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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Harford County, Maryland
    Posts
    2

    Post

    I'm a new beekeeper. We got a swarm from a friend, and it seems to be doing as well as we can expect, with lots of comb drawing, lots of capped brood, etc. When we got the swarm in mid-May, we put on a Boardman entrance feeder (1 quart) filled with 1:1 syrup. I see the bees leaving and returning continuously to some destination off in the distance, so they must be finding food. But I'll be darned if I can tell what that is. I walk 1.3 miles to work along a country lane, so I see all the wildflowers as they come and go: thistle, clover (white and purple), wild roses, wild honeysuckle, viburnum, dandelion, and on and on. I've only once seen one bee on one bull thistle. Back on our property, we have clover, privet, sage, peas, roses, etc. etc. For a few days, the bees found their way to the sage, but now they're gone (though the bumblebees are all over it). They ignore everything blooming in the yard, while the bumblebees are going to town on everything. One thing's certain: They've been guzzling the sugar syrup like Buds (get the neat pun?) at happy hour. Could they be shunning other sources for the syrup because of its easy availability? Are there invisible sources now such as trees? Is it just that the area within a two mile radius is huge, and they're only one hive--and I just haven't chanced upon where they're going? What are these ladies eating?
    Alan (Ibleave)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    165

    Post

    Hi,

    After I hived my package they were also sucking down the sugar syrup but there was a lot of foraging activity as well. When I watched the foragers carefully, it was clear that they were mostly foraging for pollen. After a while they stopped taking the syrup, and the percentage of bees with pollen dropped. It might have to do with their need to build up good pollen stores for the brood as well as the availability of nectar. I don't know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    They are probably foraging for pollen and water and propolis. They have the motherlode of nectar... [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Harford County, Maryland
    Posts
    2

    Post

    Folks,

    Thanks for the quick, logical thinking. They've got a lot of offspring to feed, and they'd better get cracking with the pollen (since the syrup is available in place of nectar). When all those young'uns hatch, and are available to forage for the next batch, then maybe the foraging will become more balanced. Assuming the year doesn't run out on us.

    Thanks again.
    Alan (Ibleave)

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