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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Jay, Maine
    Posts
    274

    Question New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    I am in SW New Hampshire on the Vermont Line. My girls are bring in lots of pollen. It's been very warm; My questions is, it's only March and I suppose we could get another cold snap. So, is feeding bad?

    Someone told me NOT to put my top feeders on until AT LEAST April to Mid April. They said with the food source and pollen, the queen will start to make brood and the first cold night or cold snap will kill the brood. Is this true?

    I have 2 Deeps and 1 Medium on then now. I put an excluder between the my top Deep and the Medium which still has a lot of honey in it. Can I / Should I Put a top feeder on?

    Thanks!

    Bob
    Maine Busy Bee Apiary & Family Farm
    Jay, Maine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    I would pull that excluder and let them use the stores they have.
    Last edited by Keth Comollo; 03-22-2012 at 02:02 PM.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Reidsville, NC
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    Feeding stimulates brood production early and you take the chance of freezing brood if done to early. You also chance having high amounts of bees earlier to work the fields. It is a chance you take when you feed early.

    That said if it was my hive and they still had honey, I would leave them alone let the bees do the work and you can reap the rewards.

    I second the take the excluder out notion; you can put the excluder back on when the flow starts (make sure the queen is not above it) and once the brood hatches they will fill it with honey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    I am holding off on more syrup untill they need it. I gave every one two gallons of syrup ten days ago but now we have a lot of pollen and some nectar coming in. The bees need the room to raise brood but temps are suposed to return to normal next week. If there is some brood mortality then so be it. I want as many bees as possible because the nectar flow will be early this year. On the other hand, if the weather gets cooler and the flow shuts off, I will return to feeding syrup.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,821

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    I open feed and most of the bees are flying over the sugar water on the way to the trees. Some frames are full of nectar. A neighboring beekeeper found a swarm cell today. He has drones flying. I don't in any of my yards yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    We have really early nectar being piled into hives here in Vermont from the red maple bloom. Amazing.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,855

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    The primary reason to feed is that the hive won't survive unless you do. In your case the hive has the resources needed to survive AND thrive. So no need to feed. And take off the excluder. It should have been off for the winter anyway.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    I'm not feeding. Stores are coming in so I'm not worried about food. They've been raising brood for a while now. IF you have a weak colony that is light on food, you could feed and give them a cushion. Treat them like a package if you're so inclined.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keene, NH, USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: New England - To Feed or Not To Feed?

    Not sure why you would want to feed if you have "a lot of honey" still present. I would remove the excluder and remember it is going to be in the 20s 3 of the next 5 nights. This past week is just a tease.

    John
    7 yrs, 7 hives, TF, small cell
    www.honeymeadowfarm.com, www.nhbees.wordpress.com

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