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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    10

    Default Feeding Packages

    I appreciate all the great advice I've gotten with questions as I am getting started as a newbie. Thanks so much.

    I am getting 2 packages next monday. The weather is forecast to be cold (low 40s during the day and low 30s at night). I am using foundationless frames in mediums (langstroth) and planning to feed sugar syrup (1:1) from pail feeders I made. How warm must it be for the bees to take the syrup? I can check on them daily if neccessary to make sure they are building comb straight and have enough syrup, but should I consider other ways and forms of feeding as they get started? Thanks very much,

    Hannah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keller, Tx
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Feeding Packages

    A couple things I see here that I want to bring to your attention.
    1. Do you have any foundation in those frames? If not the bees can build perpendicular to the frames and you cannot work on the hive because all the frames will be stuck together. You need at least a couple of frames comb to slip the foundationless frames between.
    2. The buckets outside of the hive may freeze. Try putting a second super on the hive without frames then put the bucket inside the hive. In this scenario I use quart mason jars upside down...but don't put it middle. When the hive gets going and it gets warmer you can put the bucket on.
    3. Don't open the hive if its below 50 degrees...

    Just some things I have learned in my 3 years!
    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Feeding Packages

    hannah,

    popsicle sticks glued into the slot on your frame top bar will act as a guide for going foundationless. you will still need to keep an eye on them every few days to make sure they dont go crazy on you! Even though our temps will be in the 40's the bees will be ok. It should be warm enough during the day that they will feed on te syrup. They may not go gangbusters on buidling comb until it warms up a bit more but theyll do it eventually!. Its not supposed to get down below freezing at all if not for that long of a period you wont have to worry about freezing syrup. Ill be installing 4 packages as will 10 other folks in our community apiary so we will all be in the same boat! Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Feeding Packages

    you don't want to tear a hive apart more than once a week. especially right after you hive a package (they could kill the queen as a result). also if you're trying to start a package 100% foundationless get ready for a non-stop headache. you should have prepared every other frame with foundation and then eventually just switched them out. make sure your pail feeders are enclosed in the hive with an empty hive body around them since it's still cold in your area. best of luck.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Feeding Packages

    last spring i installed packages on foundationless langstroth frames and a topbar. I used small starter strips of beeswax foundation (about 3/4 inch and about 6 inches long) and they drew out the 30 mediums without any problems. Nice and straight just make sure the hive is level. The brood nest was nice and orderly, the honey frames were a more mixed but still not to bad
    oh and keep the frames pushed together

  6. #6

    Default Re: Feeding Packages

    Re. feeding in the cold, here is an impractical solution for anyone with remote hives or more than a few, but this winter being my first, and wanting to spare myself losing any or all 3 hives (one of which was only 1.5 deeps), I put little bullet 7.5 watt submersible aquarium heaters in my division board feeders and ran a 100' extension. Since they can't feed below the 50's and it has a pre-set thermostat of 78F, this should give them an advantage and make the feeder act like a heat source instead of a sink. Didn't have moisture problems (styrofoam over inner cover, tarpaper outside) and they fed pretty actively till it was too cold to peek anymore.

    This is real olympic class baby-sitting, but I would rather have live hives come spring and be a wussy, than have one or more dead hives. Who knows if it was the deciding factor, but we had one brutal winter here. All 3 doing great at this point - Phew!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Feeding Packages

    Thanks !

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