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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    High Point, North Carolina
    Posts
    6

    Default Total newbee here with question

    I was planning to spend the coming winter studying this beekeeping business so I would have some knowlege before jumping in the spring but my plan was changed last month when I suddenly ended up with four established hives. No knowlege whatsoever and very busy with the garden. I've been reading as much as I can. When I got these hives the honey had already been taken and someone told me to add a meduim super and start feeding. Two of these hives have been taking in a gallon a day, and two of them about half a gallon a day. I'm doing one part syrup and two parts water. About a week after adding the supers I checked them and they were drawing comb real nice. Today I pulled out all ten frames of the mediums on both hives and all twenty frames are completely full of "syrup" I guess and almost half way capped. Is this good, bad? What should I do now. Both of these two hives are packed with bees. I know nothing about flows and that sort of stuff right yet but my thinking is that I should stop feeding. I've got clover, honeysuckles and blackberries everywhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    Relative newbee here but this is what I think.

    You probably should stop feeding. Its much better for them to store honey for the winter than syrup and its certainly better if you plan to harvest again this year. Even if you are wrong and their is no flow going on now they will be able to survive for some time on that much capped syrup, giving you time to figure out what to do.

    If the supers you have right now are completely full of syrup I would add another medium ASAP.

    A good way to tell if the bees are foraging is to watch them at the hive entrances and watch how many of them are bringing in pollen (little bundles of yellow or orange on their back legs) If many of the bees have pollen it is likely they are foraging well.

    When you do feed you should mix at least one part granulated white sugar (by weight) to one part water. What you are giving you bees now is mostly water which they then have to evaporate down into syrup, more work for the bee's and more water vapor in your hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    High Point, North Carolina
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    Thanks for the help, I was wondering about the syrup and water ratio also.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    stop feeding,and 2to1 in spring is fine,the bees bring in moisture during summer to cool the hive via evaporation anyhow,does the queen have empty frames to lay in,if not that can be another problem,and the bees will need another super to put nectar in ,what exactly are your established hives 1or 2 deeps or 2 mediums etc.???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    High Point, North Carolina
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    Those are exactly the questions I was going to ask next. When I got them they were only one deep. I gave them a few days to adjust to moving and then added a medium. The deep if full and so is the medium. I've got a new spare hive (deep) and spare mediums. What would you suggest I do next and in what order. Thanks so much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    personally in your case i would put the other deep between the deep and medium ,but thats just me.depends what u need to overwinter in ,i'd rather have my deeps on btm so i can use med for honey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    High Point, North Carolina
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    That's what I was thinking too. Should I also add another medium on top at the same time or hold off until the second deep is full?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    Standard setup is two deeps, the bottom one filled with mostly brood, the top filled with mostly honey and then as many mediums as they can fill with honey. You get to keep whats in the mediums for yourself.

    I agree that in your situation you should add a deep under your mediums and go from there. That should keep them busy until you can do some more reading.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    High Point, North Carolina
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    O.k. Had a good day. Added the two deeps to both my "stronger" hives. The two "weaker" hives lately have appeared to be somewhat "dwindled", so I wanted to go into the deep and see what might be going on because as of a week ago no activity was
    going on in the mediums that I gave them. I pulled frame number one and found everything that I needed to see. It was fairly
    heavy, had capped brood and uncapped brood and for the first time I saw the tiny little rice larvae standing up in the cell just like
    I've seen in pictures. There was more bees and more activity in the middle but I didn't want to disturb them after knowing the queen
    is alive and obviously well. The pattern looked good, she's not missing any cells. The bottoms of the deeps looked pretty clean, no sign
    of shb's. I looked at the bees real good with a magnifying glass and I can't see any sign of mites or any wing problems. Both of these
    mediums have drawn comb and some nectar storage in all ten frames but not as much as the stronger hives but both are now ready for the new deeps also. I feel alot better today. My "weaker" hives weren't so weak afterall. I know I have four productive queens even though I've not
    seen them yet. Everything looks good and healthy and I got to see just laid larvae and older larvae. I just hope I got to the "stronger" hives in time to keep them from swarming. Thanks for all the help. This forum is awesome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    Rule of thumb: When you add supers for honey storage quit feeding. Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on this!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    High Point, North Carolina
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    Thanks Nasal. I've done a tremendous amount of reading and youtubing the last few weeks to the point of feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have found that you can read all you want to but at some point you gotta just get in there and start getting some experience. My first inspection turned into a total nightmare. Today everything went perfect. Now I can relax a little. I was doubting my decision to jump into this but after today all the doubts are gone and I'm hooked. I have stopped feeding and will closely monitor to see how they do.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Total newbee here with question

    Something to remember about bees is that they aren't as stupid as most domisticated animals. They have a whole system of failsafes to fall back on so even if you dont do everything perfectly they will make do most of the time.

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