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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Feeding honey comb to bees in top bar hive

    Question: is it ok to feed crushed comb honey from my hives from last year - rather than sugar syrup - to the new bees I'm getting in May (packages)? I'm pretty new to this; I lost my first two colonies late last fall - I won't go into the tragic details. But both had been very strong and healthy; they had very low mite counts and no evidence of disease or infestation. I'm trying again this year, but with Top Bar Hives. I have several full frames of beautiful capped honey that I've saved and would like to feed to my new bees rather than sugar syrup. The frames, obviously, won't fit inside my top bar hives, so I thought I would scoop the honey and comb away from the wax foundation and crush it, put it on a plate or? at the far end of the hive, behind the follower board (which will have an access hole that I can open up to allow the bees to get to it from inside the hive body - idea from Phil Chandler for feeding in a top bar). Is there anything I should be thinking about here? Any glaring danger that I'm oblivious to? Will the fact that there's honey inside the hive, rather than sugar water, attract more robbers?
    Last edited by Chris LS; 04-04-2017 at 11:53 AM. Reason: I read the recommendations about posting questions :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,023

    Default Re: Feeding honey comb to bees in top bar hive

    by chance are these mediums? If so, they should fit in your topbar going the other direction as long as the hive isn't fully filled with comb. deeps will fit if you find a way to lay them across the wider part of the hive such as set them on top of a clay flower pot, etc behind a follower board with a hole. The bees should remove the honey from the lang frame and move it over to their new combs. All under the nice cover of the hive. I prefer not to scratch open the honey for a weak hive as the guards can't keep the robbers out. Strong hives have no trouble defending against the outsiders when it comes to open honey in the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Feeding honey comb to bees in top bar hive

    Thank you, Ruth. I think you're saying that I can prop it somehow in the hive before they've build out comb and taken up the space. I'll do that, I think I do have some mediums with capped honey that might work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,023

    Default Re: Feeding honey comb to bees in top bar hive

    yes, but don't prop the comb in their hive space. Make sure it is behind the follower board (which they should be able to wriggle past). If it's part of their "hive" they tend to "glue it down" and not move the honey out of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Feeding honey comb to bees in top bar hive

    If you are installing packages I would be a bit concerned that they may try to form there cluster on those frames before they have established their new brood combs. Might be best to wait a week or more so they can build some comb and start some brood before adding the frames for feeding.

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