Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Treatment Free Package - Feeding?

    I just reread the forum rules and feeding seems to be an ok topic to discuss??? Hope this post is ok.

    I am getting a package of bees from Sam Comfort this spring. All his bees are small cell/treatment free/no supplemental feeding. Since I am getting a package, not a nuc, should I feed or let them be?? Also, I have empty comb that I could put in from my other hive to help them out. Should I even do this? My other bees are not small cell. Would this screw things up? Any guidance is appreciated!

    Also, ,my other hive is a 2013 package from Georgia that requeened 3 or 4 times. They have been doing wonderfully over harsh PA winter and seem to tolerate mites. Hoping they turn out to be a good hive with good genetics.

    Thanks!
    Christy
    Beekeeping, working mom of 2 little future beekeepers in Pennsylvania.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: Treatment Free Package - Feeding?

    >I am getting a package of bees from Sam Comfort this spring. All his bees are small cell/treatment free/no supplemental feeding. Since I am getting a package, not a nuc, should I feed or let them be??

    It kind of depends on what you can expect for weather and what other issues exist. Sam will only feed them honey, and that will preserve the microbes in their gut. A typical package I would just feed them sugar syrup as that is what they were already eating so I'm not going to do any more harm by continuing long enough for them to get some comb drawn and some stores put away for a rainy day.

    The upside of feeding honey in your circumstance is preserving the microbes. The down side is it is more likely to set off robbing. The upside of not feeding at all is you preserve the microbes. The downside is if it rains for a week or you get a week of cold weather, they could starve. I would make the decision based on what you think you can expect and when you are getting the bees. Assuming there are things blooming and it's unlikely you'll get a week solid of rain, and it's unlikely you'll get a week of cold weather where they can't fly, then I might not feed them. In an emergency you can always open them up and dump some sugar in there or fill a feeder with honey and put it on in the rain.

    >Also, I have empty comb that I could put in from my other hive to help them out. Should I even do this? My other bees are not small cell. Would this screw things up?

    If you have some capped honey it would be a big plus for the bees. I would not give them empty large cell comb since you're trying to get them small, but the resource of some capped honey will give them a head start.

    Everything is a tradeoff...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Treatment Free Package - Feeding?

    I would definitely feed them. Honey of course would be best. Sugar syrup is second runner up. I would avoid high fructose corn syrup at all costs. Corn is the most abused monoculture crop here in the US. Prolly not safe for you much less honeybees especially wanting to go TF. As MB said bad weather is unpredictable, I'd feed to be safe.



    >>My other bees are not small cell. Would this screw things up?

    I would not use your LC combs in the new package at all; you want to go forwards not backwards. I would start eliminating them out of your other hive say minimum of 5 combs per year also. A package is like a swarm they want/need comb I would capitalize on that.

    Clay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Treatment Free Package - Feeding?

    There isnt anything wrong with feeding, if they need it.
    TF - Year Two, Eight Colonies
    http://www.honeydrunk.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,720

    Default Re: Treatment Free Package - Feeding?

    Think about this. The bees in the package have been handled totally unnaturally and removed from their hive, their food stores they saved up last season, and their brood, and combs.

    Then they get shipped.

    Then you get them and dump them into an empty hive, in a different area, with maybe no wild food supply available.

    Do you feed them? Of course you feed them. Unless you want them dead in a few days.

    Sugar syrup vs honey? Plenty TF beekeepers including Soloman Parker feed sugar syrup. Just do what suits you best. However they will build comb and get established faster if you feed them sugar syrup, than if you feed them comb honey.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,192

    Default Re: Treatment Free Package - Feeding?

    Do you feed 1:1 or 2:1?
    I would have thought 1:1 and protein supplement to stimulate for comb and brood but the person was is supplying my packages suggested feeding "thick syrup".
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,209

    Default Re: Treatment Free Package - Feeding?

    Are they being shipped w/ feed? The traditional way?

    WWSCD? Did you ask Sam?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads