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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Randolph Co., NC
    Posts
    46

    Default HOW MUCH Honey do you take from your hive?

    I have so much to learn about Bees but when I read about all this feeding the bees or they will die boggles my tiny brain. If the bees put the pollen and nectar in their hive so they can survive the following winter, Why do some take so much out that the bees could die of starvation if you don't give them sugar.?? The main thing to me about the bees is to have the "Pollination". If I get some extra honey out of them I will be tickled. It is a fact that sugar is like poison, (not good) to humans but honey is good... Maybe it is better for them to have their honey or they wouldn't be making it. Ever think that this change in their diet could be why they are susceptible to these dieseases? Their proper healthy diet is left with junk food.

    This is a fact - Everything man sticks his nose into gets worse not better. It is greed. Just take a look around. These are just my thoughts and am not pointing the finger at any one person.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    eastern Hanover, Virginia
    Posts
    361

    Default

    personally, it sounds like you are well on your way to trully enjoying beekeeping.

    sugar is cheaper than honey and people like to make a profit. In my limited experience, i think some years the bees would be best left with almost all of the honey they make. other years you could get more than 100lbs off of a hive and still not have to feed. it's all about location and rainfall and timing of the rains.

    then again, you could make a good judgment call on how much honey to leave them and have a bad winter where they ate it all up faster than previous years. then you'll be glad to know feeding them can save the day.
    -M@

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    152

    Default

    honey is often worth more to some than the sugar or hfcs they will feed back for winter stores wether you leave them enough or rob most of it is really up to the beekeeper but both may have to feed as some hives will be weaker than others due to various reasons that never allowed them to build up enough for winter.
    dont really think feeding thats been done by beekeepers for so long would be making them more susceptible to diseases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default

    Whether or not sugar (we're talking simple sucrose-type white table sugar here) is good or bad for bees is a matter of opinion. But, without getting too far off topic, and to answer the question posed in your subject line...

    It's not so much how much honey you can TAKE from your hive, but how much honey you need to LEAVE. And there's no clear answer. There are a lot of factors at play. Some of them include: How harsh of a winter will you have? (Colder, typically, uses LESS honey! Warmer means more active bees.) How long will winter last? What type of honey did your bees make? (Different blooms have different nutritional values.) How many bees are you going into winter with? Etc...

    Personally, I prefer to leave TOO much honey on in the fall, rather than not enough. (Here in Michigan, I leave approximately 70 pounds and typically have some left over. Other beekeepers around me winter with less and do just fine.) And even if you leave ample stores AND, say, a candy board or dry sugar, you'll still have the hive that'll starve out, even though the hives next door have surplus. You just have to do the best you can with the information at hand, and leave the rest to nature.

    March is indeed a cruel month...

    DS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115

    Default

    I agree with BigDaddDS. Itís not how much you take itís how much you leave. I will extract honey for the last time in late August or early September depending on weather factors and precipitation. Which will determine what late season nectar and pollen will be available for winter build up. For my area I try and insure they will have at least 90 pounds of honey and plenty of pollen. I will only feed if weather conditions warrant my intervention.
    I have taken as much as 250 pounds of surplus honey from a single hive but I will always leave what they need, to be healthy and stocked for winter.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weston, ME
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Probably a hair brain thought but what prevents the beekeeper from just leaving a good amount (more than should ever be eaten) and then just collecting the left over in the spring after the bees have come out of the winter ok?

    I don't think sugar is the root of all evil, but I think it is used to much by us humans at least. It isn't that something bad is put into the sugar it just all the minerals, etc. have been removed.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    2,496

    Default

    Many points were hit here, but think of it in these terms. Honey is a survival food for the bees if you can feed pollen patties or heavy sugar syrup they will do well on it. They will convert 2:1 to honey if they go light in the fall. When harvesting honey you may expect the flow to continue, but it if dries up you want the bees to fill out their hive boxes. Towards the end of the flow we actually throw on hive boxes instead of supers on some hives for the bees to fill out. That way if a hive is light we just throw in a frame or two of honey to fill it out. And we feed up until it is too cold. In the spring feeding a 1:1 solution will stimulate the brood laying before the actual flow starts, so the bees are building up to work the flow better once it starts. These are reasons for feeding. Remember, bees are like livestock or any animal. The more you feed them natural or by another way the stronger and better they will do, especially when getting ready and making it through winter.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.Ē John Wayne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
    Posts
    1,002

    Default

    Feeding the bees or they will die means if they happen to run out of honey. Beekeepers feeding bees is no different than farmers feeding other animals. I have heard they even mix chicken sh#! with some farm feeds. Both honey and sugar can create problems in humans if over consumed. Take care of your bees first and don't take too much honey from them, if you feel better to leave them a little more then do so. If you want pollenation then you could theave it all for them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Randolph Co., NC
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Ruben, I think you hit it right on the head. You mentioned how some feed waste, (chicken sh__ ), mixed in cattle/animal feed to expand the good food. Garbage to fill the animal up without giving them healthy nutritious food. Filling them full of hormones so they grow fast too. Making a 12 year old girl look like she is 17 for eatting these products. They say, "You are what you eat", so tell me is it going to make you healthy eatting chicken sh__ or could that be why so many folks are ill? Man is aultering everything we consume and soon you will be buying cloned chickens and such at the grocery store to feed your family. Wonder what that will do to us? (Of course they will tell you it is fine but it is NOT) Not normal or natural and neither can sugar be for the bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    1,700

    Default

    okay Blossom, quit yelling, turn them bold off.
    Next Reuben and Blossom, do some research on the chicken crap....banned from Ruminent feed in Canada several years ago and soon on the way to the US. They are a little slow. Yes it was wrong, yes we shot ourseles in the foot in the name to save money. But there are some great producers out there for meat and food...I happen to be one of them.
    Next, in Canada,feeding honey in the winter can kill a hive, especially if the honey is Canola. It is like poison to them. Something to do with the harsh winters and the way it crystlizes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    1,700

    Default

    I smell something a foul

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Randolph Co., NC
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    46

    Default

    Cool down...I don't mean every farmer does this but the gov. has permitted it. And I don't know that much about bees but I would rather my bees eat what is best for them and hopefully I can get a taste of their honey too. If we are going to continue to eat fruits and vegs. we need the bees to pollinate the plants and that is why I am getting some bees in April 2009. And if they need some help I will do everything I can to help them even give them some sugar if they need. I just can't see taking their food that is made for them and substituding it with sugar. Sure it may keep them alive but I was saying they may not do as well as they could if they had their own food.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    Default

    Sorry that i was touchy.
    Each of us live in different areas and different climates. this is why sometimes things are just different

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
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    Default

    Hey HoneyShack I really don't care if they are feeding farm animals chicken crap, I ain't eating it. If studies show it is good for farm animals great, if it shows it is bad they can stop using it. As for do animals like to eat crap? I would have to say they love it, I see them do it all the time. Cat will walk by litter box and drop a load off and the dumb dog will follow by and eat it up!

    As for me, I feed my bees sugar when I feel they need it, I feed my children sugar also, I even eat a good amount my self along with chicken, pork, beef, fish and sea kittens as one group is now trying to label them. So if bees eats it as far as I am concerned it is working for me. Which all the above is why I won't be joining PETA any time soon!
    Last edited by Barry; 01-10-2009 at 10:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    blossom writes:
    Ruben, I think you hit it right on the head. You mentioned how some feed waste, (chicken sh__ ), mixed in cattle/animal feed to expand the good food. Garbage to fill the animal up without giving them healthy nutritious food.

    tecumseh:
    well quite evidently you do not have the sensibilities or the stomach of a ruminant. If you did then perhaps chicken s--- would appear more appealing. I have a little dog here who quite loves to roll and frolic in very dead animals... not for my taste but it does seem to please her greatly.

    the real fly in the oitment here is that the number of variable to consider in the decision as to EXACTLY how much honey to remove from any hive on any year is quite exhaustive. not only is the variable list long some variable's value only become evident long after the honey is harvested. it would be good to quantify some OPTIMAL quantity of honey to remove and how much to leave... yet the unknowns and uncertainty are so large I suspect the answer is not as simple as some here migh suspect.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default by way of information only....

