Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Last time I took a good look they had at least nectar and lots of fresh pollen, but I guess once all that capped brood emerged being able to forage 1/2 the time (if that) isn't enough.

    A speaker at out club meeting this month said that more bees will starve in the next month than did over the winter. I don't know about that, but my hives were dry as a bone when I looked this weekend.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Sounds like a good time for that high capacity top feeder. I got lucky and had frames of capped sugar water, hmmm honey, that I gave them.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    I don't have any of those. I put gallon baggies of feed on the top bars and cut a 2-3 inch slit. If you try this don't fill them too full or make a huge cut - they will probably completely empty them by tomorrow without drowning a bee.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Sounds like a plan. Got one hive that was light on honey but now has stopped taken feed. Got some nectar out there now. Really looking forward a good year. I'm loving it. Good luck to you as well.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    I don't have any of those. I put gallon baggies of feed on the top bars and cut a 2-3 inch slit. If you try this don't fill them too full or make a huge cut - they will probably completely empty them by tomorrow without drowning a bee.
    How do you keep from crushing bees under the bag and avoid excess comb built in the empty space around the baggie?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    I smoke them a little to get them out of the way and don't leave it on for too long. It's pretty fast - they can take 1/2 gallon a day like that if they want it. When they stop taking it all in a day I'll feed with quart jars through the inner cover. I really prefer that, because you can top up the feed without really dealing with the bees - and it's easy to keep track of how much they are taking.

    But, if you left it like that and the weather turned nice and they started storing nectar you're right - it wouldn't be long before they started building comb in there. Once they start that you can probably stop feeding. Or at least slow down.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lexington, SC, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Have never needed smoke to feed, even in a dearth, though our bees may be calmer than David's. And we've never crushed or drowned a bee with the baggie method. We set the bottom end of the bag down on the bars slowly while holding the zipped end up. Then very gradually lay it down. The bees move out of the way if it's done slowly. After it's down, we pinch the air filled section of the bag and cut many small, 1/2" or less slits on the top of the bag. As long as the hive is level, there isn't leaking or dripping.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    [QUOTE=David LaFerney;645417]

    "A speaker at out club meeting this month said that more bees will starve in the next month than did over the winter. I don't know about that,.."

    I don't know about that either but this long period of cool rainy/snowy weather has me worried. Temperatures have been 35 to 50 deg.F. since last Friday and won't warm up much above 50 until this weekend,..maybe. My bees seem to have plenty of stores but I think a lot of that is more in the outside frames now; some above the cluster. At least more young bees have been emerging since late winter and the number of bees is larger to keep the new brood warm.
    In previous April springs we have had a few days of cool rainy weather, but not such a long stretch and not so cold.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Last year (my first with overwintered hives) we had a long stretch of nice weather at the beginning of April, and my bees actually had some full frames of capped honey at this point. Typically I thought that since that is how it had always been, that's how it would always be.

    That same speaker was teaching about honey production - at age 75 or thereabouts he averages over double our state average for his 70 hives plus packages from the same hives) and one of his main points was that you wouldn't expect any other live stock to be productive if they were malnutritioned. Bees are no different.

    Rain every day in the seven day here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,734

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    I saw exactly what you are describing about 3 weeks ago. I experimented with early feeding on three colonies in early Feb. just before the maples came on strong. The experiment worked as expected, these colonies took off. I backed off on the feeding after the maples came in. After the maple flow, I saw that these three colonies (with huge populations) were nearly starving. Had to feed again just to keep them alive. One of our oldtime beekeepers said about early springtime feeding: "if you start feeding you better keep feeding".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    I had been feeding, but only just a quart of 1:1 per week, and small pollen substitute patties. The hives started building nicely, now the Mesquite and Creosote Bush are pumping out the nectar and pollen - the bees ignore sugar syrup and only take the pollen substitute very slowly, if at all. Even combs of honey that are left out are almost completely ignored. Starving time for my bees usually comes after Summer, during Autumn and Winter - if it rains well, there will be nectar and pollen available, if it stays dry (which it does more often than not), they will use up their stores and I will need to feed them to keep them going. I look forward to those times when it rains well.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Moulton, Alabama USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    I attended a 4 hour beginning beekeeper class last week and the instructor was asked this question: How long should I feed sugar water?" He answered; " As long as they'll take it. They'll stop taking the sugar water when they no longer need it."

    Sounds like I'd better get to work making some more sugar water.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamabww View Post
    I attended a 4 hour beginning beekeeper class last week and the instructor was asked this question: How long should I feed sugar water?" He answered; " As long as they'll take it. They'll stop taking the sugar water when they no longer need it."
    Sounds like I'd better get to work making some more sugar water.
    I agree, sound advise without getting into all the details. Is a very safe answer as well.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    I disagree - the consumption from my feeders varies widely between nuc/splits/packages and over-wintered hives (at the beginning of the season). Then they all go thru a period of non-consumption. As we go into the dearth later in the year - they all seem to want it. I've had hives packed with stores taking it and others, less endowded, ignore it.

    I'm not yet at the point where the quality matters, just the quantity to make them thru the winter - next year, maybe - yes, next year - if you're a feeder, of course. I keep feeders on my hives except in the winter and when they are not taking it - with 4-6-8 weeks or so before I try again.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Moulton, Alabama USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    David,

    I want to publicly thank you for sharing the info about your bees starving. I've only been in this for a month this week and I followed some bad advice.. The guy I bought all my hives, bees and equipment from said there was no need to feed bees in our area after February. Being ignorant, I took his advice. If it had not been for your thread, my bees probably would have starved to death. Since April 19th, my one colony of bees have consumed a gallon of sugar syrup and will need more tomorrow.

    Thanks for sharing that info through this forum, you probably saved my first hive of bees.

    And the "no feed after February logic" probably explains why my friend lost two out of three colonies this past winter.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    I'm glad it was helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    take a jar fill with 1:, poke 3 holes on top of lid,turn upside down place in hive on spacers so bees can get underneath place extra deep on top fill voids with news paper so they wont build the comb everywhere.keeps jar from falling as well....

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: My poor bees were starving - are yours?

    Why all that newspaper??? Too much work for me!!

    http://kelleybees.com/Files/Organiza...ucts/21825.jpg

    Use one of them, they are easy to build and use the newsaper in your smoker!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads