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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    26

    Default How much syrup should a new package consume?

    I just installed a new package yesterday and put a gallon baggie in the bottom with a few slits in the top of 5/3 ratio sugar water. It's on the other side of the follower board with a single 1" hole drilled in it. After more than 24 hours the bees don't seem to have touched it. There were a few bees crawling around on it but they don't seem to be interested. They are flying and seemed to be forging later today. There are also quite a few blooms out in my area including cherry and pear trees. I don't seem many dead bees on the ground and only a few in the hive. Should I be worried that they are not taking the syrup? This is my first experience with bees and just want to be sure that I don't neglect them.

    Thanks, in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    Don't worry, you haven't neglected them. You have provided a home and food. The bees just found something else they prefer right now. :-)
    Beekeeping 4 winters, 6 hives, TF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    There is no should. If they want/need it they'll take it. If there is plenty of forage and they are choosing that instead then it's good sign.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    I would put the baggie right under the cluster. I don't know your location but in my location packages have starved with the feed on the opposite side of the follower. Sometimes the bees just don't know how to find the syrup if it gets cold when it is just outside their reach. Make sure it is good and warm and have enough of the syrup outside of the baggie that will lead them to the source. There is no reason they shouldn't be taking it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    It's been getting up to 70 degrees during the day. Is that warm enough? I see a few bees going over to that side of the follower board. Just none drinking that I can see.

    I'm worried about bothering them if I try to move the baggie. Also a bit worried about making a huge mess if I try to move it.

    How do I know if they are starving? Lots of dead bees? I see only a couple of dead bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    673

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    I'd think with what sounds like an abundance of flowers blooming that they are probably having their needs met elsewhere?
    Also makes me wonder when we'll ever get spring here in the midwest... High of 75 Saturday and then calling for highs back down in the upper-40s to lower 50s.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    How do I know if they are starving?
    I don't think your bees are starving. I was just giving an example of what has happened in my location to more than a few beekeepers that thought there was lots of flowers around. They don't always starve. Sometimes the population can drop down to critical numbers before they can get establish.

    The reason for feeding a package that needs to build new comb is so they have the resources to do it quickly to have the replacement bees that will need to take over the duties from the decreasing number of original package bees. There may be enough forage for them in your location but still it is in the best interest to the bees to make sure they are not taking the syrup because they just don't know it is there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    I have no experience with follower boards so I can't comment on that aspect - I don't use them. To feed I use an open tupperware or garbage pail inside my hives when the hive isn't completely full of comb. What I have noticed is that if the feeder is against the cluster they will eat it much faster than the hive right next to them when the same type of feeder is just 5 inches away from the cluster. Personally, I would put the baggie as close to the cluster as possible. If they don't take it, then you would be sure they are bringing in plenty of nectar and just don't want the 1:1 and you can remove the baggie.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: How much syrup should a new package consume?

    Doesn't matter much now since they absconded yesterday afternoon. So discouraging!

    They left about 3 inches of comb on one bar. A few cells had pollen and almost every other had an egg in it. No nectar at all. Any ideas? I did have a few ants trying to get to the feed bag.

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