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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    108

    Default How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    I installed a few packages last week and am feeding them 1:1 syrup. When do I know to stop feeding them and let them forage on their own? Does the 8,000 pollen count today have anything to do with the nectar flow?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,572

    Default Re: How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    When there is a good flow on, the bees will fly directly out of the entrance in a pretty steady stream, two or three or four at a time, and the bees coming in will be quite heavy, often weaving up and down and crashing on the landing board before going in. LOTS of bees in a steady stream going both ways.

    You should feed your packages until they have whatever wintering arrangement you want to use completely full. That may not take long, may take all summer depending on circumstances and forage in your location. If you have good forage, you may not really need to feed that much, but it's cheap insurance and if I'd have done it AND fed all fall as I should have, I'd have more hives right now instead of losing my singly one last spring.

    Feed a half patty once or twice too, makes for fat, happy, healthy bees, and that's the only type that make it through the winter.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    It is great insurance leaving syrup on as they will eat it on bad fly days and even later in the evening from inside the hive. I would be only feeding them through a contact feeder though (mason jar inverted with holes in the lid placed directly on top of the inner board)
    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    With a new package it doesn't really matter if a flow is on or not if they keep taking the feed - unless they start backfilling. Storing nectar where brood used to be. Then you should stop and watch for swarming signs.

    Are they on comb or foundation?
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    With a new package it doesn't really matter if a flow is on or not if they keep taking the feed - unless they start backfilling. Storing nectar where brood used to be. Then you should stop and watch for swarming signs.

    Are they on comb or foundation?
    Thanks for the info guys.

    David they are on foundation. Going to keep pouring the feed to them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    Then you want them to build up and draw as much comb as possible while the season is right - even on rainy/cold days, so pour it to them. But do your weekly inspections too.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default Re: How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    If they are hauling a lot of pollen, it's a good bet there is nectar coming in. If they have some capped stores, they have a surplus to get them through a few rainy days. I would stop feeding at that point.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,626

    Default Re: How do I know when the nectar flow is on?

    The real questions are how long will your spring flow continue and how reliable is it. I consider the beginning of the pollen flow the beginning of the feeding season. Hives can get real big real fast in the spring and you must always err on the side of extra feed. Experience will help you to understand what spring flows can be expected and when. Never assume the presence of new pollen signals the end of feed concerns. It may well just be the beginning.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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