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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Johnson County, NE USA
    Posts
    52

    Default How much to feed

    My bees barely made it through this summer with the drought. They were getting incredibly aggressive and I was thinking of just trying to get them through winter and trying to figure out how to requeen when I finally worked up the courage to get into the hive. There's the brood nest, a lot of nice comb that would have made me giddy last spring but it is all hanging empty.

    How much syrup should I be feeding them? As much as they will take? A certain amount every day? I gave them a quart in a mason jar a little ways from the hive and they are in a frenzy. They drained it within an hour of finding it and there's still a swarm of bees even though there is just stickiness left.

    Should I place the feeder down in the hive to discourage other bees from coming in so close? They scare the bejeegers out of me, but maybe they won't be so aggressive once they have something in all that nice comb they made.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: How much to feed

    Are you saying that there is no brood? That's NOT good. Feed the willybonkers out of them and get them to raise brood somehow. I would definitely give them as many pollen patties as they will eat, one at a time. In their current state, they may take as much as a gallon a day. I have had hive do this same thing and be almost totally empty of anything, and the took 2-3 pollen substitute patties in the first week and a gallon of sugar syrup a day for 4-5 days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Johnson County, NE USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: How much to feed

    I think they have broodn, just no honey stores to speak of. Though maybe I should do a more thorough inspection. I was looking for honey stores, not brood. I kind of assumed there was brood in the brood nest, but I didn't go that far in. I just opened it, took the empty bars off and peaked in to see how they were coming along. There were bees all over the comb in the brood nest and then a lot of empty comb.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: How much to feed

    I was in pretty much the same situation with two hives here in central Indiana during the drought. I started off putting the sugar water in a bird bath with large stones in it that I placed near them both; they went nuts and emptied a gallon a day. I finally put my top feeders on the hives so that they don't have to leave the hive to get the sugar water, and they're still going to town making new comb and storing the sugar water. They will more than likely stop using it once, if ever, the clover returns or the goldenrod blooms, but meanwhile they're bringing in boatloads of pollen for the babies, and their populations are growing in both hives now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Johnson County, NE USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: How much to feed

    Good news for a change.

    I finally got into the other hive and it is almost full! In its first year and I'm having to take out bars! If I hadn't been feeding sugar syrup like crazy, I might even have been able to harvest some! (How do you tell the difference between honey and sugar syrup in the cells?)

    At any rate, I took a bar of capped brood and gave it to the weaker hive. The weaker hive has almost filled its comb with syrup, but still has quite a few bars to build comb on so I will likely take a bar of hone/syrup from the stronger hive at next inspection as well.

    I don't feel so much like I'm about to lose both hives before winter, now!

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