Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Salem, NJ, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Should I still be feeding?

    It has been about 3 weeks since I added a 2nd deep(10 frame ) to my hive and none of the frames have comb built out in the upper box. When I inspected the lower box I found all 10 frames had comb built out, pleanty of brood, and what seemed like a large number of bees. I did not see the queen but being a newbee this is not unusal for me, I see her about 3/4 of the time. Nothing jumped out at me as unusual except...I found very little pollen and almost no stored honey, even on the edges of the frames around the brood.

    I should have noted that this hive was started from a package. I fed until we had good nectar flow, and a little beyond, and then stopped. I did this because of what happened with my 1st hive last year. It was started from a 5 frame nuc. I fed it from day 1 and didn't stop. They built comb like crazy and stored a whole lot of honey. This was when I became familiar with the term "honeybound"

    They did not survive what was a rather harsh winter here in the northeast. Maybe me overfeeding had nothing to do with it but I wanted to try to avoid making the same mistake again. But now it seems like things have swung to the other side of the extreme. I did move 2 established frames to the upper box and I was going to start feeding again and just monitor it closely. Good idea? Bad ideea? Or am I just totally missing something.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    The hive will have a better chance of surviving the winter if it establishes the 2nd box. If they aren't working it much then it usually means you are in a nectar dearth. With summer coming to a close I would keep feeding it until another nectar flow starts. Keep monitoring the hive and it may need more feed in the fall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon B View Post
    If they aren't working it much then it usually means you are in a nectar dearth.
    Oops,

    I think you have it backwards. If they are not taking the syrup, typically it means there is a flow.

    Shane

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Monroe Co., Indiana, USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsmullins View Post
    Oops,

    I think you have it backwards. If they are not taking the syrup, typically it means there is a flow.

    Shane
    I think what Jon was saying is that since the bees are not working the second box, then they need to be fed. We had the exact same problem...installed 2nd deep on top of new package installs after they had mostly filled their first boxes. 3 weeks later, the bees had built practically no new foundation in the upper boxes. We assumed this meant the flow had stopped. So, based on what we had read on this forum, we re-installed our top feeders and began feeding 1:1 at a rate of 1 gallon (5 lbs sugar) every 3-4 days. 3 wks later (last week) we inspected the hives to find the upper boxes were built out about 75% with brood and sugar honey stores. Now I have to begin construction on our new honey supers in prep for the fall flow!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD35 View Post
    I think what Jon was saying is that since the bees are not working the second box, then they need to be fed. We had the exact same problem...installed 2nd deep on top of new package installs after they had mostly filled their first boxes. 3 weeks later, the bees had built practically no new foundation in the upper boxes. We assumed this meant the flow had stopped. So, based on what we had read on this forum, we re-installed our top feeders and began feeding 1:1 at a rate of 1 gallon (5 lbs sugar) every 3-4 days. 3 wks later (last week) we inspected the hives to find the upper boxes were built out about 75% with brood and sugar honey stores. Now I have to begin construction on our new honey supers in prep for the fall flow!
    My bad,

    Our bees are similar, they typically do not draw new comb in the summer. Unless they are fed. This year a few colonies are continuing to draw new comb. This is definitely the exception, not the rule.

    As for the fall flow, let us hope for a good one.

    Shane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Personally, I don't feed. I mean ... I don't. At all. And, although my (hTBH ...) hives are never "big," they are strong.

    My feeling is, if you keep dumping sugar-water at your bees, sure, it will look like you're getting "mountains of honey," but don't be terribly surprised if that "honey" tastes like the sugar-water that it probably is. (Where did you think it all went? Do you seriously think that insects can eat all that stuff that fast? Betcha they're just giving it right back to you.

    I think that it's a common, yet serious mistake for humans to visualize what they want the insect-colony to do, then to "help" the insects achieve their (not the bee's) goal, and especially to be jubilant when they think they're seeing positive affirmation of whatever they just tried. In ten million centuries of bee-dom, these insects never encountered: "gallons of dissolved sucrose in a glass jar." I personally don't think that it's a very good idea to expose them to that now.