    Many organisms willingly and excitedly consume their own fecal matter (it is termed coprophagy and is most common among herbivores - like chickens). Plant material is exceedingly hard to digest - coprophagy is a means of 'recycling' that which has already been acquired and consumed in an attempt to extract more nutrients out of it. It is a natural activity for many animals.

    Gorillas consume their own feces (often as they are in the process of evacuating it!), so do rabbits, rodents and deer (just to name a few). Carnivores often consume the feces of herbivores. Horse poop is LOADED with accessible, undigested nutrients - that is why your dog LOVES it!

    This isn't to say that it is ok for food producers to utilize poop as primary feed. I merely intend to point out that, although something may be repugnant to us - that does not mean that it is inherently bad to ALL life.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115

    Default

    Since I donít plan on feeding my bees anything that has chicken manure in it or on it, the rest is just interesting conversation.
    As far as feeding my bees sugar syrup I have found that if a good nectar flow is on they will ignore the syrup I give them, so itís a waste of time and money to do so. After all they know what is most desirable for them. I do feed if we are in drought conditions late it the season but then they will suck it up as fast as I can get it on the hive. I will also feed for spring development or queen production, but once you start feeding for these reasons you need to keep doing so until natural food sources are available.
    I have come to the conclusion that feeding is not always necessary for good colony management. But many new beekeepers have been instructed if your bees are going to survive you need to feed, myself included in that thinking when I was newer to the hobby. The same concept was considered when it came to medication with antibioticís. Treat in spring and fall whether they needed it or not. I donít take antibioticís when Iím not sick so why should I give it to the bees if they are not sick?
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    1,700

    Default

    here is the deal about chicken crap and cows.
    Cows are herbiviors (sp). They eat plant matter. They do not eat their own fecal matter, the chickens love it. They do however enjoy a good slurp of the brown water in spring run off. Some of them would rather enjoy it over fresh that is just a few feet from them. Maybe it is laziness.

    As to the chicken crap. They do not eat it willingly. The chicken crap and feathers are ground to a pulp, mixed with molasis, (which by they way they love) minerals and grain. It is all ground together, dried to a specific moisture content and fed as a protien lick supplement block. If they new what they were eating and had any sense they would have turned the nose up and walked away.

    Bone meal is another matter. Nutritionist put it in as a way to increase the phosphorus cows truely need without thinking of the consequences. You might see a cow chewing on a stick or on an old bone fragment they found in a pasture, but the only reason for that is they are deficient in a mineral.

    In Canada it is illegal to feed animal by products to ruminents. They have even made it impossible for a feed house to produce pork feed and cow feed in the same building. The risk we all face is just to great.
    In the US a simillar ban is in the works.
    We, my husband and I, take great care in feeding our cows what they need properly. We do not implant hormones, we feel, grass ahead and behind is the way to go. We take great care in feeding our bees as well. Bees in our cold winter climate can not digest honey. It gets too thick and hard. They would starve. If our winters were shorter maybe it would work. But here in our enviroment, not a possiblity.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115

    Default

    Honeyshack:

    There are no feral honeybees in your area of Canada?

    I know your winters are much harsher and longer than mine, but they are able to consume honey within the cluster area no matter what the ambient temperature is. And 2:1 sugar syrup is still one part water which freezes as well. Since honey has many trace minerals that are required by honeybees, needed for optimum health and it is what they thrive on. Honey is better than sugar for people so I would assume itís better for honeybees.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Default

    I'm not sure if it's a rhetorical question or not. But I leave them enough for the winter or, if they don't have that much, all of it and feed them. Around here that's about a hundred pounds of honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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