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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    902

    Default article feedback request

    This is from Bee Informed and states that feeding bees with frames of honey is not good. By mid August I'm checking hives and when I find ones without stores, generally nuks, I pull honey frame from strong hive and give to weak. Especially when I know that it's a hive that didn't get built up enough before dearth. If it's a failing queen hive, I pull queen and combine.

    Am I hurting my bees with the honey frame feed? I haven't tracked whether I have lost those particular hives. Has anyone else noticed a problem?

    http://beeinformed.org/2014/06/feedi...ase-mortality/
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: article feedback request

    >Am I hurting my bees with the honey frame feed? I haven't tracked whether I have lost those particular hives. Has anyone else noticed a problem?

    I haven't fed my bees anything else for the last six years...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,905

    Default Re: article feedback request

    it's reading too much into the survey results to make the claim that feeding honey will cause greater losses.

    for example, it's not known if the colonies that were fed the honey were the ones that didn't survive, or if the honey was taken from the colonies that didn't survive and fed to the colonies that did survive.

    most colonies generally shouldn't require feeding if the beekeeper leaves enough stores for the bees. one exception is a spring nuc that didn't have time to put enough away to get them through the summer dearth. i wouldn't hestitate to give them a frame of honey from a strong colony.

    a colony that fails to produce at least enough stores for itself probably has something wrong with it. feeding a colony low on stores when other colonies have plenty could just be prolonging the inevitable. this may be part of why the survey results suggest that feeding either didn't improve survival or worsened it. it could very well be that it's not the feeding, but the reason feeding was necessary in the first place.

    it's interesting that the lowest losses were found among beekeepers that didn't feed, and there are a number of possibilities for why that may be the case, but again the information isn't detailed enough to drawn any firm conclusions.

    hopefully next year's survey will get more detailed so these nuances can be teased out.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Boundary Creek NB Canada
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: article feedback request

    If you put honey into a hive that is sealed is not good.You should uncap a large amount off it first

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,259

    Default Re: article feedback request

    anyone that believes this article is a fool. nuf said.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Elizabethton, Tn
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: article feedback request

    Quote Originally Posted by arnoldhicks View Post
    If you put honey into a hive that is sealed is not good.You should uncap a large amount off it first
    Yeah, cause bees can't uncap the honey they cap...
    It takes a family to raise a family, it takes a village to really screw that up... Djei5

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: article feedback request

    The bee informed survey is certainly a valuable, and interesting resource. But imo it is necessary to consider what lies behind it.

    Statistically hives that were not fed had higher survival than those that were fed. Bear in mind that a lot of participants in the survey are relatively new beekeepers. Commercial beekeepers rarely feed honey, preferring syrup, so they are out of this mix. It's likely those feeding honey included a disproportionate number of nubees who are likely to screw their hive up one way or another anyway. The hives that were not fed honey likely had higher survival because they were not fed, cos they already had enough stores, hence well prepared hives more likely to survive.

    If the question had been what was the highest survival of only the starving hives, those fed honey or those not, the answer would have been the opposite, those fed would have had better odds. IE, if you find your hive starving, feed it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: article feedback request

    Oldtimer, you are right. The survey mixes (and the article confuses) correlation with causation. This is something that able researchers recognize and have to deal with regularly. There is nothing wrong with the survey, but it must be understood. It is similar to concluding based on survey data that getting multiple DWI's tends to cause alcoholism or that getting free school lunches tends to cause increased dropout rates. I would use carefully selected and well placed frames of honey to feed a colony that is reasonably calculated to fail if not fed. Cheers.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 08-21-2014 at 07:32 PM.
    "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." Samuel Clemens

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: article feedback request

    I find my bees winter better on syrup/fondant than honey.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: article feedback request

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    Am I hurting my bees with the honey frame feed? Has anyone else noticed a problem?
    Nope and nope.

    What I do know is all the problems I've had with feeding. The longer I go, the less I do it, the less I want to do it, and the more I feel it's actually detrimental. Feeding is treating against starvation, and it invites more problems than it fixes.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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