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Feeding the bees.

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  • doug23838
    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
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 31, 2003
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      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.
    • ROBERT J STOCKLEY
      Combine the two hives...You must live in a terrible area...either overloaded with bees or no nectar...hard to believe...do some searching and find the local
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 1 12:31 AM
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        Combine the two hives...You must live in a terrible area...either overloaded with bees or no nectar...hard to believe...do some searching and find the local bee club and have someone do an inspection with you...or contact the area bee inspector.
         
        I started this year also...live in NY and got lots of honey from a package I got from georgia around the end of May...and all plastic foundation. Something must be wrong and it will take an experienced eye to see it.
         
        Bob
        Lagrangeville NY

        doug23838 <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.




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      • Ron Culver
        Hi Doug, A comment or two on your search for advice... ... Unless you’re in an area where the nectar flow was quite heavy near the hives, your plight is not
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 1 1:24 AM
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          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/
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • mnist@spamcop.net
          ... I m not sure what part of the country you re in but here in NJ conventional wisdom is that two deep supers should be nearly full of capped honey (of course
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 1 4:48 PM
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            Quoting Ron Culver <ronc@...>:

            > 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'm not sure what part of the country you're in but here in NJ conventional
            wisdom is that two deep supers should be nearly full of capped honey (of course
            there will still be some brood, etc) so that hives can survive the winter.

            You can feed them throughout the winter of course but you have to be careful
            about exposing your bees to too much cold while you add feed; worse if you have
            a lot of bad weather and can't get to your bees, they could starve.

            >Internet for ways to feed via a plastic bag inside the hive on
            > top of the frames - works well in cold country.

            I've never tried it, but some people I know have found bag feeding messy.
            Personally I think it sounds handy.

            How are you feeding your bees? what ratio of sugar:water are you using?

            --Madeleine
          • doug23838
            Madeline: My feed mix is 10 lbs of sugar + 1 Gal of water. They love it. I use the inverted quart jar in a boardman feeder. Each colony will easily eat 1
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 1 8:14 PM
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              Madeline:
              My feed mix is 10 lbs of sugar + 1 Gal of water.
              They love it. I use the inverted quart jar in a boardman feeder.
              Each colony will easily eat 1 quart per day.
              They're also drinking lots of water. I have a bucket with a towel
              draped over a brick standing on edge. The towel wicks up water and
              the bees land on the towel and drink. There is always 2 dozen or
              more bees drinking.

              --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, mnist@s... wrote:
              > Quoting Ron Culver <ronc@e...>:
              >
              > > 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'm not sure what part of the country you're in but here in NJ
              conventional
              > wisdom is that two deep supers should be nearly full of capped
              honey (of course
              > there will still be some brood, etc) so that hives can survive the
              winter.
              >
              > You can feed them throughout the winter of course but you have to
              be careful
              > about exposing your bees to too much cold while you add feed;
              worse if you have
              > a lot of bad weather and can't get to your bees, they could starve.
              >
              > >Internet for ways to feed via a plastic bag inside the hive on
              > > top of the frames - works well in cold country.
              >
              > I've never tried it, but some people I know have found bag feeding
              messy.
              > Personally I think it sounds handy.
              >
              > How are you feeding your bees? what ratio of sugar:water are you
              using?
              >
              > --Madeleine
            • doug23838
              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
              Message 6 of 13 , Sep 1 8:16 PM
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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/
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
              • Karen D. Oland
                Mid-may is late to start in GA (farther north in TN, flow starst in mid-aprl, is over by mid-jun to late jun). You quit feeding about the time all flow
                Message 7 of 13 , Sep 2 9:11 AM
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                  Mid-may is late to start in GA (farther north in TN, flow starst in
                  mid-aprl, is over by mid-jun to late jun). You quit feeding about the time
                  all flow stopped there. Plus, it has been very hot lately. Up your feed to
                  a 1/2 to 1 gallon a day until the comb is drawn and/or they won't take any
                  more. You still have time to get it all drawn out before the fall flow
                  starts -- they should be able to store it up for winter and do ok, if you
                  get them a head start.


                  Karen

                  ---
                  [This E-mail scanned for viruses by Declude Virus]
                • Karen D. Oland
                  That is about twice the sugar you should use -- they will take and store it much faster aat 5 lb sugar and enough water to finish filling a 1 gallon container.
                  Message 8 of 13 , Sep 2 9:14 AM
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                    That is about twice the sugar you should use -- they will take and store it
                    much faster aat 5 lb sugar and enough water to finish filling a 1 gallon
                    container. They are probably using the exces water to thin down what you
                    are feeding.

                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: doug23838
                    >
                    > My feed mix is 10 lbs of sugar + 1 Gal of water.
                    > They love it. I use the inverted quart jar in a boardman feeder.
                    > Each colony will easily eat 1 quart per day.
                    > They're also drinking lots of water. I have a bucket with a towel
                    > draped over a brick standing on edge. The towel wicks up water and
                    > the bees land on the towel and drink. There is always 2 dozen or
                    > more bees drinking.

