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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marquette, MI, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Spring management questions: feeding, reversing, candy board

    My first colony has made it through the winter (thus far). I put a candy board in early January as insurance.
    The temps are finally warm as our snow pack is melting away (upper peninsula of MI). I have not inspected hive other than looking in the top briefly and noticed that the cluster is in top hive body under candy board.

    Current status:
    > Day temps between 45 F and 65 F, night temps between 30 F and 45 F.
    > The candy board still has some candy on it.
    > The colony is in the top of 2 hive bodies (HB) (Deeps) with entrance reducer in.
    > the workers have been actively flying out through upper entrances on warm days.




    Questions for the experienced beekeepers:
    1) Can/should I start feeding with 1:1 sugar solution?
    2) Is there an issue with leaving candy board on and feeding with sugar solution?
    3A) Should I reverse hive bodies (HB) putting empty (now bottom) HB to top and put HB with colony on bottom?
    3B) Or should I consolidate and remove bottom HB and put feeder on top of HB with colony and add second deep as colony expands?


    Thanks,
    Shawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Spring management questions: feeding, reversing, candy board

    Way to early to be moving things around. If the candy board is nearly empty, I'd put another one on, it's not too late for them to starve to death up there, even this year.

    You cannot feed syrup until the temperature of the syrup will stay above 50 F most of the day. It wont' hurt to have it available, but the bees won't touch it until it warms up. The candy board is heated by the cluster, so it's warm enough (and dissolves in the condensation from the bees) for them to use all the time. Wont' be a problem to have both on at the same time.

    I'd not reverse boxes at all, the bees will start storing nectar in the top of the hive when it starts coming in, but that won't be till dandelions bloom up your way. We they start storing nectar and drawing white wax, add supers. The bees will populate both boxes as their numbers increase.

    I lived in Sault Ste. Marie, ONT for a few years, and I don't remember much in the way of Spring until May. This year is about 3 weeks early down here, and I know you didn't have a normal winter, but until there are things blooming and the bees are bringing in pollen, consider it winter.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: Spring management questions: feeding, reversing, candy board

    >1) Can/should I start feeding with 1:1 sugar solution?
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding...ulativefeeding

    >2) Is there an issue with leaving candy board on and feeding with sugar solution?
    Only that they may start building comb in any excess space.

    >3A) Should I reverse hive bodies (HB) putting empty (now bottom) HB to top and put HB with colony on bottom?
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#stopswitching

    >3B) Or should I consolidate and remove bottom HB and put feeder on top of HB with colony and add second deep as colony expands?

    Why not leave them alone until they fill up what they have?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marquette, MI, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Spring management questions: feeding, reversing, candy board

    Thanks Dudes.
    Advice is very useful and stimulates lots of thinking.
    Thanks Michael for very informative links.
    I am sure the bees know better than I. Kind of like parenting.

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