    There will be natural ebbs and flows in the growth of the hive, and sometimes during midsummer you will see them "eating back," consuming the (real) honey that they set aside. Until the next nectar flow starts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Put your hive top feeder on and feed them 1:1 until they have the top deep full of syrup, mostly capped. You can then put on supers for a fall flow. You are taking a great risk assuming there will be enough fall flow for them to fill that deep, and I suspect you probably need it full.

    I would also feed them a partial protein patty, and keep an eye on how much pollen they bring in and store. If they are not hauling it in like crazy later in the month, feed a full pound of protein supplement in small pieces (so you won't raise a large crop of hive beetles instead of bees) over the next four or five weeks. By mid September they will be raising winter bees and will need large amounts of protein to do so, it they don't have enough they will die out in late winter raising brood before they break cluster. This in fact may be what happened to your hive last year, that or they didn't raise any winter bees because the brood nest was full of syrup.

    Empty comb in the winter isn't all that helpful when they need honey for fuel....

    Beekeeping is all about "fixing" the ebbs and flows so that you have a strong, healthy hive when there is a flow on so they can make honey for you. To my mind, this means feeding when you need to to keep them strong or build them up -- I'll be feeding three hives this fall. One is a tiny swarm I'm trying to get built up to overwintering nuc size in the next two months, the other two went queenless and are low on bees and stores. Not a problem as far as I'm concerned, and I'll be feeding them in the spring again to get large, active hives when the honey flow hits. Don't get much honey stored if you have a small bee population when the black locust blooms here! Takes a ton of bees to collect and process that lovely nectar, and they only bloom for a week.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Feed if your bees need it. Pay no attention to those ignorant of the process of feeding.

    You may be in a dearth for now. I don't know your area. But for a hive at about half of winter survival strength, I would feed a bit until we know that a fall flow is happening. The bees will need comb to put goldenrod or aster nectar in and it sounds like you need to get the bees building it now. In a dearth, that means feeding. It doesn't mean forcing the bees to feed off their earlier stores as they will not be building comb in survival mode but it means giving them the means of winter survival. Your bees will most likely not be making any surplus honey this year so dismiss any and all preaching about contaminating your honey with syrup.

    mrobinson may have been successful in keeping his little top bar hive in Georgia alive for his whole year of beekeeping but he seems to be as lacking in knowledge of what it takes to keep a full hive alive over winter in the north as he is in the process of feeding as it relates to honey in the supers. Perhaps he is unaware of the process of stopping feeding before the flow that you intend to harvest, of never feeding while honey supers are on, of only feeding when necessary, of feeding to keep your bees alive.

    Perhaps it's the limitation of keeping a little hive of bees in a top bar hive that limits his awareness or perhaps he seriously believes in the "Better dead than fed" philosophy. Perhaps its a lack of knowledge or skill in keeping frames of honey free from syrup, no doubt harder in a top bar hive, though, as most others are aware, quite feasible in Langstroth hives. Maybe he's just unaware of how lucky he has been in his whole year of beekeeping experience.

    I've seen others come down off their own high horses when the reality of dead colonies they intentionally starved stares them in their surprised and confused faces and they realize their bees are dead due to their neglect. Most come to understand that with putting wild creatures in unnatural settings comes the moral responsibility for their care. A few others, like one pathologically verbose bee-haver that haunts these forums, will neglect their responsibilities under the guise of "practicing non-intervention" and blame the bees when they die. This is a pathetic excuse for beekeeping. Animal cruelty, actually.

    In "ten million centuries of bee-dom, these insects never encountered" a totally unnatural top bar with frames that a large mammal will arbitrarily rip from their midst and manipulate at will and that will intentionally starve them because of some irrational philosophy that makes him all warm and fuzzy and them starved and dead. That his hive is alive after his whole year of beekeeping in a temperate climate is little a result of not feeding and more a function of luck and conditions. Throw a dearth at him followed by an unusually cold winter and all the freshly developed philosophical ideals he has imagined as truths will not bring the bees though the winter.

