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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Boyds, MD, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Starting a new package

    I had several packages of bees that I installed last year into Warre hives here in Maryland. I dutifully fed pollen and syrup to get them going. Spring flow was just getting a boom on. For various reasons, some of the hives could not get to the syrup that I provided and did better or as well as the fed hives. All the hives - fed and unfed -are still going strong. So I would join the chorus of those who suggest that you initially feed, but keep it to a minimum and stop as soon as you can. If you can cut a piece of one of the langstroth combs and rubberband it / lash it / wire it to one of the Warre bars, you'll probably encourage a lot of good behavior right off the bat and you can also hold off on the sugar syrup. I made some wire frames for some of my warre bars to that purpose, and they worked well, although the bees didn't like to build past the wire part, so I would just do one of them at most. But you will be amazed at how fast bees can draw comb in the warre. Here's one of my hives (this was an inside observation warre) at just two weeks after package install (and the unfed outside ones were doing even better!):

    combs.jpg

    Eastern seaboard springtime is a beautiful bounty!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Concord, NC
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Starting a new package

    Bluegrass and MB, thank you both for providing facts on both sides of the fence.
    I am one who generally likes to keep things as close to natural as possible. Bee's don't eat anything other then honey in the wild and seem to do just fine. It wasn't until man started playing God that things went sideways. For this reason I am drawn to the Warre hive and applications.

    I "think" one of the main reasons my bees absconded last year was my constant meddling. It was my first year and having no mentor and wanting to learn as much as possible hands on, I was into the hive every two weeks or so, looking over every frame. Not realizing things like temperature, scent, etc were being majorly impacted. I attempted a split, probably way too soon and then out of fear of it being too late in the season I killed the queen cells and rejoined them. Then one day I realize I have wax moth issues so I kill them on the bottom board and cycle the frames to freeze the buggers out. Finally one day I return home to find they bailed on me. Who could blame them, they never got peace cause I was like a kid with a new puppy!

    I think it's safe to say if the weather is good, after installing the packages, let the bees forage, if we get periods of rain then feed 1:1 of white sugar, not raw until the weather lets up. But then I have to wonder, every time a colony swarms, they take no provisions with them and start from scratch with no human intervention. They have been doing this since the dawn of time and are still around. This is my preferred method but then I am inclined to protect my investment.

    Do I make sense or am I just rambling now?
    Thank you all for your advice!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Starting a new package

    I think if your goal is to follow Warre's methods then feeding is out and you should go with that. You are correct that swarms start over without any supplemental feeding. They do tank up on honey before swarming, and the package is doing the same thing on HFCS from the can.

    If I were you I would research what blooms in your area as far as nectar sources go round the time you expect to get the package. That should give you a pretty good idea as to whether they will need feed or not.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Starting a new package

    >But then I have to wonder, every time a colony swarms, they take no provisions with them and start from scratch with no human intervention. They have been doing this since the dawn of time and are still around. This is my preferred method but then I am inclined to protect my investment.

    Just keep in mind that a lot of those swarms fail because the run out of food if it rains too much or too often... That doesn't mean I would automatically feed them, but plan that you might have to feed them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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