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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    St Augustine, FL

    Default Feed or not to feed?

    Hi all,

    Once more here is a newbie with questions!
    So about 2 weeks ago I was worried about my hive slowing down comb building, and got some suggestions from you guys, a few being maybe try to feed 1:1 sugar water. I placed the feeder about 2 feet from the hive, and they did not touch it for about a week.
    Then all of a sudden, about a week or so ago, they started to use it a lot. Since last Friday, I have gone through a 5lb bag of sugar. They continue to be all over it.
    So my ? is, is this ok for me to continue to feed them, or should I stop and let them forage on their own? If there is nectar flow, will they not use the feeder? And will they possibly make them become honey bound if I continue to feed them?

    One more ?, Last weekend I looked in the window and it appeared that the last comb they were forming was starting to curve off the bar a bit. So I opened up the hive to inspect closer, and about 4 inches or so toward one end was completely off the guide on the bar. I am not sure if I should have done this, but decided to cut off what was not on the bar. I also went ahead and put spacers in, hoping this would help them to get back on track. What should I do if they continue to build slightly off the bars?

    Any advice is great for me, I am petrified that I am going to fail my bees, and somehow destroy them with my lack of knowledge!
    I hear my little Honey Bee buzzing............

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA

    Default Re: Feed or not to feed?

    Force the bees to build straight combs by adding empty bars between straight combs that are already drawn. Just one bar between two straight combs. I've been able to slightly bend curved combs to get them going back straight. It would be even better to "straighten it" and put it between other straight combs. I've found that cutting combs can severely weaken them and cause a collapse. Whatever you do, don't let them follow a curved comb with another curved comb. You'll end up with a mess that can't be fixed.

    As Michael Bush says "straight combs lead to straight combs".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Totnes, Devon, England

    Default Re: Feed or not to feed?

    They probably failed to find your feeder because sugar syrup has no smell. Bad idea to feed outside anyway, unless you want to feed wasps as well - any anyone else's bees that happen to be passing! Much better to put a feeder inside the hive, IMO.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper

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