To Feed or Not to Feed...

Discussion in 'Organic Beekeeping' started by onehorse, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    That is the question! We are first year beekeepers, currently with 3 hives, 1 package of Italians and 2 swarms, and everyone seems to be doing well (well, atleast from first time beekeepers eyes!). But, we are trying to figure out how to get through our first year with our bees, successfully and as naturally as possible. So, our question(s) is/are, do we need to feed through the winter and what are the benefits and downfalls? And what can or should we feeding? We are located in South Central PA. Thank you!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You can feed anytime you don't have supers on to collect honey for yourself. If there is a dearth, you need to watch for and prevent robbing between hives.

    As for how much they need to winter in Southern Pa, Bjornbee should be here shortly. He can answer that better than I.
     

  3. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I used to live in Northern New York, a bit colder for a bit longer period of time then southern PA where I also lived for 20 years. The rule was to make sure the bees had atleast a full, deep super/ brood chamber of honey available to them thats about 60 pounds of honey. And they will need it as winter progresses.
    Barry
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I am in no way disagreeing with any comments by the previous posters but would like to add a bit of detail to their comments....

    if you have a fairly constant cold temperature (with little up and downs) during the winter the quantity of honey/feed required to maintain an overwintered hive is extremely small. most hives will starve during the spring brood rearing time slot when feed requirements increase dramatically. so for many folks feeding is much more important in the spring months than the winter months.