who can tell you what to expect in your neighborhood. Each area has its own micro-climatic considerations and that is something that a beek learns with years of experience. If you do have flowers, than you shouldn't need pollen additives---but if not....
    To be prepared for any eventuality, it would probably be best to have some on reserve, but don't rush to feed it.
    Sometimes we tend to forget that bees know how to take care of themselves.
     
  14. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We're having a little taste of winter here this weekend. It was in the 60s F earlier in the week, now it's struggling to stay at 30F and the wind is out of the north at up to 20 mph with snow flurries. [​IMG] (I can hear the Tundra Division snickering at me about this!)

    The gals were buzzing during the week, bringing in pollen. I'm sure they're all huddled up today. Hopefully, this cold will only last a day or two and then temps will be back into the 50s. I'd really hate to see the things that have started blooming get bitten by the cold.
     
  15. kebee

    kebee Active Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    efmesch, thank you for your answer, there is a group of beekeep up the road around 25miles from me and I am planning on being at the next meeting they have, surely they can help me out some. I am planning on ordering a bunch of equipment next mounth that I will need so I will order a little pollen and have it just in case.
    We are gettimg a good freeze here tonight also, hope the tree bulbs make it.

    Kebee
     
  16. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No winter here...yet........I TAKE THAT BACK! IT'S COLD IN THESE HERE HILLS![​IMG]
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    cold here this morning... checked and fed some this afternoon. the elms are trying to bloom hard. I think (based on condensation on the hives I opened) that there is a bit of splash coming in.
     
  18. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Could you explain what you mean by that?
     
  19. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    22F this morning. Predicted for 23F in the morning. The big camellia that my little colony has been working on was already about spent but they were working it hard yesterday. Supposed to get into the upper 40's today. Henbit is in full bloom around here but these bees have not been working it. If the henbit survives the freezing we'll see if they move on to it. Yellow wild turnips are in full bloom, too, but don't know if they've been working it or not (they weren't early on when I stopped on the side of the road and checked). I don't know if it will survive the freezing either.

    After two nights of freezing the predictions have us going back into the 40/70 range with apparently another cool/cold dip again next weekend.

    Ed
     
  20. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello South Alabama - I just got a text from my sister this morning. She lives in West Melbourne, FL and it's 34 there this morning.
    We are predicted for sleet and snow mix starting tonight...I smell a "snow day" coming on :Dancing:
    We haven't used any yet this year!

    It was in the teens here this morning - I'm sure my bees are "snug as a bug in a" in their hives right now.

    We have a lot of wildflowers blooming - henbit, dandelions, etc. The elms are trying to come out, and my lilac bushes have huge buds on them now.