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Thread: food ?

  1. #1
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    May 2003
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    Sandhills NC
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    We are still have rain almost every day (it's been raining here for months almost daily)and I went to check on my bees today--they are full of bees & brood (old and new) All seven hives are strong and a little testie but they have very little feed. I have 2 arces of sunflowers that have just started to bloom, approx 2 arces of peas just sarting to bloom, 1 arce of corn that's tasseling out and white clover that's blooming. This weekend we will be planting appox. 2 arces of buckwheat. My question is:
    Do I need to feed the bees? If so what mixture should I use? Thanks Debbie

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    This late in the year I feed honey, if I have it, or 2:1 syrup. (2 parts sugar to 1 part water). If you have a cheap source of it, high fructose corn syrup is nice too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Feeding now, will make the queen continue brood production. It sounds as if you need to keep feeding so the bee numbers are sufficient to start storing honey. I would also think about putting some pollen substitute on the top bars to help. This is a bad time of year to be heading into with little stores.
    If the queen shuts down as they sometimes do about this time, you will almost certainly lose hives this winter for lack of stores.
    Feed, feed,feed....

  4. #4
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    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    I would also assume that the weather pattern is going to stay the same as they are forcasting. If this holds true, then regardless of what your planting, honey stores will be no better than what its been so far this year. Do not wait for the bees or mother nature.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Hi,

    How much stores are in the hives? It has been raining here as much as you say also (NY). The flow has been very poor but the bees all have most of a deep worth of stores in the 3rd deep. That is rather one of the good points of food chamber or ULBN management that the bees get there cut first and the beekeeper second. But you have to work with where your at I realize. What is your winter setup? One, 2, 3, boxes?

    Clay

  6. #6
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    Oct 2001
    Location
    Norfolk, MA
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    How do you feed them honey? Do you dilute it with water and feed? I would be afraid of robbing by other hives in the neighborhood if I just set out a bowl in front of the hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Sandhills NC
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    My winter set up has been two deep supers but for some reason our oldest beekeeper and local inspector has said we should have two deeps and med.? Not sure for his reasoning except last year lot of the beekeepers lost hives for not enough feed and they are calling for a longer and harder winter in this area! The bees have the 1 super full of brood and honey, the second deep has only two or three frames full of honey and one has brood in a few! the med that we extracted honey from and replaced 3 weeks ago has nothing in them (all 7 hives). If this weather holds up, the bees are only able to venture out for a few hrs a day for days at the time! I will starting feeding asap!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Roswell, Ga USA
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    I have been feeding all my new hives all summer with 1:1.They have done wonderfully.They are drawing out comb and capping it. Have you ever planted buckwheat before?We have gotten incredible results in zone 7B.The honey is a tasty beautiful amber and when we combined the dried flowers we were yeilding 14 bushels of seeds per acre thats cleaned and sifted.Ours have reseeded themselves all summer.Its the perfect after the general nectar flow flower for the rest of the summer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    We planted buckwheat for them this year and I think it's going to work out well. The nectar flow has pretty much stopped due to drought, but the buckwheat is blooming again.

    I feed honey straight. I never dilute it. I use a variety of feeders that are all the same as I use for syrup. Millers, jar with holes over the inner cover, division board etc.

    Diluted honey will spoil. Straight honey will not.

  10. #10
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    May 2003
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    Sandhills NC
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    We have planted buckwheat for 3 yrs. now Just for the bees, turkey, quail and doves. It has done very well at 'filling' the supers quickly in the past. The bees also seem to love all the sunflowers but I think their favorites are the peas( purple hull, silver hull and Mississippi Crowders) that we plant!

  11. #11
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    Aug 2002
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    I see planting more as something to fill in the gaps in nectar. In the case of the drought this year the buckwheat has helped a lot.

  12. #12
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    May 2003
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    michigan
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    I have to confess that I starting feeding some bees about 10 days ago. I cant remember the last time that I fed...bet it has been close to 20 years. Its something I dont think much of but it looked like they were goners if I didnt. Im just assuming that there wont be a goldenrod flow. There is plenty of potential flowers but that is a LONG ways from an actual flow.

    This ranks as the worst summer I remember for the bees. They look darn poor.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sandhills NC
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    Cool

    My DH thinks the bees should get a job and support themselves! LOL The first year it was new hives and faoundation,It was the drought last year and this year it has been the rain! Go figure....

    Michael and all the others who need rain-I sure wish I could send you some. 4" yesterday and 4 and 1/2" this morning but the sun did shine for about 4 hrs today! Flooding all around and the 7 day forecast is for more rain every day!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
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    2,300

    Sad

    I started feeding my lightest yard(30 hives) a week ago.They are bone light and hungry(they each emptied a gallon feed jug in 3 days),but might get something from the rabbit brush getting ready to bloom.It is the last thing to bloom here and it will always frost sometime during the bloom.Most of the hives have filled their food chambers and there is some surplus to take but it sure wont go down as a good season like I had hopes for.The 2 day rainfall has turned to dust and its now cool and windy,not good honey weather.

  15. #15
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    May 2003
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    michigan
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    I usually figure that the last nucs made for the year can make it to 2 deeps before winter if they are real strong (5 frames) and the fall flow is good. The weaker ones or a poor fall flow will get them to a single but they will be fine.

    This year I didnt want to hurt the production colonies because the flow was so weak. So I made the nucs with only 2 frames and figured if I could get them to 5-10 frames I would just combine them for fall requeening. Well no flow the last 3 weeks of July didnt get them to anywhere close to 5 frames and the clock is ticking on fall so I scrounged out the feed pails.....I'm still shaking my head at this.


  16. #16
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    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Small cell bees here are packinging in hives well for stores maybe too much. But as for surplus not much to speak of this year. Too much rain, but aster / goldenrod may yet yeild as it is just getting started here.

    Clay

  17. #17
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    May 2003
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    michigan
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    Hey Clayton

    Isnt the goldenrod the famous flow for New York? I thought most of the commercial folks out that way moved to it for a crop. Did hear that there was a nice basswood crop in some parts of New York this year.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    NY is like a million micro climates. There are places with excellent goldenrod /aster flows. Where I'm at goldenrod hasn't done well in 8 yrs. But asters with there white honey yet quick granulation is real good. I'm in a good basswood area but was nothing to speak of but others may have had a good yeild. Only clover seems to have done much. Usually wild berries is good here , trefoil is good, sumac, fruit, bass wood, clover and vetches and all those types.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    I'm only speculating here but it may be due to the smaller size of the bees that the third deeps are filled with honey. Maybe the bees can exploit different flowers and plants that they were unable to utilize before on larger cell sizing. Allowing the bees to stay heavy enough to winter in a bad year. Maybe???

    Clay

  20. #20
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    Jul 2000
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    NE Calif.
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    california is like that too.A million micro-climates.That means that by moving the bees a lot you can usually hit a flow sometime during the season.Right now I have bees working star thistle,clover,alfalfa,peppermint fields,purple loosestrife and wildflowers,but not all in the same area.I am really hoping for some thistle.I havent checked those in a couple of weeks,but if they didnt pick any up,I will try to put them on some rabbitbrush somewhere .It has some nectar but tons of pollen.We have a few western goldenrods here and there but bees dont work it here.There are a few asters and I do see a few bees on them.The main focus from here on is getting young bees raised for next years almond pollination.

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