supplemental food rejected
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wilson, Wyoming
    Posts
    20

    Default supplemental food rejected

    Greetings -- not exactly rejected... they are simply not eating any of it.
    I have a hivetop feeder with a winter mix of syrup but the bees have absolutely no interest in this food. This hive was also uninterested in the supplemental food I gave them in the spring. I've had a couple of hives here in the Jackson Hole valley in western Wyoming for several years, and have always given them this extra food as we head towards winter and it has always been popular. If they don't want it, that's their business, but we have a very severe and long winter season and I'm worried that they are depleting supplies they'll need to make it to spring. There is certainly little or no bloom for them to take advantage of at this point in the autumn.
    Any ideas or insights?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Worcester, Massachusetts
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    I have found using Honey Bee Healthy (HBH) works. I just did a pre-winter feeding and the bees can't resist it.
    I created 1 gal of 2:1 feeding syrup and added 4 teaspoons of HBH.
    As a rule when creating feeding syrup, I let it simmer for about 10 minutes to convert the sucrose to glucose and fructose. When the syrup is cooled, I then add the HBH. 2 teaspoons of lemon juice is optional.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,895

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    Some beeks add Apple Cider Vinegar to syrup. It lowers the ph which may help slow fermentation also. Here's a reference:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ed-A-good-sign
    Whether or not bees want syrup also depends on temperature, so if its too cold they may not want it.

    If you need to feed and its too cold for syrup, search the forum for "mountain camp" in reference to feeding [dry] granulated sugar in cold weather. [Tip: use the Google search on the Beesource home page, not the forum search function at the top right of this page.]
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    1,261

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    As a general rule, if they need the extra syrup, they will take it. Maybe they are working the fall flowers? I would be careful about adding HBH. This can set off robbing.

    Shane

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    Not sure if this is the case there, but I have always had trouble getting bees to use a hive top feeder when the temps get down into the 30's at night and not much over 50 during the day. The syrup gets cold and they stop venturing up into the feeder, even when they are light on stores. In cold weather it helps to put a feeder right on the top bars inside an empty box.
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,949

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    It is late in the season and there can be many reasons they may not be taking up the syrup. When I have several hives that are consuming and one that is not and that hive is light, more than likley they have a mite load and are stressed.
    Bees are like horses, you can lead them to water but cannot make them drink. It's frustrating when you have a light hive and they will not cooperate. I'd treat for mites, check throughly for DWV and any other problems.

    A sick hive this late really stands no chance to recover. If it is healthy-load on the feed any way you can. If it has problems and it is not something you are worried about spreading to another hive, I personally would remove the queen and rehomed her or killed her, brushed off all the bees onto the ground and give the frames of feed and resources to other hives (After freezing for a day or two to kill any pests) If I have frames of capped brood I let the chickens clean them out and store what is left of the hen assaulted comb for next years use.
    Also check the hive to make sure it is queenright and check for numbers. It can look like there are a lot of bees on top the frames at first glance, but when you lift out a frame it may be nearly bare. No bees, no need for the all you can buffet.

    Good luck!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,336

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    the fastest way i've ever got them to take in and store syrup, was to screw a quail feeder to a quart jar full of syrup, (i personally prefer no hbh, and add 1000 mg vitamin c per gallon).

    i got the syrup just a little warm in the microwave first, and put it in on after the sun got up for the day.
    i used an empty deep to house it, and placed it right on the top bars. it didn't take long for the bees to cluster on it, and they usually gulped most of it down by the end of the day, at which time i would take the feeder and empty box back off.

    i found that floating 3/8" wooden balls in the feeder trough prevented drowning.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,373

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    You might have a more positive experience if you could insert an immersion heater into the cold syrup in the feeder and keep the syrup warmed to between 60 and 70F. As has already been mentioned, nighttime temps in the 30sF and highs in the 50sF are not going to warm the syrup enough so the bees can take it. They won't touch syrup that is colder than the low 50sF.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,336

