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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    114

    Default Big change in feeding on new colony

    So anytime I notice a big change in behavior, I have to consider something is going on (whether it be good or not) so I've looked this up and can't seem to find anything... In fact, it might NOT mean anything! But I have a lot invested in these girls (mostly emotionally at this point if you seen my other thread on the first two swarms) so I just want to be sure!!

    New colony is just about 7 days old with an initial population of around 5.5lbs of bees. I have a TBH, so through the window I can see nice straight comb from at least 4-5 frames. I'm super happy to see that. Here is what has changed. in the first 4 days, they were only taking around 16-18 ounces of sugar syrup (1:1). As of now and a couple of days ago, they are taking 24-30 oz of syrup, and they are bringing in almost pollen exclusively (from what I can tell staring at the bees returning when i watch them in awe every chance I get). I'm going to presume they're in a massive "feeding new larvae" mode, but does that mean I have a poor nectar flow? Or convenience for them? California is experiences a major drought, but the amount of pollen I see must suggest there are plenty of flowers. Any reason for the increase outside of brood rearing?

    Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Brazoria County, Texas
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Big change in feeding on new colony

    Sounds to me with new drawn straight comb they have more storage to store the 1:1 syrup. Girls like gifts and accept them, all even when there is plenty of other goodies available.
    Pollen and nectar probably still coming in also. The drought here in Texas is the worse its been in 500years or what the experts can tell.
    ya'll have sure experienced fires and heat from the drought out there.
    God bless you all!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Big change in feeding on new colony

    Yes, we have broken records in heat this month for sure.... It also makes perfect sense that with more comb there's more storage to put the sugar syrup. If that's the case, should I pull the feeder so they don't fill up all that real estate instead of the queen laying eggs? Or maybe only GIVE them 1/2 as much? I plan on inspecting the comb tomorrow to be sure the queen is laying anyway. I guess I should expect to see lots of storage as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Big change in feeding on new colony

    So should I continue feeding, or are they going to egg-block the queen?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: Big change in feeding on new colony

    Only an inspection will answer that question.

    Crazy Roland

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Big change in feeding on new colony

    Well, I inspected today.. they are definitely NOT filling up all the comb with sugar syrup, but I did see lot of pollen and nectar (some appeared to be sugar syrup). I saw the queen, but she hasn't laid yet. I remember reading that she doesn't always start laying right away, and I suppose it'd also be the case if she were still a virgin queen. Other than that, things seem to be going smoothly, so hopefully I actually be able to see egg/larvae by next weekend... Or at least i hope I do, because otherwise, I'll be sad again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: Big change in feeding on new colony

    Generally, but not always, when you smoke the bees, they will stick their heads only in the cells that have honey/feed in them. If you see a oval portion of the comb with no bees in it, but no eggs, it may be an area that they are preparing for her to lay in. It is not sure fire, but that open patch is ussually a good sign that you will have a laying queen shortly.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ventura, CA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Big change in feeding on new colony

    hate to raise an older thread, but. . . My girls have now emptied over 50 ounces of sugar syrup in day.. I WAS rationing them to 1 qt a day (32 ounces) but happen to add a smaller, 16 ounce jar along side it to see how much they "wanted" to take... It was empty when I got home today... should I keep on feeding them as much as they will take? Or will they simply get more nectar if needed? I don't' want them dependent on the sugar syrup, but I also want to make sure they have enough to eat if they aren't finding enough flowers (which should NOT be a problem in my area).

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