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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    202

    Default To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    I received a nuc last Sunday, which was lovely and sunny. Since then, we've had rain just about every single day. We are supposed to continue having rain until this Friday. The bees have some honey in the comb, but no capped honey. Under the circumstances (two weeks of rain), I'm considering putting a feeder in the hive for them, but I'm curious what more experienced beekeepers would do. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    I would keep close tabs on their stores or just feed them a bit to be on the safe side. More than likely they will need some supplemental feeding this summer, but don't overdo it to the point that they become honey bound and want to swarm. So was this a top bar nuc? How many bars did you receive and how large is your hive?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    We've been feeding all summer. The bees are taking about a spaghetti sized jar of syrup every two days. When we first got them in the spring, they barely touched the feeder. Since it's our first year, I want to make sure they have enough to get them through the winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    Feed them. Mine get about a quart every three days, its winter here and gum trees are late in blooming this year, but as your colony is a new one for sure feed, give them as much as they will take.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    If Your looking to build a strong hive going into winter Feed...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by VeggieGardener View Post
    I would keep close tabs on their stores or just feed them a bit to be on the safe side. More than likely they will need some supplemental feeding this summer, but don't overdo it to the point that they become honey bound and want to swarm. So was this a top bar nuc? How many bars did you receive and how large is your hive?
    Yes, this was a top bar nuc. It had 11 bars in it, and eight or nine of them had comb on them when I got it. I checked it this afternoon, and I have comb on 15 bars now. It has been about 10 days since I've had it. My hive is 4' long.
    Last edited by fruitveggirl; 07-03-2013 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Errors

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    Sounds like the consensus is to feed -- at least until the daily rain stops. Out of curiosity, though, when do I stop feeding? Based on the amount of pollen coming in, I think they must be finding sources of nectar. Not too far away, there is a huge parking lot full of basswood trees in bloom. There are tons of sumac and white clover blooming in the area right now. Also, from the red pollen I've been seeing, I think they've found some horsechestnut trees. Thanks again!

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

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    Well what I do on top bars is when the brood nest is full I stop feeding. with a 48" top bar you should have about 30 bars, so somewhere around 20-25 i would stop

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,097

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by fruitveggirl View Post
    I received a nuc last Sunday, which was lovely and sunny. Since then, we've had rain just about every single day. We are supposed to continue having rain until this Friday. The bees have some honey in the comb, but no capped honey. Under the circumstances (two weeks of rain), I'm considering putting a feeder in the hive for them, but I'm curious what more experienced beekeepers would do. What are your thoughts? Thanks!
    I think u should wait. I thought w/ all the rain we have been having that there wouldn't be much honey out there. But when I got out and looked those sneaky buggers had found nectar and filled some supers. So, be patient.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Well what I do on top bars is when the brood nest is full I stop feeding. with a 48" top bar you should have about 30 bars, so somewhere around 20-25 i would stop
    Thanks for the tip!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: To feed or not to feed? What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I think u should wait. I thought w/ all the rain we have been having that there wouldn't be much honey out there. But when I got out and looked those sneaky buggers had found nectar and filled some supers. So, be patient.
    Well, we got an unexpected break in the rain for a few days, so I think I'll take a peek inside before deciding what to do. Thanks!

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