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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Appleton, WI USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    First year beekeeper, and I had queen trouble. I started with two tbh's and ended with one after one hive failed to successfully requeen and developed laying workers. The other hive also unsuccessfully tried to supercede, but I requeened them myself and then combined the two hives.

    The new queen has been laying like mad since early July, and they've built up nicely, but what stores they had accumulated in the back of the hive prior to requeening have disappeared (7-8 completely empty combs), I presume to feed the brood, and there is very little honey stored above the brood nest. Lots of brood, no stores. None.

    It is August in Wisconsin and the goldenrod is in full bloom, and that's about the end of the summer flow for us. If I start feeding now, do they even have a chance to survive the winter without any if their own honey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,076

    Default Re: Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    There may be some honey stored around the perimeter of the brood frames. Certainly bees can survive a Wisconsin winter feeding on largely sugar. Whether your particular hive will, well there is only one way to find out, and that is to feed.

    I suggest that you use approximately 2:1 syrup while the weather permits. That would be 5 lbs of sugar to 40 oz of water (5 cups of water).
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Appleton, WI USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    Thanks, Rader. I'll pull out my feeders and start immediately.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    Rader is right, feed feed feed! With the strong queen, they have a great chance, but not if they starve. They will keep taking the syrup, as long as the liquid temp is over 50 degrees or so. After that you can feed sugar, by putting some on the bottom of the hive. Let us know how it goes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    I think one of my hives swarmed. I'm low on bees and honey. Lower on bees i think.Think I saw a virgin queen. Not sure why they swarmed. Plenty of room. Still got 20-30 lbs of honey but had twice that. I have got a good flow for now. Should I start feeding now or wait a while?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    How can someone tell if a queen is a virgin or not? Is there a definitive answer, or is it just that a virgin is smaller and skinnier, kind of hard to know if there's nothing to compare her with. I found a rogue queen on the ground 6 to 8 feet from my hives, and have no idea if she is mated or not. Don't want to waste brood or resources trying to give her a colony if she's no good. Found her 5 days ago and put her in a cardboard nuc with the 5-6 bees who accompanied her. Gave a wet extracted frame, but it just got robbed out from other hives. But she's still alive and I can't figure out what to do with her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    Ken not sure what the winters are like in Nevada. I need 50 to 75 pounds of honey here to make it through winter. If the flow is still on there, I would wait to see how much they bring in, before feeding. Also check them in about ten days to make sure your queen got mated and is laying. If she didn't you will need to buy a queen and install her.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Almost zero stores in August... do they have a chance if I feed heavily?

    Becky,
    A virgin queen is not much bigger than a worker, in fact it can be difficult to tell the difference. Can you install her in a mating nuc somehow and just see what happens?

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