    Feed when your bees need it. Your bees are not "better dead than fed."

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 08-06-2014 at 09:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,948

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    I encourage you to try "baiting" the 2nd deep with several of the frames from the brood nest - right above the brood in the bottom. I find the the bees keep the brood warm enough to do this in August.

    Replace the frames you pulled in the bottom deep with foundation - Don't put them on the walls but in a little bit. Surround the brood frames in the top box with foundation. Center the brood nest if you need to.

    And feed.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    It is expensive and counterproductive to feed them when there is a nectar flow. Feeding should be done for a reason and you should monitor whether you are accomplishing that "reason". Feeding is the leading cause of robbing and ant problems. Feeding constantly is a major cause of swarming. Feeding judiciously in a dearth can keep them building up when they otherwise might shut down.

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    "I did move 2 established frames to the upper box and I was going to start feeding again and just monitor it closely. Good idea? Bad ideea? Or am I just totally missing something."
    Assuming you are not in the Pine Barrens, I would not feed under your present circumstances at this time of year. Some of the reasons include that you may disrupt the normal course of seasonal population change and cause a population build up that is not sustainable with healthy natural food sources; there should actually be enough food sources; sugar water can upset the biotic environment in the bees' digestive system; feeding is more expensive than not feeding; and you are at least as likely to cause a problem as solve one.

    What Michael Bush said about having a reason and monitoring is spot on, and your present situation would not be sufficient reason for me. If the situation continued over the next ten days, for me, that could change. I hope it goes well for you.
    Inscrutable little bugs.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by waynesgarden View Post
    Feed if your bees need it. Pay no attention to those ignorant of the process of feeding.
    Some folks keep bees as pets, and the goal is 'all natural'. I can understand why those folks are adverse to feeding the bees, it goes against the goals they have set.

    I keep bees as one component of a revenue strategy for our farm. I started bees as an urbanite, and during that time we were leaning toward 'pets' more than a revenue source, but since then I have bought a small farm, and now the view of the bees is completely different than it was a few years ago. They are one prong of a multi prong revenue strategy. We just bought the farm last fall, so it's going to be a couple years before all of our strategies are fully implemented, but, that's how things go in this business. We invest this year, for a return next year or the year after. This is not a business where we worry about 'results next quarter'.

    This was our first full season in the new location, so I set up some technology to help me better understand flows in our area, and help me refine strategies to maximize production with our bees. I learned a LOT, and as it turns out, very little of what I learned was actually about the ebb and flow of the flows, but more about how to better manage the bees to capture those flows when they happen. Reference the graph below. This a graph of the colony weight over time, measurements taken every 5 minutes. The graph is corrected for equipment added and / or removed from that hive. I weigh everything on, and everything off so that I have a continuous chart of the colony progress.



    This graph is live, the link updates every half hour, so, the numbers you see will be a little different than I am quoting now. As I type this, the colony has a 50 pound weight gain since the scale went under it, and the value for 'supers' is now a negative number, shows -28.6 pounds. I've taken 28.6 pounds more off, than I put on over this period. Not a stellar honey crop at all, dismal to be honest. But, I know why, and the graph shows it, so let me explain.

    This year we had a long and protracted spring, the bees did not really start brooding up till the end of April. The first small run up happened while the arbutus trees were blooming, and when that started, the bees started to brood up with a vengeance. On april 30 when I started this, the colony was still all located in one box of the 2 deep stack, and the second box was pretty much all empty drawn comb. During that first run, they started putting brood into the second box, and lots of it. Note the timing there, and refer to the 'bee math' page on Mr Bush website. A worker bee will be foraging at 42 +- 7 days from egg laid, so on the shorter end, that's 35 days. If you look at the graph, pretty much right on schedule, 35 days after that first run started, we hit a strong nectar flow, and the bees were ready for it, with lots of foragers, 2 deeps full, and they had an empty drawn super above when it hit. Over a span of 9 days, that colony put on 35 pounds. Our expectation was, that run would continue, because the blackberries were just starting to bloom at the tail end of that runup. Blackberries showed the first flower on June 8, the runup ended on June 10. The blackberries didn't produce much this year, and I'm not the only one to notice that, folks all up and down Vancouver Island have been reporting poor returns on the blackberries this year.

