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1570Re: Feeding the bees.

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  • doug23838
    Sep 1, 2003
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      Ron:
      Thanks so much for your advice and counsel. When you've never done
      this before, you really don't know what to expect. It helps to have
      the advice of more seasoned beekeepers to keep beginners on the
      right track.
      Thanks again.
      doug

      --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, Ron Culver <ronc@e...> wrote:
      > Hi Doug,
      >
      > A comment or two on your search for advice...
      >
      > >Folks I need avice please.
      > >I'm still feeding my bees. To explain. I'm a new beekeeper. These
      > >are my first two colonies every. I got my bees from Georgia in
      Mid
      > >May.
      >
      > Unless you're in an area where the nectar flow was quite heavy near
      > the hives, your plight is not at all uncommon. You may have done
      > better if you started a bit earlier in the year - depending on
      where
      > you are.
      >
      > >I fed them for a month, then cut them loose. Things seemed
      > >fine. They had drawn out 8 frames so I added another deep super.
      >
      > Don't forget, bees need to eat about 7-10 pounds of honey to
      > produce one pound of wax. Most of your honey harvest has
      > gone into comb production. (Not at all uncommon for new hives
      > the first year.)
      >
      > >One colony has thrived well, the other struggles. The lagging
      > >colony has barely begun drawing out the foundation in the second
      > >deep super.
      >
      > Don't worry about the hives completely drawing out two brood
      > chambers this year. They'll certainly complete the job next year,
      > but again - most of what they harvest in honey will go for comb
      > production. Many beekeepers don't use two full brood boxes,
      > thereby cutting the amount of work the bees need to do - they use
      > a medium super to augment the nursery, and shallows above that.
      >
      > >Neither colony is storing ample honey. In feed, each
      > >colony is eating 1 quart/day of syrup.
      >
      > Unfortunately feeding too much in late summer/early fall can make
      > bees believe there is a new nectar-flow, and sometimes that will
      > stimulate swarming. You should expect to continue feeding syrup
      > from now on throughout the winter, but slow it down now to 1
      > quart every three days - and later 1 quart every five to seven
      days.
      >
      > You should also find on examination of the comb within the hives
      > that they are indeed storing much of what you are feeding -
      particularly
      > as the queen slows laying in the fall and the number of bees begins
      > to reduce for winter. Don't expect your late summer, early fall
      bees to
      > draw comb. They usually won't. (Only new bees, two weeks old or so
      > produce wax for new comb.)
      >
      > >I'm concerned that without drawing out comb, and storing honey,
      they
      > >won't survive the winter. Thanks in advance for your responses.
      > >Doug
      >
      > If they have most of the frames in the first brood chamber drawn
      out
      > (8 frames or so) - count yourself ahead of the game at this point.
      Keep
      > feeding so they will store up syrup (they will store most of it) -
      but
      > keep an eye on the interior of the hive. If the frames begin to
      fill up,
      > you can slow your rate of feeding to no more than one quart a week.
      >
      > I wouldn't worry about them making it through the winter if you
      feed
      > them appropriately. Even your hive that is `lagging' should do
      just fine.
      > Depending on how cold it gets where you are, I would suggest work
      > on getting your hives insulated, and possibly moved to a location
      that
      > affords good protection from the elements - if you're in `snow
      country.'
      >
      > Check the Internet for ways to feed via a plastic bag inside the
      hive on
      > top of the frames - works well in cold country.
      >
      > Next year your new hives will `mature' - but, expect the same
      problem
      > as you ask them to draw out honey supers. Much of your first
      harvest
      > will go to comb. It is only in the third year (in many places)
      that you
      > can expect bees to create much of that `excess' honey you can
      afford
      > to take from them. Not so in some places, a large hive can produce
      > enough for wintering - and a healthy crop for their keeper. But too
      > many new beekeepers underestimate how much honey bees need to
      > last them until the next nectar-flow begins. Remember - usually
      bees
      > need 60 to 80 pounds for wintering (higher in cold country - lower
      > in temperate climes.)
      >
      > Best wishes,
      >
      > Ron
      >
      > doug23838 wrote:
      >
      > >Folks I need avice please.
      > >I'm still feeding my bees. To explain. I'm a new beekeeper.
      These
      > >are my first two colonies every. I got my bees from Georgia in
      Mid
      > >May. I fed them for a month, then cut them loose. Things seemed
      > >fine. They had drawn out 8 frames so I added another deep super.
      > >One colony has thrived well, the other struggles. The lagging
      > >colony has barely begun drawing out the foundation in the second
      > >deep super. Neither colony is storing ample honey. In feed,
      each
      > >colony is eating 1 quart/day of syrup. I'm concerned that
      without
      > >drawing out comb, and storing honey, they won't survive the
      winter.
      > >Thanks in advance for your responses.
      > >Doug
      > >PS. I'm located in Virginia.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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