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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    sewell, nj
    Posts
    530

    Default how can i tell if its time to feed?

    i have 11 hives and live on a vegetable farm. i hate to feed if i don't have to. how can i tell if it time? and if i chose not to feed and wait till the next bloom what will happen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,319

    Default Re: how can i tell if its time to feed?

    First you need to know what the average beginning dates are for the wildflower nectar flows in your area or the bloom dates for the vegetables that will produce nectar. Once you know those dates you will know when the bees will be bringing in enough nectar to feed themselves.

    Before or after those dates you will have to inspect and see how much honey the bees have stored. If the bees have less than 3 deep frames of honey stored the queens will reduce or stop egg laying. You should feed until the bees have those 3 frame of food.

    In the Fall when getting ready to overwinter the colonies you will need to be inspect to see if they have the number of frames or pounds of food to make it through till the next spring. The pounds to overwinter will vary from area to area, also with the race of bee that you have. You can check with other beekeepers in your area to find out how much you need.

    If you chose to not feed and wait for the next bloom you run the danger of the colony starving. In the spring when the bees are building up and the queens are laying a lot of brood is a danger time for starvation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
    Posts
    705

    Default Re: how can i tell if its time to feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamant View Post
    i have 11 hives and live on a vegetable farm. i hate to feed if i don't have to. how can i tell if it time? and if i chose not to feed and wait till the next bloom what will happen?
    Are you running two deeps? ...We do this here and you can tell by lifting/tilting the two from one side a bit....if it feels like you can just barely do it and feels like a ton then your'e OK.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Valdosta GA USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: how can i tell if its time to feed?

    AR three frames full thanks for that info.Im still trying to draw some foundation so feeding,but when thats all drawn I dont wont to over feed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: how can i tell if its time to feed?

    By now you probably either have a fall flow or it isn't going to happen (I know it's not technically fall but that's the beekeeper's calender). I would find out what a proper target weight is for your locale and feed if they are below it and there is no flow. If there is a flow I would let them continue to work it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,284

    Default Re: how can i tell if its time to feed?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamant View Post
    i hate to feed if i don't have to. how can i tell if it time? and if i chose not to feed and wait till the next bloom what will happen?
    Normally one doesn't feed between flows, in NJ anyway. In parts of the country where bees will starve due to a derth period between spring flows and fall flows, feeding may be necassary. But not where you live.

    Where you live, there is enuf nectar coming in, just about all the time thru the season, to maintain the colony. There may not be enuf for a surplus to be made for the beekeeper, but the bees will do fine.

    Then, in the fall, around October 1st, one should heft, or if possible actually weigh, one's hives to see if they are of sufficient weight to survive winter w/out starving. If not, then you should feed.

    The only other time of year, in NJ, that you might wish to feed would be in the Spring to encourage brood rearing and comb production.

    Otherwise, DON'T.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    sewell, nj
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: how can i tell if its time to feed?

    some of them seem lite.. i think i should feed those. noticed one hive only had a dozen bees in it or so..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: how can i tell if its time to feed?

    Those bees were robbing what was left in the hive.

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