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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mill Creek, WV, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Newbie ? about Feeding in TBH

    New hive - half filled out - the girls have been working on this hive since the end of May. I've had the hive since the middle of June. We've been feeding them inside the hive with sugar syrup in jar feeders. My daughter, who is quite the naturalist, wants us to stop feeding them. She says we shouldn't be feeding them at all. We always understood that we have to feed them because it's a new hive and they need the resources to draw out the hive and prepare for winter. Is our thinking correct? Somewhere I read that you stop feeding them when they stop taking the feed. I think, even if there are lots of natural feed available, who wouldn't go for the easy juice.... We think we are to feed Langstroth & TBH in the early spring every year and then stop till winter feeding. But since these are newly establishing hives, that we feed until the hives are drawn out. Thoughts??

    Thanks so much - this forum rocks with 'helper bees'!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,318

    Default Re: Newbie ? about Feeding in TBH

    If half the bars in your new TBH are filled, its time to stop feeding, in my opinion.

    Once a hive is established, (after first winter) there should be no reason to feed at all if the beekeeper leaves the hive adequate reserves. This of course may have to be tempered by unusual weather conditions, or mis-judgements on the part of the beekeeper, and then feed may have to be offered.

    There are some beekeepers that intentionally harvest part or all of the bees reserves with the expectation that they will then make up for that lack with syrup or HFCS. That is their option, but best done by those with experience.

    More on feeding from Michael Bush:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Accomac, Virginia
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Newbie ? about Feeding in TBH

    Radar has some good points there. I agree if your half drawn out, no need to feed this time of year. They not going to continue drawing comb unless they need it. Your about 3 weeks away from goldenrod in your area unless your high on one of those gorgeous mountains.
    Ed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Essex, England, UK
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Newbie ? about Feeding in TBH

    Yes, I also agree with Radar. I know it depends a lot on available forage in a particular area, but I am into my 5th summer with KTBH's and Warres and I have never fed them a drop. Then again, I take very little honey from them. It's really down to you which way you want to go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Newbie ? about Feeding in TBH

    It is a new colony, it will need about 50 to 75 pounds of honey to make it through winter. On my my top bar hives, that is about eight bars of capped honey, plus what is on top of the brood bars. Rader is right, you can stop feeding now, but might have to feed in the fall depending on the fall flow and how much they have stored right now. As for the natural aspect of feeding, I want to keep bees as naturally as possibly, but remember: the honey bee is not "natural" to North America, it is an invasive species, although a beneficial one. Sometimes, they just need to be fed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mill Creek, WV, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Newbie ? about Feeding in TBH

    Thanks for all the "food for thought". I wonder.... Does the honey made from sugar syrup taste bland and washed out compared to a natural plant nectar?? I guess I will stop the feeding and see how the hive progresses.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Newbie ? about Feeding in TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by sab View Post
    Thanks for all the "food for thought". I wonder.... Does the honey made from sugar syrup taste bland and washed out compared to a natural plant nectar?? I guess I will stop the feeding and see how the hive progresses.
    When I feed syrup, I feed "bee tea". I saw a recipe here and somewhere else and adapted those. I generally use camomile/lavender tea and I think the syrup tastes great, not sure if it makes a difference to the bees but they seem to really like it.

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