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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
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    716

    Cool

    I checked the weakest hive I had going into winter today. They were going into winter light so I was feeding them off and on. I had some problem with robbing so I quit feeding about a month ago. I went out to start feeding them again today. It was above 50 and no wind so I openned the inner cover to see where they were and the size of the cluster. I was shocked. The cluster was bigger than a basket ball but kindly oval in nature( longer with the frame than it was acrossed the frames). Since it was such a pretty day and they seemed to be doing so well I thought I better try and see a little deeper and see how much stores were left. They still have about 5 medium frames full of honey and a couple of pollen. I pulled the center most frame and it had the middle 2/3 of the frame full of brood. I had thought that they may have started brood but the amount shocked me. If this frame is as full as it is the ones next to it should have brood in them as well. We are suppose to be back to freezing temps at night Monday. The other hive of mine was much stronger going into winter. It was not openned to the point the first one was. I just peaked at the cluster and at the surrounding stores. So far so good. I do think that I am going to have to keep feeding during warm weather days.

    Now the Qs. I know sugar water has a lower freezing point than pure water.
    How cold do you think I can feed the bees without the jars freezing with the jars sitting on the inner cover with a deep box around it and the outer cover on top?

    Since feeding with a light syrup is supose to increase brood rearing, at what time would you change over to light syrup instead of a heavt syrup?

    Thanks for your input,
    J.C.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    833

    Post

    During this cold time I wouldn’t n feed with sugar water. If the water is too cold the bees ignore it. I would feed only with a paddy made from ice sugar and honey. Take 3 pound of sugar and approx a cup of liquid honey and mix it till you have a paddy that would not stick on your hand. If it’s to sticky use more sugar so the paddy can’t fall thru the gab between the frames. You also can put a sticky paddy in a zip lock bag and make several holes with a big needle in the downside so the bees can reach the food.
    Happy Holydays


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,740

    Post

    >During this cold time I wouldn’t n feed with sugar water. If the water is too cold the bees ignore it.

    True, but if it warms up now and them it may do some good. I wouldn't fill the jars too full. If the jar is only half full it shouldn't break if it freezes.

    >I would feed only with a paddy made from ice sugar and honey. Take 3 pound of sugar and approx a cup of liquid honey and mix it till you have a paddy that would not stick on your hand. If it’s to sticky use more sugar so the paddy can’t fall thru the gab between the frames. You also can put a sticky paddy in a zip lock bag and make several holes with a big needle in the downside so the bees can reach the food.

    This is kind of like the envelope feeder that Clay (I think it was Clay) was talking about. He puts crystalized honey in a file folder envelope and cuts some slits in it and puts in in the middle of the cluster.

    I suppose mixing honey with sugar to make a patty would work, but I've never tried it.

    I would try to feed or they will probably run out of stores raising that much brood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Since this is my first year I have no honey that I can say I know is disease free. As to the jars, I am using pint jars over the hole in the inner cover. I was think like MB that they will run out of stores if they are not fed since they are raising such large brood patterns. Buckfast are supose to be frugle of winter stores. I know they had a full medium super of stores and a few frames of deeps.

    I have kept chickens for years. I have used those gravity watering things that screw onto mason jars. I have had them be nearly empty and freeze and break the jar. Here in TN we really do not see many hard freezes. Our lowest temp so far has been 22F. We are having a colder than normal year. I am hoping that feeding a thick syrup will not stimulate brood rearing. By mid Feb. the maples will start blooming. I am looking at about 4 weeks of freezing weather in which it will be hard to freeze.

    Could corn syrup be used instead of honey since it does not solidify?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Post

    I think corn syrup will work fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Just to demonstrate how different beekeeping can be in different locations - I live in Mobile, AL. I checked a few hives this weekend and saw a lot of flight activity (temps in mid 50's), with quite a bit of pollen coming in. I am not sure where the pollen comes from this time of year, but I do know camellias have been blooming as well as a small yellow flowered weed that grows on the roadsides, etc. Don't know what it is called. I have brood on 2-3 frames in most colonies, and as far as I have been able to tell since I started keeping bees (about 6 years), the bees here never have a broodless period in the winter.

    Maples begin blooming here at the end of January so I am only 4 weeks away from the beginning of another season.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    This is kind of like the envelope feeder that Clay (I think it was Clay) was talking about. He puts crystalized honey in a file folder envelope and cuts some slits in it and puts in in the middle of the cluster.

    reply:
    http://wave.prohosting.com/clay2720/...m/envelope.txt

    See the above link. Just because I use honey doesn't mean that you can't use fondant to feed the bees. Even granulated sugar if really desperate. But I think that it is more important not to stimulate broodrearing. As that brood hatches out you have to feed more and more.....actually using up more stores.....

    I suppose mixing honey with sugar to make a patty would work, but I've never tried it.

    reply:

    I'd go for the fondant. Many bakeries can sell it to you if you want to not make it yourself.

