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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Well guys, I think I'll try and walk the narrow way of treatment free, since you have shown me it's possible. However, if things get ugly I might have to turn to natural treatment. Thank you so much for your advice! I will keep an update on my progress. I got my hive built and bees ordered. Now it's just a waiting game.

    I went to a natural food store and saw some organic bee pollen today. How would I go about feeding them pollen, just lay it on top of the frames? Or do I have to make patties out of them?
    Can I just feed them honey from the store just for give them a kick start? How? And how much would I need when installing a 3lbs bee package?

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,668

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    way to go thai!

    i've never used organic bee pollen, and i'm no expert on it, but someone who is cautioned about using honey or pollen from bees that you cannot know the source. the risk is spreading viruses and other pathogens that would be there from the source bees. 'organic' has nothing to do the microbiota in bee products. proceed with caution there.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    I see! What if we harvest pollen and honey from our bees, and feed it back to them in the spring to give them a boost?

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,668

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    there ya go......
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Quote Originally Posted by InTheBeginning View Post
    Melanie thank you! We were looking at Oldham County beeks meeting two nights ago. You are right its every second Friday @ 7:30. Where is the meeting held exactly?
    At the Oldham county extension office, just turn onto 393 at the high school, bout a mile up the road next to the Oldham county police station. Hope to see you there!

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    There is no need to feed pollen. If you feed it early enough in the spring that there is no pollen, you just throw them out of synch with their environment. If you feed it at the time when pollen is coming it, they will haul it out for trash. About the only time it is of any use is in a fall when there is an early hard freeze and some warm weather after, and even then I don't know how much help it is, but it might help have more young bees going into winter. Best to catch your own pollen for those purposes and keep it frozen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    The best stimulus in spring is a hive healthy and well apportioned with stores. A good hive will have several full frames of stored pollen waiting to start brood production in late winter. Better to select for bees who do what you want naturally and in line with their climate than to try to create the same effect artificially.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,668

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    very well said michael and sol.

    i have gotten away from feeding anything at all, except to prevent starvation, and i prevent starvation by not taking any more from the bees than i should.

    when i have to feed, i try to do so by sharing stores from the colonies that have the most.

    if the colonies that need help had the same opportunity as their cohorts to store resources and did not for some reason, my approach is to blame the genetics, and these colonies will either be requeened or busted up for mating nucs for the next generation of new queens.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Okay so let me get this strait. This will be how I install my package on 4-20-2013, when everything is in place.

    1. Divide my 10 frames body into two compartments giving them 5 frames of space.(I heard to give them a smaller space to work with at first!)

    2. Remove queen(remove cork too) from package and hang between frame 2 and 3.

    3. Remove the feed can and dump in the bees, making sure half land on queen cage.

    4. Feed sugar syrup, NOT Pollen or pollen substitute!

    5. Come back in a couple of days to make sure the queen is release and remove the queen cage.


    One question! When do I stop feeding them sugar syrup? How will I know?

    Thank you everyone!

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Quote Originally Posted by InTheBeginning View Post
    2. Remove queen(remove cork too) from package and hang between frame 2 and 3.
    It depends on the type and configuration of queen cage you receive. Suffice it to say you need to expose the candy so the bees can begin eating it from the outside of the cage. Do not remove any cork without candy behind it. Many cages have two holes.

    Quote Originally Posted by InTheBeginning View Post
    3. Remove the feed can and dump in the bees, making sure half land on queen cage.
    That is one way to do it. You can also remove the screen from one side and achieve the same goal with less violence.

    There is no rush to remove the empty queen cage. I tend to like to release manually after a week and don't bother much with candy. There are many correct ways.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Quote Originally Posted by InTheBeginning View Post
    One question! When do I stop feeding them sugar syrup? How will I know?
    When you've got a full hive with completely drawn frames (typically, 2 deeps or 3 mediums). If you have a nice, strong nectar flow hitting this spring (ask your fellow beekeepers at Oldham County beekeepers :-) ), you can stop feeding syrup and they'll take it from there. Nectar is much better for them than simple syrup. If you see their progress falter on or stop drawing comb, start feeding again until you have a strong, full hive that's completely drawn and have adequate stores during the summer dearth and heading into fall.

    On my first year I fed my one nuc straight through from May all the way to fall (thin and then heavy syrup beginning in October) because I wanted to split in August (success) and get two hives jamming and up to full strength in time for the winter. It took a lot of sugar (and trips to Costco) though. My wallet got tired of that. Now I'll feed only if nectar isn't flowing and they're out of food. But I plan on leaving them plenty of honey throughout the year so I don't have to feed or worry.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Tom, did you harvest honey that first year? Can one start out with a package of bees, build it up for the first honey flow, harvest it, start a nuc, finally build the hive and nuc back up to overwinter in the same year?

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Quote Originally Posted by InTheBeginning View Post
    Tom, did you harvest honey that first year? Can one start out with a package of bees, build it up for the first honey flow, harvest it, start a nuc, finally build the hive and nuc back up to overwinter in the same year?
    Nope. You won't get honey your first year, unless you buy a full hive (or a miracle happens). They're too busy building the hive and growing to harvest honey, since you'll be getting your packages in the spring. Focus on building your hive(s), splitting, getting them ready for winter, learning, and in the meantime just enjoy the bees. Hang out by the hives, take photos, inspect, all that good stuff. Honey is for year 2 and beyond. I was so busy learning and building equipment that first season that I think a honey harvest would've been a blowout for me. It took some of my mentors longer to get their first honey, because we all make mistakes. But with hard work, planning and a bit of luck, you'll be harvesting next spring and beyond. Just enjoy this first year of bees. It's unique and wonderful in itself, and loads of fun, even without harvesting.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,668

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    i'll let tom answer for himself thai, but i would say probably not unless you are willing to do a lot of feeding.

    since you are leaning toward a 'natural' approach, you may want to research the drawbacks to artificially feeding bees.

    i think mike bush does the best job of this on his website and in his book(s). mainly, feeding syrup compromises the bees' health and reduces their natural resistance to certain pathogens. it makes sense if you think about it. honey has so many other beneficial ingredients compared to sugar water.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    Ok, new question! How long does it take for the bees to eat out the candy to release the queen? By the time they release her will the gals have drawn out some combs?

    I am thinking, since the queen can't go to work laying eggs until the bees draw out the combs, should we delay the release of the queen to help with absconding. Let the worker bees draw out a 1/2 frame first and then let the queen out and let her go to work. If we let Queenie out and she has nothing to work with, wouldn't that just add one more reason for them to abscond. But if they have worked out some combs already....maybe they are more likely to stay?

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,668

    Default Re: What must I do or not do?

    i'm not sure about that since i have never hived a package, but maybe you could get one frame of drawn comb from another beekeeper to help 'anchor' them and lesson the risk of absconding.

    i have had good success with giving captured swarms a frame of brood in order to anchor them to the empty hive.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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