                    ---
                    [This E-mail scanned for viruses by Declude Virus]
                  • Crenn
                    We ve always fed a 1:1 ratio, either by weight or volume since they re so similar. Would changing a jar on top of the ive expose them to too much cold where
                    Message 9 of 13 , Sep 2 1:53 PM
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                      We've always fed a 1:1 ratio, either by weight or volume since they're so similar.  Would changing a jar on top of the ive expose them to too much cold where some of you guys are?  I'm in mid-CA, so it's never a problem here.  Sometimes we use the black plastic feeders that go in the hive like a frame, but we have to put screens in them so the bees don't fall in and drown, but even then they aren't the best.
                       
                      Caitlin

                      mnist@... wrote:

                      How are you feeding your bees? what ratio of sugar:water are you using?

                      --Madeleine


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                    • beekeepbrewer
                      I am also new to beekeeping. I have two hives right now, from packages that I put in last Spring. I am in Texas. This last Spring, I used the plastic
                      Message 10 of 13 , Sep 2 9:07 PM
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                        I am also new to beekeeping. I have two hives right now, from
                        packages that I put in last Spring. I am in Texas. This last
                        Spring, I used the plastic feeders where you replace a frame. The
                        thing that I didn't like is that they don't hold that much, and you
                        have to disturb the bees to add more of the syrup mix. I was reading
                        about placing an inverted jar on top of the inner cover hole that has
                        small holes poked in it. Has anyone tried this method? Any insight
                        as to problems associated with or benefits?
                      • K Smith & J McGuire
                        We are in Maryland and have been using hive top feeders with great results. Adding syrup is just a matter of lifting the cover! Started with two packages in
                        Message 11 of 13 , Sep 3 4:31 AM
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                          We are in Maryland and have been using hive top feeders with great results. Adding syrup is just a matter of lifting the cover!
                           
                          Started with two packages in April, within a few weeks the first eight frames were completely drawn out. Have added four supers (per hive) since and again all frames have been drawn.
                           
                           
                          Kevin 
                           
                          -------Original Message-------
                           
                          Date: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 12:12:36 AM
                          Subject: [beekeeping] Re: Feeding the bees.
                           
                          I am also new to beekeeping.  I have two hives right now, from
                          packages that I put in last Spring.  I am in Texas.  This last
                          Spring, I used the plastic feeders where you replace a frame.  The
                          thing that I didn't like is that they don't hold that much, and you
                          have to disturb the bees to add more of the syrup mix.  I was reading
                          about placing an inverted jar on top of the inner cover hole that has
                          small holes poked in it.  Has anyone tried this method?  Any insight
                          as to problems associated with or benefits?   



                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                           
                        • Karen D. Oland
                          Jars work fine. But, make sure they are completely full before inverting them -- a vacuum must be formed and some will drip (how much depends on how much air
                          Message 12 of 13 , Sep 3 8:02 PM
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                            Jars work fine. But, make sure they are completely full before inverting
                            them -- a vacuum must be formed and some will drip (how much depends on how
                            much air is present). The hive top feeders are easier (and the ones that
                            keep bees away from the main syrup using screen also make it very easy to
                            refill -- no need to smoke).


                            -------Original Message-------

                            From: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 12:12:36 AM
                            To: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [beekeeping] Re: Feeding the bees.

                            I am also new to beekeeping. I have two hives right now, from
                            packages that I put in last Spring. I am in Texas. This last
                            Spring, I used the plastic feeders where you replace a frame. The
                            thing that I didn't like is that they don't hold that much, and you
                            have to disturb the bees to add more of the syrup mix. I was reading
                            about placing an inverted jar on top of the inner cover hole that has
                            small holes poked in it. Has anyone tried this method? Any insight
                            as to problems associated with or benefits?

                            ---
                            [This E-mail scanned for viruses by Declude Virus]
                          • Crenn
                            The inverted jar with holes in the lid is the primary way my dad and I feed our approximately 200 hives. We use quart jars and plastic lids (the metal ones
                            Message 13 of 13 , Sep 4 2:13 PM
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                              The inverted jar with holes in the lid is the primary way my dad and I feed our approximately 200 hives.  We use quart jars and plastic lids (the metal ones tend to rust and get stuck on more easily).  When we are not feeding the bees we put a circle of wood with another piece across the top to keep it from falling in to block the hole.   If you don't then the bees will often start to use it as an entrance.  Some people I've seen screw metal can lids down and then just pivot them over to close or expose the openning.

                              Caitlin

                              beekeepbrewer <hankins@...> wrote:
                              I am also new to beekeeping. I have two hives right now, from
                              packages that I put in last Spring. I am in Texas. This last
                              Spring, I used the plastic feeders where you replace a frame. The
                              thing that I didn't like is that they don't hold that much, and you
                              have to disturb the bees to add more of the syrup mix. I was reading
                              about placing an inverted jar on top of the inner cover hole that has
                              small holes poked in it. Has anyone tried this method? Any insight
                              as to problems associated with or benefits?


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