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    very cool joseph. have you tried this? does it finally get so cold anyway that the bees won't climb out of their cluster to go up into the feeder?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,373

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    Around here it rarely ever gets cold enough to chill the syrup below 50F. Though it can happen when the nights get into the 30sF (which they do a few nights of the year). On those cold Winter days I just give them inverted quart containers of syrup with a few small holes in their lids, where the syrup is warmed to about 80-90F, placed in the morning, and if there is any remaining by the next morning, I just mix it into some fresh warm syrup, or rewarm it before feeding it.

    I have used immersion heaters, so I have some experience with them, though I haven't actually had occasion to use them in syrup feeding situations. If I had this circumstance and wanted to use this style of feeder, I would certainly consider using small immersion heaters (thermostatically controlled to avoid over-heating).
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,949

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    Last winter, we had a ice storm and an elecrical outage. We went to hook up the generator and found the person who had borrowed it had changed the plug end and it did not work.
    ( This will make sense, I promise)
    I had hatching eggs in a small incubator that I was bound to lose
    I grabbed a large hand warmer and placed it in the incubator, and it kept it at 92 degrees overnight. Worked like a charm!
    So my thought was, why not try a hand warmer on top of a glass jar of syrup? An empty one gallon can will fit right over a quart sized jar to help keep the whole thing warm. They last about 10 hours or more.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,336

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    an electric one would be perfect. i don't guess they even make the old lighter fluid ones anymore. i would be concerned about the fumes from one of those.

    hopefully it is more the exception that the rule that we find the need to feed syrup when it's bitter cold.

    i think warming the suryp would work, but i would tend to leave my hives closed up with a 10:1 mountaincamp mush on some plastic around the sides on the top bars.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,949

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    I'm talking about the cheap hand warmers you open and shake in the air to activate..They cost about a buck.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    My experience locally is that the bees will take straight syrup quickly in September and that by Mid October they won't take any more. I do my winter feeding Mike Palmer style. Inverted paint cans on the top bars. I've had hives take 4 gallons in 5 days. I also have a stack of hive top feeders in the yard that haven't been used for several years because the bees don't take the quantity of syrup I want them to take from them. I've thought about HBH as a fall feeding stimulant but have not experimented with it.

    At least in local to where I'm at in Maine terms, it is now too late in the year to feed syrup. I don't think warming the syrup will accomplish much.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,336

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    I'm talking about the cheap hand warmers you open and shake in the air to activate..They cost about a buck.
    sounds like something i could use for crappie fishing this winter, thanks lauri, i'll have to find some.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,336

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    andrew, sounds like you also have palmer sized hives, what, a couple of deeps and a couple of mediums to boot?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Killington,VT
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    sounds like something i could use for crappie fishing this winter, thanks lauri, i'll have to find some.
    OT:
    Hi: I usually buy these in 10 pair packs at a scaled down price at Walmart (readily available around here). They work well when skiing/riding, and you can even put them in a sealed ziplock bag and freeze to re-use for a bit another day - I don't usually bother, I just toss them. I buy the smaller 10 pair packages since they don't age well on the shelf, and older ones may not work when you need/want them. They come in different sizes for different time spans and as Laurie said, they give off a nice steady heat. (On really cold days, I like the lower back pads too - I know ice fishermen who use these.)

    Where you live they will keep your hands hot.

    http://www.target.com/p/grabber-hand...i_sku=13811173
    Zone 4a-b

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,336

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    need to get 'em hot after baiting with tuffy minnows, sorry for getting off topic.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    andrew, sounds like you also have palmer sized hives, what, a couple of deeps and a couple of mediums to boot?
    Double deeps and the occasional single. No mediums.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,336

    Default Re: supplemental food rejected

    interesting. i'm south enough to get away with a single deep, but try to have a medium of honey on top for insurance.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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
  •