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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    rockford,mi
    Posts
    32

    Default New TBH this year, all is good-winter food concerns

    Made a new hive this year here in lower Michigan, just N of Grand Rapids. Got our bees April 30. All was great. Drought here, and high temps, but we had a hot tub cover that had a dip in it and they found water there, all summer. Worked great. I have 2 acres of alfalfa and clover, so many blossoms, but the drought hammered it pretty good. We think we have about 30# of honey. 3 bottom entrances on the one end. 2 plugged. I did make 1 high hole on the far end for ventilation-that is open. We have about 15 bars of comb, and the remaining 12 or so are empty. Next year they'll likely fill that out. Our question is-will they make it thru the winter with that much honey? I've insulated it a lot in hopes of keeping them warm so they don't hammer the honey too much. It's 60 today, but normal temps are 30-45, 28 at night...last winter it was warm all thru Dec...Should I feed even tho it's cold? Pollen cakes? What's the best way to ensure they have enough food? Or is 30# enough?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: New TBH this year, all is good-winter food concerns

    I have no experience with tbh so I can't help with the details on feeding.
    I think you are about 20# light on feed for the winter and need to find out how best to feed in your area.
    Pollen cakes or substitutes are used for raising brood and would hurt your hive more at this time of the year than they will help. May cause the hive to use up more stores and could also cause dysentery if the bees don't have enough warm days for cleansing flights.
    Late winter, a few weeks before natural pollen is available, would be a better time to use a pollen substitute.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: New TBH this year, all is good-winter food concerns

    I am in my first winter so I understand the uncertainty. I read on here somewhere that you want a bar of stores for every bar of brood. If that is true I should have more than enough but just in case I am making up a candy board tonight to give them. You might want to make one up and add it in.

    My brother lives in west olive, sister was in freemont until this year. It is beautiful up there! Hope you get your bees through!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    rockford,mi
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: New TBH this year, all is good-winter food concerns

    I have heard 30-70# of honey. We have about 30#. What I'm hoping is for another mild winter and then we just hit the feeding early in spring. I've been scouring articles, sounds like feeding when it's < 50 is slow. I even noticed when we had 60's that they took only 1/2 of a mason jar in about 3 days, then it tailed off fast as it got colder. Hate the worrying but, it is what it is..I should have fed more late fall, and,it's on me-should have asked more questions about how much honey to have for winter...

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