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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Olmsted County, MN USA
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    71

    Default Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    I have read here and elsewhere that feeding 1:1 syrup in the spring will stimulate egg laying - that this simulates a nectar flow and prompts the reproductive instincts of the colony.

    I have many frames of brood comb, pollen and capped honey from my winter deadouts. I planned on putting these into my hives for the new packages I install. So the newly installed bees presumably won't need syrup for their own consumption...they'll eat from the capped honey.

    If in addition to the capped honey I also feed them 1:1 syrup (to stimulate egg laying), my concern is that they'll pack away the sryup into the brood comb and won't leave room for the queen to lay eggs.

    Is it necessary to feed a new package 1:1 syrup in the spring under these circumstances? Does the colony really need the "stimulus" of the syrup to start laying eggs?

    Thanks in advance for your insight.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,838

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    I would take a capping scratcher and lightly open some of that capped honey but I would still give them some 1:1. The bees will use an amazing amount of feed raising brood. A week later after the bees have organized a brood nest and cluster, I would discontinue the feeding but be watchful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    If I have frames of honey, I'll provide that instead of syrup. Just as any other colony, if they need to be fed, then I'll feed syrup.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,646

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    Absolutly feed them syrup for best growth. Honey is stored food and they will resort to it last. Yes it can be a problem with them storeing syrup instead of honey, thats why you need to be careful and not feed when supers are in place.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,277

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    i wouldn't give them syrup unless they got really low on honey. the other thing to consider about stimulating brooding earlier that the natural flow would is that you might increase the likelihood of them swarming. if you are planning to split them anyway before swarm season, then you might be alright to stimulate them early. keep in mind that they will need a protein source in addition to syrup to make brood.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    >Is it necessary to feed a new package 1:1 syrup in the spring under these circumstances? Does the colony really need the "stimulus" of the syrup to start laying eggs?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding...ulativefeeding

    Many of the greats of beekeeping have decided this is not productive:

    "The reader will by now have drawn the conclusion that stimulative feeding, apart from getting the foundations drawn out in the brood chamber, plays no part in our scheme of bee-keeping. This is in fact so." --Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, Brother Adam

    "Very many, at the present time, seem to think that brood rearing can be made to forge ahead much faster by feeding the bees a teacupful of thin sweet every day than by any other method; but from many experiments along this line during the past thirty years I can only think this a mistaken idea, based on theory rather than on a practical solution of the matter by taking a certain number of colonies in the same apiary, feeding half of them while the other half are left "rich" in stores, as above, but without feeding and then comparing "notes" regarding each half, thus determining which is the better to go into the honey harvest...results show that the "millions of honey at our house" plan followed by what is to come hereafter, will outstrip any of the heretofore known stimulating plans by far in the race for bees in time for the harvest." --A Year's work in an Out Apiary, G.M. Doolittle.

    "Probably the single most important step in management for achieving colony strength, and one most neglected by beekeepers, is to make sure the hives are heavy with stores in the fall, so that they emerge from overwintering already strong early in the spring" --The How-To-Do-It book of Beekeeping, Richard Taylor

    "The feeding of bees for stimulating brood-rearing in early spring is now looked upon by many as of doubtful value. Especially is this true in the Northern States, where weeks of warm weather are often followed by 'Freeze up.' The average beekeeper in the average locality will find it more satisfactory to feed liberally in the fall-- enough, at least so that there shall be sufficient stores until harvest. If the hives are well protected, and the bees well supplied with an abundance of sealed stores, natural brood rearing will proceed with sufficient rapidity, early in the spring without any artificial stimulus. The only time that spring feeding is advisable is where there is a dearth of nectar after the early spring flow and before the coming of the main harvest." --W.Z. Hutchinson, Advanced Bee Culture

    "While it is often advocated that stimulative feeding be resorted to early, in order to build the colonies up to a sufficient strength, the author inclines to the belief that colonies in two stories will build up just as rapidly if there is an abundance of sealed honey in the hive, as is possible with stimulative feeding. Sometimes it seems that uncapping a portion of the honey has a stimulating effect, but feeding in small quantities, for the purpose of stimulating the bees to greater activity, rarely seems necessary..."--Frank Pellett, Practical Queen Rearing
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Olmsted County, MN USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    Thanks all for your responses. If it matters, I'll remind here that I'm not talking about stimulative feeding in late winter/early spring for a colony that overwintered. I am hiving new packages and wondering whether I should feed syrup. In my part of the country (southern Minnesota) this will be mid-April. So I'm not too concerned about a late winter cold spell that could jeopardize the new brood.

    Thinking like a bee...putting capped honey into a newly hived package in the spring would seem to replicate the conditions under which honey bees evolved over the eons where they rely on their stores until natural nectar flow kicks in with the spring bloom. So I am inclined to not feed syrup unless or until they run out of capped honey. Or until the dandelion bloom begins.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,646

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    always a choice. But if you ask any experinced beeks they will tell you 1-1 stimulates brood, and 2-1 is stored yet honey is closer to 4-1 ratio...... I would never hive a package without 1-1 feed. I just finished setting up 70 nucs each one has a frame of honey, a frame of pollen, a frame of open and an empty and last but not least a boradman style feeder, which will get 1-1.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Chicago,Ill.
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    I would feed a new package 1-1. This is what they will need to produce wax plates to build the comb fast enough to put there honey , pollen, an brood in. It might be weeks befor there is a good flow and time is an issue in the northern states.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    It depends on the weather at the time, but until they have some stores, they are pretty vulnerable to even a short time of weather stopping them from foraging, and if the package gets there before anything is blooming, they will have nothing if you don't feed them. If there is a flow and if there are no hard freezes or multiple days of rain, they might do fine without feeding. But if not, they could quickly starve.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin rapids Wi USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    I AM new at this, but he said he had pollen and honey to put in the hive, so isn't that the same as feeding ?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverBack View Post
    Thinking like a bee...putting capped honey into a newly hived package in the spring would seem to replicate the conditions under which honey bees evolved over the eons where they rely on their stores until natural nectar flow kicks in with the spring bloom. So I am inclined to not feed syrup unless or until they run out of capped honey. Or until the dandelion bloom begins.
    i believe you are on the right track there silverback. getting that drawn comb and honey should make your package of bees very happy. good luck!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,367

    Default Re: Feeding syrup to new packages when they already have capped honey

    Personally it all would depend on how much honey I was placing back on the hive, and what nectar source was available. I am facing the same issue this spring. I am not planning to feed, but the dandelions should be blooming before I get my packages and I have honey and drawn comb for them. If I need to I will feed sugar.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

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