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"Well, it appears the dearth has finally arrived to my area. The hummingbird feeder is hanging full of bees today. How do I know if and when to start feeding? "

andy, if these are your honeybees, i think you answered your own question.....if your bees are on hummingbird feeders, then you need to feed them now. what stores are available in their hives? check the frames for honey stores, do you have supers on?
 

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You watch activity in the entrance, bees will be bringing in lots pollen and lots of guards lol
Barry
 

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""if your bees are on hummingbird feeders, then you need to feed them now.""

Even if each hive weighs 175 lb? Why??

Of all the answers above, why hasn't anyone mentioned the weight of the hives. Riverbee says check for stores, but do you really want to be handling frames in 100 degree weather? It is much easier to just lift the back of each hive an inch and you will know if they have food, or need feeding.
 

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when they are hitting the humming bird feeder its time to lift the back of the hive to see how they are on stores if light add feeders.
 

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I think I am in a pickle of a fix for I am not able to lift the back of the hive to see how nuch it weights, just have to go in to see I guess, and I know the bees will just love that.

kebee
 

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a snip..
Being new at this, not sure I'll know anything just by lifting. I guess I'll lift the hive to get a feel for it, and then open it up and see what's inside.

tecumseh:
most folks should have no problem with this process and if you wished to make it a bit more accurate (and predictive) you could always apply some process and a bit of cheap equipment and convert it all into an almost exact number <likely a good topic for another thread.

the basic 'hefting' thingee is pretty simple. you pick up one end of the hive or if the hive is small enough heft the entire thing. if it is very heavy (like a sack of cement or in my terms 'feels like a brick') then the hive has stores and on the other end of things if lifting one end of the hive is feather light then quite likely the hive is either dead or very near starvation. having some basic idea of the empty equipment weight helps in this quick examination.... but I would assume you did carry the equipment prior to putting bees inside so you should have some experience in this regards.

ps... to reinforce Iddee comments a dearth should not be a sign for everyone to mix up a bunch of syrup and begin feeding. a dearth does mean that generally the bees will be much more hostile to intrusions and if you have some small hive that you wish to keep growing adding some feed is likely a good thing to consider. <primarily I would make certain whatever I do in regards to the bees I would be well prepared for 'the girls' not to find it to their liking.
 

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sugar honey and real honey are very different--one just sweet, other is flavorful, a very nice smell, if it makes no difference, just put 5 lb of sugar in a gallon of boiling water, dissolve it, and slowly reduce it to a thick syrup who needs bees for that???
Barry
 

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iddee's post:
"""if your bees are on hummingbird feeders, then you need to feed them now.""
Even if each hive weighs 175 lb? Why??
Of all the answers above, why hasn't anyone mentioned the weight of the hives. Riverbee says check for stores, but do you really want to be handling frames in 100 degree weather? It is much easier to just lift the back of each hive an inch and you will know if they have food, or need feeding.
"

riverrat's post:
"when they are hitting the humming bird feeder its time to lift the back of the hive to see how they are on stores if light add feeders."

i think riverrat said it better than i, i wasn't very clear. in my area if my bees are on the hummingbird feeders shame on me, because they are light, or out of stores, and i did mean check the weight of the hives, whether lifting or 'hip checking' a hive, or if the weather is conducive to checking internally, and a good point iddee, i don't open hives or handle frames in 100 degree weather, and it has been in the triple digits here with record breaking heat. opening a hive in this kind of heat is not practical. to be quite honest i have spent more money on feeding hummingbirds this year rather than the bees with our nectar dearth, because the bees packed it away before the dearth hit. i could 'feel' the weight diminishing in my hives, and as tecumseh said, they do get cranky. i thought i might have to consider feeding up until about 3 weeks ago when the nectar flow started again, and all of my hives were the lightest they have ever been this time of year, but none had hit the hummer feeders yet.

tecumseh:
to reinforce Iddee comments a dearth should not be a sign for everyone to mix up a bunch of syrup and begin feeding. a dearth does mean that generally the bees will be much more hostile to intrusions and if you have some small hive that you wish to keep growing adding some feed is likely a good thing to consider.
 

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sugar honey and real honey are very different--one just sweet, other is flavorful, a very nice smell, if it makes no difference, just put 5 lb of sugar in a gallon of boiling water, dissolve it, and slowly reduce it to a thick syrup who needs bees for that???
Barry

Barry I was just making a funny at Iddee,I know what adulterated honey is.:lol:
 

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I did fail to mention about lifting up the back of the hive not much a lift just enough to feel the weight. And you should have already been inside the hive and know about how well they are storing honey and pollen.
Barry
 

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lol I was just making sure Crackerbee, one never knows what some people might enjoy, is why Howard Johnsons has 56+ flavors of ice cream.
Barry
 

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barry42001;157554 is why Howard Johnsons has 56+ flavors of ice cream. Barry[/QUOTE said:
You're killing me Barry,that's funny:thumbsup::lol::lol:
 
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