    The biggest lesson that came out of this exercise was with regards to feeding my bees. I didn't feed them much this spring, and they didn't start brooding up at all until the arbutus trees were producing. If I had fed that colony 6 weeks prior to the flow from the arbutus, they would have had a much larger foraging force to work on that first flow in mid May. All of the clues one needs to understand this, are again located on the bee math page. If you have a cluster covering 4 frames of brood, it takes 3 weeks for that to all hatch out, at which time there will be enough bees to cover 8 frames. When those 8 frames have all hatched out 3 weeks later, then a double deep is approaching full. 6 weeks from the start of the process, till the colony has enough bees to field a decent work force and start packing in surplus. I was in this colony a lot in the early part of the year, so I could watch what was happening inside, and correlate with what we were seeing on the scale. The estimates from doing bee math, and the observations, matched pretty much dead on.

    But the real big revelation comes in looking at how much honey they put on, and when they did it. This colony was not moved up to a fireweed patch to catch the August flow, so they put on what amounts to the entire year crop, over a span of 10 days. If they had brooded up even one week later than they did, that flow would have been missed as well. Half of what they put on went into the deeps around the brood nest, and half went into the honey super. If you look carefully, there are two days where they put on 9+ pounds in a day. 60% of the harvest was put on over 2 days. This observation puts real meaning into that old saying, 'you gotta make hay when the sun is shining'. A whole year of effort with this colony, boils down to one week of honey production. The numbers now show, total colony weight is 123 pounds, corrected for equipment on/off. The raw scale reading is actually 123 less the 28 pounds of honey that came off with the supers, which puts it at 95 pounds, just a little shy of my winter weight target. Goldenrod is starting to bloom and they are putting on more now. I'll re-visit again in September, and if necessary, they will get syrup to bulk up to 120 pounds. 10 dollars spent on sugar this fall, is FAR less expensive than 165 spent on replacement bees next spring.

    The other big lesson to come out of this exercise. Had I provided the inputs needed to better stimulate brood production a month earlier, this colony would have had a full workforce in place by the time we had the early flows. That would have resulted in _at least_ another 20 pounds of honey from this colony, and possibly 4 frames of brood in May to make up a nuc.

    If you are managing bees for specific goals, then feed is just one tool in the toolbox to help achieve those goals. In the early spring, feeding syrup is problematic because it's often to cold for the bees to take syrup. The solution to that, is feed them up in the fall, so that syrup is stored in combs, capped, in a form they can work with it. I will use the feeder toolbox this fall to get them bulked up, and then in the spring the pollen patty is the other half of that feeding toolbox. If I can get this colony to brood up a month or 6 weeks earlier, then I'll get a larger honey crop from the early flows, and I'll get an extra 4 frames of brood, each of which is worth $30 when placed in a nuc (local pricing) for sale in early May. An extra 25 pounds of honey that sells for $7 at the gate, plus a nuc, means I triple the revenue from the colony thru better managing the feed. My estimates right now, I'll spend a total of $30 on sugar and pollen patties for this colony by the time our next spring flow hits. My return on that, will be on the order of $250. That's a pretty good ROI, in any business.

