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Thread: Feeding swarms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Wichita Kansas

    Default Feeding swarms

    I have made it a practice in the past to always feed a swarm for a couple of weeks till they get established and start making comb. This year has been a heavy swarm season and I've not only run out of feeders, but the sugar costs are starting to get out of hand. In your experience does not feeding tend to cause a loss of the swarm, absconding, poor performance or anything else like that. Maybe I really never had to feed and I just did it thinking it would help. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA

    Default Re: Feeding swarms

    I hived a swarm earlier this season in a deep with just foundation. No drawn comb, no brood, no honey, AND the swarm had a virgin queen. I did not feed them one ounce of sugar water. Its been about three weeks and that swarm colony is twice as far along as any of my packages (that have had syrup on them continually), and the queen is laying beautifully. I don't know what it is about swarms, but they build up so fast. So to answer your question: No, I don't think it's absolutely necessary to feed a swarm. (Not that it wouldn't help, though)
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Stilwell, KS

    Default Re: Feeding swarms

    I fed my most recent swarm (caught late last week) heavily for the first two days that I had them (about 1.5 gallons over 48 hours). I figure they are smart enought not to swarm unless there is a flow going on, so I feed mainly as insurance to (hopefully) keep them in the hive.


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