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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    14

    Default New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    We live in Seattle/close to Burien and are brand new to bees. I have read some books, but have no first hand experience with bees. My whole family is completely in awe by what they have done so far. I have a top bar hive and introduced a packaged colony to them about three weeks ago. They seem to be doing very well and have produced 8 beautiful combs so far. Here are my questions:

    1. I have been feeding them 1:1 sugar water. Blackberries and wildflowers are blooming. Is it ok to cut back on the sugar mix during this season?

    2. They seem to being doing well at building comb and have produced 8 so far. Should we expect them to begin producing honey this season and if not what does fall and winter feeding look like? Do I need to supplement with more than just sugar water?

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,793

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    Welcome 206!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    I don't think you need to feed them at all as long as it doesn't rain. I have read that after a rain it takes about three days for the nectar to start being available. Check out the amount of stores next fall when dreary weather occurs day after day.Don't watch them so often that it hampers their work. How the temperature change or bee odors affect them is probably a lot of theory but who knows. Using a little smoke is something to remember and try to set up two hives so if you ever loose a queen you can easily help them make another.Too remember slow and easy movements are much better than fast and bumping the hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    Thanks so much. This is very helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,690

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    Welcome to Beesource!

    You may find this page on feeding from Michael Bush useful:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm

    The bees likely will store honey (once you quit feeding), but you should not expect to harvest honey this year. If they don't need it all to get through the winter, you can always reevaluate and harvest in the spring.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    Thanks so much. I stopped feeding. Is it safe to assume that they aren't dependent on the food I have been giving them? That was one of my fears.

    Thanks for you feedback and the link!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,690

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    If blackberries are blooming, they should be visiting the blooms and feeding themselves. As this is a new hive, monitor the number of combs they fill, and re-evaluate the feeding situation closer to fall.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    Welcome to the site!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    My bees seem to be multiplying quickly, but I am not seeing any honey stores yet. I stopped feeding about 3 weeks ago. I am watching them from a viewing window. Do I need to look more in depth or should I be able to see everything I need from this vantage?

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    I think the window must be very nice. You can learn a great deal just by listening and looking. If there are many bees going in and out and when you occasionally see the queen is laying and they seem to have plenty of brood with stores around the brood I don't think you have anything to worry about.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    I am sure once the black berries are blooming it is best to not feed further. It can be cloudy for a month in your area and as one rain may cause the flowers to not produce much nectar for three days I've read so maybe to have a good wintering it would be best to not take any honey the first year and be careful each year after that as it just rains too much in Seattle though I lived there and had no problems raising my bees there. I am the type though that vever did take much of their honey. I doubt if I ever did have a hive that I took 60 lbs. from in any one year. Now I am in Las Vegas and have learned to not mess with the frames very much if at all when it is over 100 degrees every day for most of the time all summer long. The heat makes the wax so soft that the weight of the honey causes them to just break in two and that is not the thing to let happen.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    Hey guys. My bees still haven't produced any honey, but have tripled in size. I have 8 combs and have been feeding them syrup of sugar water. I have winterized the outside of my hive. Any suggestions on how best to feed through the winter? Anything else necessary?

    Thanks for you any help you can give.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: New Bee K./Top Bar in Seattle

    Its hard to feed a top bar hive, you need sugar above the cluster.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

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