    As for the folks that keep bees as pets, and go on about how it's so much better to not feed them, I only have one question. Do you feed your cats and dogs, or do you let them run wild and fend for themselves too ?
    Last edited by grozzie2; 08-07-2014 at 10:12 AM. Reason: add a bit

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    I always viewed it the other way around. The people feeding were viewing them as pets who needed to be fed as if they can't feed themselves... but certainly some bees in some climates you may get a better crop by feeding at exactly the right times. In my climate I don't see that. If I feed early they are likely to get caught on brood and die. If I don't feed early there is no reason to feed later because there is a nectar flow then...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    As far as cats, if it was up to me I would not feed them and I would let them fend for themselves. They eat a lot more mice that way and that is their purpose as far as I'm concerned...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Greenfield, IN
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    Some folks keep bees as pets, and the goal is 'all natural'. I can understand why those folks are adverse to feeding the bees, it goes against the goals they have set.

    I keep bees as one component of a revenue strategy for our farm. I started bees as an urbanite, and during that time we were leaning toward 'pets' more than a revenue source, but since then I have bought a small farm, and now the view of the bees is completely different than it was a few years ago. They are one prong of a multi prong revenue strategy. We just bought the farm last fall, so it's going to be a couple years before all of our strategies are fully implemented, but, that's how things go in this business. We invest this year, for a return next year or the year after. This is not a business where we worry about 'results next quarter'.

    This was our first full season in the new location, so I set up some technology to help me better understand flows in our area, and help me refine strategies to maximize production with our bees. I learned a LOT, and as it turns out, very little of what I learned was actually about the ebb and flow of the flows, but more about how to better manage the bees to capture those flows when they happen. Reference the graph below. This a graph of the colony weight over time, measurements taken every 5 minutes. The graph is corrected for equipment added and / or removed from that hive. I weigh everything on, and everything off so that I have a continuous chart of the colony progress.



    This graph is live, the link updates every half hour, so, the numbers you see will be a little different than I am quoting now. As I type this, the colony has a 50 pound weight gain since the scale went under it, and the value for 'supers' is now a negative number, shows -28.6 pounds. I've taken 28.6 pounds more off, than I put on over this period. Not a stellar honey crop at all, dismal to be honest. But, I know why, and the graph shows it, so let me explain.

    This year we had a long and protracted spring, the bees did not really start brooding up till the end of April. The first small run up happened while the arbutus trees were blooming, and when that started, the bees started to brood up with a vengeance. On april 30 when I started this, the colony was still all located in one box of the 2 deep stack, and the second box was pretty much all empty drawn comb. During that first run, they started putting brood into the second box, and lots of it. Note the timing there, and refer to the 'bee math' page on Mr Bush website. A worker bee will be foraging at 42 +- 7 days from egg laid, so on the shorter end, that's 35 days. If you look at the graph, pretty much right on schedule, 35 days after that first run started, we hit a strong nectar flow, and the bees were ready for it, with lots of foragers, 2 deeps full, and they had an empty drawn super above when it hit. Over a span of 9 days, that colony put on 35 pounds. Our expectation was, that run would continue, because the blackberries were just starting to bloom at the tail end of that runup. Blackberries showed the first flower on June 8, the runup ended on June 10. The blackberries didn't produce much this year, and I'm not the only one to notice that, folks all up and down Vancouver Island have been reporting poor returns on the blackberries this year.

    The biggest lesson that came out of this exercise was with regards to feeding my bees. I didn't feed them much this spring, and they didn't start brooding up at all until the arbutus trees were producing. If I had fed that colony 6 weeks prior to the flow from the arbutus, they would have had a much larger foraging force to work on that first flow in mid May. All of the clues one needs to understand this, are again located on the bee math page. If you have a cluster covering 4 frames of brood, it takes 3 weeks for that to all hatch out, at which time there will be enough bees to cover 8 frames. When those 8 frames have all hatched out 3 weeks later, then a double deep is approaching full. 6 weeks from the start of the process, till the colony has enough bees to field a decent work force and start packing in surplus. I was in this colony a lot in the early part of the year, so I could watch what was happening inside, and correlate with what we were seeing on the scale. The estimates from doing bee math, and the observations, matched pretty much dead on.