    He puts crystalized honey in a file folder envelope and cuts some slits in it and puts in in the middle of the cluster.

    reply:

    Not in the middle of the cluster! Never split a cluster! It goes on either side of a cluster and replaces the comb that makes contact with the bees. This means you will have to shake a few bees off probably. You can put a packet on both sides if you want. Also one can go over the inner cover and poke a hole so bees can come up through the hole in inner cover. You can set the lid right on it or place a shallow or medium box over it too. The method works real good especially when you don't want to stimulate and raise brood too early. Up here in NY we have almost 4 months of winter to go the last thing I'd want to do is stimulate a light colony. Just because a colony is light doesn't make it weak. I don't know your climate down there but if you have awhile to go before natural pollen and nectar come in you may want to slow that brooding down.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Post

    Clayton,
    Thanks for the link. Sorry if I misquoted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,579

    Post

    >>still have about 5 medium frames full of honey and a couple of pollen.

    Relax and leave them alone, sound like they have what they need for now. I would wait til you get closer to spring, and then feed them to get them going strong. Spring here doesn't start till April, how close are you till first pollen and bloom? What I do for emergency feeding is simply place a full frame of honey over the inner cover hole of the hive (under the insulation in my case). When they clean that side out, flip it. Gets them a bit closer to the first spring nectar. Don't do it very often, it still surprises me everytime when I flip the frame to find they have cleaned the one side corner to corner. Theymust be taking the food down below on warmer days. Usually have a few granulated frames laying around. Saves alot of time rather of having to make sugar patties.

    Ian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    Last winter, on the warmer days, I put out sugar water on the community feeding table. The did fine here in Kansas...

    Today Its going to be in the fifties and I'm warming the syrup getting it ready to put outside. It's fourty at the present time and there are some girls right now coming up to the community table.. I decided that if they lived through feedings last winter they'll do fine this winter.

    Do as you will.... Whatever works.

    ;^)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Thanks guys. If I had honey I would use it. The maple bloom is about 6 weeks away. We have several light frost until the end of March. The love living in the south.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >If I had honey I would use it.

    One of his questions about feeding honey did not get answered and I am curious about it as well. If you buy processed honey that has been heated, (pasturized?), isn't it safe to feed?


    > The maple bloom is about 6 weeks away.

    Our maple bloom here is in mid-Febuary.


    > We have several light frost until the end of March. The love living in the south.

    Our light frosts stop by the end of March, usually. Hey, I must live in the South!



    ------------------
    Bullseye Bill
    Smack dab in the middle of the country.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Post

    >One of his questions about feeding honey did not get answered and I am curious about it as well. If you buy processed honey that has been heated, (pasturized?), isn't it safe to feed?

    No. It would take several hundred degress to kill AFB spores. Pasturized honey is not even heated to the boiling point of water (212 F) let alone hot enough to kill AFB.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Yes. Never feed honey you don't know the source of. Feed your own or probably you shouldn't feed it. IT is obvious you shouldn't feed any honey from a colony that has AFB, I would personally not feed honey from a colony with any type of foul. Be diligent in your brood inspections. Like any livestock good husbandry is important.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    I was back out at the farm today. A friend of the family raises Sugar Gliders. He was wanting Apple and pear tree limbs that had not been treated with pesticides for them to use as chew sticks. After I found out how much he pays for them until he met us I am thinking of growing apples just for the limbs. Back to my points, the bees were working the sap from our cuts. About 20 minutes before the rain hit they disappeared into the hives. It amazes me how the bees can tell the rain is coming for one, and how fast they can find a source of sugars. We had been trimming about 10 minutes before I noticed the first few bees. My hives are about 20 feet away and are down wind of the hives. After about 30 minutes the air was full of bees around this small tree. I am thinking about cutting the pear trees down a little at a time so the bees can feed on them during these warm days. We are cutting the pears(flowering) down completely that I speak of so bleeding them to death is not a problem. I am planting several crab apples in there place come spring. The crabs I am planting are the seed stock that is used for root stock on grafted apples. It never hurts to have more flowering plants near ones hives. The bees will help to get more seed set which is the purpose of the trees. I am also planting several pears for seeds stock(not your typicle fruiting). I am looking for french p u s s y willow. We grew them many years ago so I know how cheap I should be able to get them. The problem is find someone that will sell me just 100 liners. Most nurserys have a 1000 minium on them. They sell for 12 cents each by the 1000. I have to say I enjoyed watching them work today.

    JC

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Post

    What's a "sugar glider"?

    Also an original question was when to go to 1:1 syrup for stimulation. I think this is again, a very climate specific thing plus it has to do with the available stores in the hive. Once you stimulate them to go into full brood rearing they quickly burn through stores, so you don't want to do this on a hive that is borderline on making it to spring. You don't want to do this before the pollen on the trees becomes available because you want them to be able to replentish their pollen supplies on warm days. You can not stimulate at all, I often don't, but you won't get as big a crop of bees. Too early and you end up with lots of bees eating lots of honey and no flow yet. Too late and you end up with a big honey flow and not that many bees. Timing it for your area is the art of it. It takes practice and luck. The weather often doesn't cooperate.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Sugar Gliders are Austrailian flying squirels(they are actually a marsupial(sp)). They need chew sticks to keep their teeth from getting to long.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Post

    Wow! People keep them for pets?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    Yep furry little pocket pets. Everyone that I know that has one carry them in their shirt pocket. Fully grown they weigh about 5oz.

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