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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Kemp, Texas
    Posts
    62

    Default To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    After the last cut-out, I decided the foragers might need time to start bringing in enough food to support growth or the hive. I made food with sugar, water and corn syrup in equal parts into the empty end of the hive using an entrance feeder wit a pint jar. Each time I decided it would be okay to open the hive, the feeder was empty. I don't want to disturb the hive for awhile so they can rebuild, but I thought they only took artificial food source if there wasn't enough food nearby. All around them are wildflowers, trees and gardens blooming like crazy. LOTS of natural food. The question is:

    Do I need to keep putting homemade food in the entrance feeder as long as they take it or can I just leave them to forage from sources all around?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    Good question, with several answers. In the spring, I feed only until they have some capped stores.

    Entrance feeders can cause robbing.

    When you did the cutout, did you get the queen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Missoula, Montana
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    as for feeding...

    how long will that sugar/water solution keep? should i take it out if i notice it's not being used up quickly?
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    if they are needed the syrup, they would take it. I would remove them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Missoula, Montana
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    in 5 days how much syrup should be gone/used?

    i'd say less than half has been used in that time span....

    thanks for the help!
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,273

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    With lots of natural blooming going on in the area, I myself would take the feeder off. Nectar is healthier for bees than sugar/corn syrup.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
    Posts
    337

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    I only feed if the bees are between nectar flows or if there is a long cold spell. When there is a natural nectar source some hive won't even bother with sugar syrup.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Missoula, Montana
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    Thanks all.

    that solves that. i'll take it out sooner rather than later.

    again, thanks for the help and answers
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    I started a package in my TBH set up and not wanting to open the hive to check the feeder I made a feeder that has a tube running through one of the entrances with a dripper on the end that goes into a small dish with rocks and things in it so they don't drown. I have it drip about 1 drip a second and they have been comb building like crazy. By the end of a week they were building on 6 bars so I moved the divider back. Then at two and a half weeks they're starting on bar 11. The front 5 bars are completely drawn out and full of brood and stores. I was wondering if I should stop feeding when the feeder plugged up for a day so I let it go. When I checked 2 days later they had stopped building comb about where they were when the feeder stopped. It may have been a natural break or pause for them but I've started the feeder again and will see if they've resumed building in a few more more days.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    IMO you are just adding problems. You will attract ants and robbers at a time that the bees have enough to worry about.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    Is it still considered valid to feed to stimulate drawing the second deep of foundation (or foundationless)?

    I've told newbees to feed until the 2nd deep is "mostly" drawn out.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed, that is the question.

    >Ive told newbees to feed until the 2nd deep is "mostly" drawn out.

    Sometimes by then they've backfilled the brood nest and swarmed because the queen has no where to lay...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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