    But the real big revelation comes in looking at how much honey they put on, and when they did it. This colony was not moved up to a fireweed patch to catch the August flow, so they put on what amounts to the entire year crop, over a span of 10 days. If they had brooded up even one week later than they did, that flow would have been missed as well. Half of what they put on went into the deeps around the brood nest, and half went into the honey super. If you look carefully, there are two days where they put on 9+ pounds in a day. 60% of the harvest was put on over 2 days. This observation puts real meaning into that old saying, 'you gotta make hay when the sun is shining'. A whole year of effort with this colony, boils down to one week of honey production. The numbers now show, total colony weight is 123 pounds, corrected for equipment on/off. The raw scale reading is actually 123 less the 28 pounds of honey that came off with the supers, which puts it at 95 pounds, just a little shy of my winter weight target. Goldenrod is starting to bloom and they are putting on more now. I'll re-visit again in September, and if necessary, they will get syrup to bulk up to 120 pounds. 10 dollars spent on sugar this fall, is FAR less expensive than 165 spent on replacement bees next spring.

    The other big lesson to come out of this exercise. Had I provided the inputs needed to better stimulate brood production a month earlier, this colony would have had a full workforce in place by the time we had the early flows. That would have resulted in _at least_ another 20 pounds of honey from this colony, and possibly 4 frames of brood in May to make up a nuc.

    If you are managing bees for specific goals, then feed is just one tool in the toolbox to help achieve those goals. In the early spring, feeding syrup is problematic because it's often to cold for the bees to take syrup. The solution to that, is feed them up in the fall, so that syrup is stored in combs, capped, in a form they can work with it. I will use the feeder toolbox this fall to get them bulked up, and then in the spring the pollen patty is the other half of that feeding toolbox. If I can get this colony to brood up a month or 6 weeks earlier, then I'll get a larger honey crop from the early flows, and I'll get an extra 4 frames of brood, each of which is worth $30 when placed in a nuc (local pricing) for sale in early May. An extra 25 pounds of honey that sells for $7 at the gate, plus a nuc, means I triple the revenue from the colony thru better managing the feed. My estimates right now, I'll spend a total of $30 on sugar and pollen patties for this colony by the time our next spring flow hits. My return on that, will be on the order of $250. That's a pretty good ROI, in any business.

    As for the folks that keep bees as pets, and go on about how it's so much better to not feed them, I only have one question. Do you feed your cats and dogs, or do you let them run wild and fend for themselves too ?

    Love the info here. You have spent a lot of time to do this and the reward is more knowledge to do better in the future. What kind of scale did you use?

    Thanks
    Greg

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by LanduytG View Post
    What kind of scale did you use?
    This is the scale I'm using:-

    http://canadianweigh.com/collections.../hd-series-120

    It's not perfect, the biggest flaw is that the scale itself varies considerably with temperature. I've got temperature sensors out there too, and had to do a lot of math to come up with decent corrections for temperature. These type of electronic scales are great in that they self calibrate to zero when you turn them on, but when left on for long periods, they do have fluctuations that correlate with temperature. I originally calibrated it by leaving it sit for a couple months, with about a hundred pounds of steel sitting on it, and keeping track of how it's readings varied with temperature. I've spot checked it a few times over the summer, and my 'temperature corrected' numbers are always within a quarter pound of true weight now, based on resetting the scale to zero with the hive lifted up off the platform.

    Having readings on 5 minute intervals shows some interesting other information. I can map out the difference in hive weight in the early morning, compared to mid day, and get a good idea of how many bees are foraging on any given day. The differences between the size of the foraging force in early May, and early June is more than a bit dramatic. The number of bees leaving in the morning during the period of runup was 4x that of a month earlier.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: Should I still be feeding?

    "Good idea? Bad ideea?"
    I had to stop before finishing earlier, but wanted to add that bees move honey and syrup within the hive after it has cured. This can make it hard to keep the condensed, evaporated syrup out of the honey. For my taste, honey from hives where syrup has not been used has more pungent and interesting flavors than locally processed bulk honey. But that is clearly a matter of personal preference.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 08-07-2014 at 01:09 PM.
    Inscrutable little bugs.

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