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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    I visited a bee-haver friend the other day, who has top bar hives with windows in the sides. There was a dearth this year, and he failed to feed enough. Looking in through the glass, I could see small clusters in his two hives and both had virtually no capped stores that I could see, and what they are feeding on is likely uncapped 2-to-1 syrup.

    Is there anything he can do to save them from starvation?

    It's winter now and cold to open a hive...

    Thoughts?

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    I don't know how cold it is there but take a look at the candy "bar" pics I posted on the "This poor hive" thread in the Top Bar Hive forum. Maybe if you can get it in the hive something like that would work. Could be made and ready to slip in if you get a warm enough day.
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 12-18-2012 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Added Link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Boundary Creek NB Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    You could wait for a worm day and place a peice of wax paper on the top bars and put dry sugar on it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,513

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Since they will die without food, I would take a couple top bars and contrive the candy bars described above, Put the (warm!)candy bar in the middle of the cluster on a non windy day or a windy day if you have to. Or let them die, that is the choice. Since top bars are the top of the hive by nature, I think Mountain camp would be too much trouble to contrive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Plymouth Ma USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Put sugar candy on the top of the brood nest

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Candy boards that are the same shape as a comb seem like the best option. If you have a follower board for this hive, you could use it as a pattern for the candy. I would suggest moving it up to the cluster, but not into it, you don't want to split it and chance that they will freeze out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    If hive is moveable pick it up and put it in a garage for a spell or someplace around 5 deg above/dark and let them overwinter there. If you need to remove some top bars and dump a bunch of sugar at the back of the hive, if the top bars have space between them you could cut a hole in the cover and put a feeder on top. If temps are getting up to around 0 still then just open the hive for the time it takes to do the operation but if the clusters are small they will do better indoors. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by NY_BLUES View Post
    Candy boards that are the same shape as a comb seem like the best option. If you have a follower board for this hive, you could use it as a pattern for the candy. I would suggest moving it up to the cluster, but not into it, you don't want to split it and chance that they will freeze out.
    I had made a pattern of my follower for something else, so when I made my candy "bar" form I used it but made the form smaller by about 3/8" on the sides and bottom to give them beespace to get around it. The bar made from the form gave them maybe 8 lbs of candy. The hardware cloth pouch bar was a lot easier to make but gave them only maybe 3 lbs. If your friend doesn't know what size the follower is he can estimate the pouch from outside of the hive. Either way it gets the food in the hive where they need it to be.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    You could pull one empty frame, lay it on it's side and fill it with heavy sugar syrup then replace it. A little messy but it will get the food close to the bees. Mix in a little pollen sub if you have it. Get the filled frame right up against the cluster without splitting said cluster. MBO. Been working with, feeding a very small colony myself but, we still get pollen and nectar here. Days in the 80's. Still I feed sugar water with megabee. Seems to be working. I can still use an internal Boardman feeder. Keep us posted!
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    I visited a bee-haver friend the other day, who has top bar hives with windows in the sides. There was a dearth this year, and he failed to feed enough. Looking in through the glass, I could see small clusters in his two hives and both had virtually no capped stores that I could see, and what they are feeding on is likely uncapped 2-to-1 syrup.

    Is there anything he can do to save them from starvation?

    It's winter now and cold to open a hive...

    Thoughts?

    Adam
    I see you are Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada IMHO forget about ...and the beekeeper is a bee-haver to boot


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 134 View Post
    I see you are Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada IMHO forget about ...and the beekeeper is a bee-haver to boot


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    I think this shows how much of a BEEKEEPER Adam is, because he is concerned about someone else's bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Thanks everyone, for your ideas.

    I'll talk to him soon, and maybe look for a warmish day to try something. At the moment, we're getting pounded by a big rain/wind storm...

    Adam

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pickaway/Fairfield Cty, OH
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: What can you do with a hive that has no stores - during the cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    Is there anything he can do to save them from starvation? It's winter now and cold to open a hive.
    Adam
    If they're gonna starve otherwise, it's not too cold to open the hive. What's the worst that will happen? I would just have a plan and be real quick!

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