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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default To Feed (More), or Not to Feed (More). That is the Question!

    Currently I have a hive that overwintered as a glorified 5 frame nuc (in a 9 frame box, the extra space filled with foam board) that I have recently taken the stuffing out of and put wax foundation frames back in place. My goal for this hive is to build it up into two full deeps, get honey, and possibly steal a couple of frames from it in order to do a split (Only about 2 frames, hopefully my second hive will be able to provide 2 more so that neither of them are set back much).

    Obviously, helping them along with getting some buildup going is whats on my mind right now. Yesterday it was warm enough for them to be flying en masse, and they found some old crystallized honey I had tossed out for the neighbor's dog, and were going to town on it. Makes me think maybe I should put some syrup in the feeder, but I know for a fact they've got a candy board over their heads that they've only eaten at most a third of (and a patty on top of that).

    So, I ask ye of greater experience than I. Should I give them syrup from the feeder until an actual flow starts, or leave them bee with their candy board and whatever else they can scrape up out there? I feel like they should be fine with the dry sugar still in the candyboard, but I have to admit they seemed very eager to get as much of that crystallized honey as they could. So what would promote buildup more, dry sugar or sugar syrup?
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,841

    Default Re: To Feed (More), or Not to Feed (More). That is the Question!

    1:1 syrup and pollen patty

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,376

    Default Re: To Feed (More), or Not to Feed (More). That is the Question!

    You can feed syrup as long as the weather stays warm. It's a bit early here for that, even though this week is in the 70's. I'm keeping mine on dry sugar for a few more weeks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,064

    Default Re: To Feed (More), or Not to Feed (More). That is the Question!

    My observation is that the more feed you can get them to take this time of year the bigger and faster they grow. Then come April you have to keep them from swarming.

    I'm feeding pollen sub candy on the top bars under a 2 inch shim and medium syrup through a hole in the cover while the temps are up like they are now. I'm splitting out nucs in April though.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: To Feed (More), or Not to Feed (More). That is the Question!

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Then come April you have to keep them from swarming.
    I would welcome a hive that crowded, as I could then easily make splits.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,064

    Default Re: To Feed (More), or Not to Feed (More). That is the Question!

    I totally agree - at this point in my beekeeping experience I'll take strong hives over weak ones any time. The stronger the better. That may not be the easiest way to swarm management and a good honey crop, but it's still the problem I would rather have at this point.

    If strong hives in the spring are what you want at this point in the season pollen sub is your friend.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: To Feed (More), or Not to Feed (More). That is the Question!

    Oh yeah, they've got a pollen sub on already (I included it in the candy board, actually), and I put some syrup in the feeder for them.

    "Explode" is a word I would like to use.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

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