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Thread: Feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Woodland, ca USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Feeding

    Hi,
    Who feeds their new bees? I was under the impression i didn't have to feed them, but am wondering what opinions are...?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Feeding

    new bees on undrawn frames will likely need to be fed. My advice would to be to feed them as long as they will take it. They will only have a few months to draw comb. The amount that they draw will limit the amount that they can store.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Feeding

    If you feed your bees as long as they will take it, right on into the flow, you better be on top of swarm management.
    As soon as they backfill the brood chamber with sugar syrup, they'll make some queen cells, and half to two thirds of your bees will swarm.

    As frames get drawn out, add more frames to keep them busy, and keep feeding as long as they are drawing comb.

    Feed them until the comb is drawn, and there is a band of syrup around the edge of the brood...if the frame is all brood, no nectar/syrup, look at the next frame or two toward the outside.

    They'll have a frame w/ pollen and nectar/syrup facing the brood frames... as long as they have that, they have what they need.

    All year long, the bees are working towardt he goal of swarming in the spring.

    To prepare, they make a bunch of new bees (brood) so the hive can survive, they make some queen cells, back fill the brood nest (fill the brood cells with syrup/nectar), and when the queen cells are sealed, swarm, leaving only 1/2 to 1/3 of the former population behind.

    >>Usually<< bees will stop feeding when nectar flow stops.
    If you just don't stop feeding as long as they take it, you'd better be on top of swarm prevention.

    When the honey flow starts, stop feeding until/unless you need to during a nectar dearth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: Feeding

    A package or swarm that has no stores is in a precarious position. If it rains for two weeks straight they will starve. Maybe even in a week or less. I would feed until they have some capped honey. I've never seen bees stop taking feed when they were taking it already. I have seen them ignore it in a flow, but once they are working it, they work it until it runs out or they swarm. With a package they will often swarm from constant feeding with not enough bees to succeed...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Woodland, ca USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Feeding

    Thanks. I live in central northern CA. Its not gonna rain for several months...we pretty much have something blooming all year. I did have a food source for them and they ignored it. Ill make sure to keep an eye on them. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Woodland, ca USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    A package or swarm that has no stores is in a precarious position. If it rains for two weeks straight they will starve. Maybe even in a week or less. I would feed until they have some capped honey. I've never seen bees stop taking feed when they were taking it already. I have seen them ignore it in a flow, but once they are working it, they work it until it runs out or they swarm. With a package they will often swarm from constant feeding with not enough bees to succeed...
    Also, ive read your stuff. You are immensely helpful. thanks!

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