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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Libertytown, MD, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default 1st overwinter observations/help

    So, I've got two hives I started last spring with BeeWeaver packages. I requeened late fall with BeeWeaver queens (Don't ask again whoever you were. I was following George Imirie's advice.). One queen was accepted (hive 1), one wasn't (hive 2) and they produced a new queen. I've overwintered both in two deeps with candy boards. Hive 2 was a little weaker going into winter. The last week of January I put hive top feeders on with 1:1 syrup (George Imirie's advice also.), but I haven't removed the candy boards yet because I was a little concerned with the temp and taking the time to pull it off, clean things up, etc. We have had a few warmer than normal days when the bees are flying, sometimes bringing back pollen, doing their thing. What I have seen is that the bees have absolutely no interest in the syrup regardless of the temperature (neither have touched it at all, except that Hive 1 took a look see when I first put it on), but they continue to eat the candy(Hive 1 more so than Hive 2). Hive 1 seems more content to stay put inside than Hive 2. It hasn't been nice enough to really get into the hive and see what's going on. Educate me. What should I be asking/looking for? What would you deduce from their behavior? Is some of this behavior likely a result of what's on hand - hive 2 forages more for pollen because their stores are lacking? I'd think they'd both be packing it in if available, no? Will they build new comb eating candy? Will they not take the syrup until there is greater space for new comb (a super on top)? There were a few frames going into winter that could use some more work. Thanks for any pointers/answers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: 1st overwinter observations/help

    I would say it is probably too cold for hive top feeders. Other possibilities could be the colonies are weak, diseased, or they just may not need the feed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: 1st overwinter observations/help

    Bees cannot take cold syrup. The syrup has to make 50 F before they will take it and it takes quite a bit of weather warmer than that to bring it up to 50 F.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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