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Thread: winter feeding

  1. #1

    Post

    This is my first bee keeping winter here in Portland Oregon. Should I be feeding the bees some through the winter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    hi human, are your bees in top bar hives? big question in determing whether to feed is to see how much stores they have. If you have tbh then question is how to build a feeder for them.

    One of the things I like the best about top bar hives is the ease of feeding. You can make a nice feeder to fit the space and keep it full without ever disturbing the bees.

    [size="1"][ October 17, 2006, 08:58 AM: Message edited by: BerkeyDavid ][/size]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,453

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    How heavy is the hive?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4

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    Thank you David and Michael,
    My top bar hive is too heavy for me to lift.
    The aproximately 30 top bars all have comb on them.
    This spring, when just getting started, I had a feeder plugged into the entrance. Now there is a winter entrance restricter in place.
    I could easily make the restrictor opening just big enough for a feeder, still leaving room for bees to get in and out under it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    30 frames is much. You shoud restrict the hive to dimension which bees occupy. When you fill that room with capped frames then you look, do bees need more food. Frames should be full of food for winter and capped.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    If it's too heavy to lift I'd say you are fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7

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    Gentlemen, Thank you very much!
    John

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Washington County, NY
    Posts
    115

    Post

    Michael and David,
    are you suggesting to take out any empty comb and put in a follower board to reduce the volume of the hive?

    [size="1"][ October 19, 2006, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: space bee ][/size]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,453

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    >Michael and David,
    are you suggesting to take out any empty comb and put in a follower board to reduce the volume of the hive?

    I'm suggesting that you CAN. I have never done it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    space bee said "are you suggesting to take out any empty comb and put in a follower board to reduce the volume of the hive?"

    That is the way my TBH feeder works. It takes the place of a top bar. SO if I need to feed, or if I am starting a TBH from a package or split, I put the feeder in. It has beespace (i.e. at least 3/8" ) all around the sides and bottom, so it does serve to reduce the hive volume.
    I wouldn't remove drawn comb though. If they have drawn comb this time of year in a TBH it should be full of something. honey, nectar, brood or pollen.

    But if your TBH has empty top bars (i.e. no drawn comb) then you might want to consider adding a feeder, thereby somewhat reducing the volume, but more importantly giving them feed. If the hive is less that 3/4 full of drawn comb then I would defintily consider it very seriously.

    DOn't move the comb around this time of year. Leave the drawn comb where it is. Just remove an empty bar and drop in the feeder.

    If you have a different style feeder and your hive isn't full of drawn comb then like MB suggested, you CAN put in a follower board. I haven't ever done it either, but then my feeder sort of has the same effect.

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