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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Hello my name is Rachael and I've been a beekeeper for two years now. When my neighbor discovered he had a fatal allergies to bee stings, I started helping him with his hives to keep an eye on him. Then I ended up with a split and now four hives. I am using only organic methods and am looking forward to learning from this forum as well as contributing any observations that I have made. I live in NW Washington State.

    Thank you all for being here.
    Rachael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Welcome, Rachel
    From a wetsern Washington native transplanted ot upstate New York

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Welcome Rachael,

    I'm just "up a hill" from you, in Federal Way.
    Glad to see another local joining up

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Thanks you all for the sweet and warm welcome. I've also lived on the East Coast and glad that I'm transplanted here now. Also, good to find somebody up the road that's also into beekeeping I've already enjoyed reading so many posts and learned quite a bit. I'm really happy to find this forum. Looking forward to being involved member.
    Many Thanks,
    Rachael

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

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Welcome Rachael!

    Is your neighbor going to keep raising bees?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Oh, yes. He won't give him up. He is taking immunization shots and this is the second year and he's been stung a few times but it's working. He says he could get stung in the middle of the city so he's living his life and doing what he enjoys.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    That's great. Glad to hear the shots work.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    I am a new member so this post is new to me about feeding bees organic sugar. I overwintered a hive using only organic sugar last year and fed them organic sugar all through this year. They are very healthy, do not have mites, and I do not have any reason that I can see so far To think that they won't overwinter again. I understand that it's harder for the bees to digest this but the sugar on the shelves is mostly genetically modified organisms GMO's and I would rather the bees dealt with digesting organic sugar then genetically modified sugar Then have to deal with the digestive upsets from the pesticides and herbicides and genetically modified organisms in highly processed sugar. Being a new beekeeper, I welcome any additional information from anyone who is using organic sugar. I just can't bring myself to eat the sugar off the grocery store shelves let alone my bees. I have heard of using whey from cheese or yogurt making process to help with enzymes for the bees but will not try this unless I hear of a conclusive success story. Thank you for any suggestions you may have relating to this topic.
    Rachael

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    351

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Welcome to the site

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Thank you MRQB. I'm really happy to have found such a receptive forum to talk about our wonderful honeybees with together

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Rachel, the best sugar to feed your bees is... none.

    There are times when it may be unavoidable.
    Establishing a package or other need to promote rapid comb drawing are some of those times.

    But if you leave them enough honey when you harvest, you'll avoid most sugar feeding.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Beregando Thank you for this reply. I know you're right. Three of my hives are new hives one was a package one a split and one came with the frames already and the queen loose. There was a dearth here in the Northwest and everyone had to feed sugar. It didn't rain for months. Once my colonies are established and have honey then I intend to leave it there for them but in the meantime everybody in this area had to feed sugar water to keep them from starving. Maybe I didn't have to do this but I didn't want to chance losing the bees. Thank you for your reply. Rachael

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,625

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    The issue with organic sugar is that it has more solids in it than ordinary granulated sugar. The bees generally can dispose of solids by pooping. However, in the winter there are generally periods of days or weeks when it is too cold for bees to fly. Since bees don't poop in the hive, dysentery can result.

    A link with more details:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/is-orga...tter-for-bees/

    If you personally don't want to eat granulated sugar because of potential GMO concerns, then just use organic sugar for yourself and get granulated sugar for the bees. If you read towards the bottom of the link above, that is exactly what Rusty, the owner of that site, does personally.

    It may be that Tacoma has mild enough winters -some years- that you can get away with feeding less than optimum organic sugar to your bees, but why risk it?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Unless your bees will live in a bubble, just feed them regular sugar when they need it. Since they will travel 2 to 3 miles to forage, you can't claim to have organic honey. I have no issue with not introducing anything that concerns you into the hives, but don't waste money, and potentially harm the bees by feeding them something that's not good for them.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Thank you guys for this information. The only thing that doesn't make sense is in the link she says not to use evaporated cane sugar which is called Sucanet. I'm using refined cane sugar from Costco that is slightly brown color Which probably does have more ash. I appreciate the comments and hopefully won't have to deal with sugar in the future after the hives are fully established and have enough honey to take care of themselves. I'm more interested in them having honey then in my having honey. We are trying to repopulate our rural area with Honey bees. Not that we don't want honey. My goodness honey is wonderful medicine and food!!!
    Rachael
    Last edited by Medicine Moon; 09-18-2013 at 10:30 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Sorry guys I don't know what happened to my post. It just got all discombobulated. Anyway, I brought one high through last winter with organic sugar and started three hives this spring. Thankfully I'm getting this good information before winter so hopefully they won't get dysentery. Thank you for your thoughtful and kind responses. I really appreciate it.
    Rachael

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,625

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    You can edit your discombobulated post. Look for the "Edit Post" button towards the bottom of your posts.

    FYI, the "Edit Post" button does go away approximately 24 hours after the initial post.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Thank you Radar. Somehow this one posted itself probably with my help, unknowingly
    Will be sure to access edit when and if this happens again. I will try to edit now.
    Rachael

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,757

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Welcome Rachael!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: New member organic, with 2yrs experience 4 hives

    Welcome, Always good to have another beekeeper in the Northwest..
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

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