Feeding Rate While Waiting for Colony to Become Queenright
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Holts Summit, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Feeding Rate While Waiting for Colony to Become Queenright

    I have three weak colonies in various stages of restoring themselves with queens. First queen is in lay and has first rounds of capped brood while other two will not be in lay until weekend to early next week. When I give them sugar syrup, all three colonies suck it down within about 12 hours. I am concerned too many worker cells will be used for energy storage and not be available for rearing of brood. part of my concern is getting energy stored for winter. Will over-feeding with syrup hamper buildup and ultimately winter survival during this early stage?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    325

    Default Re: Feeding Rate While Waiting for Colony to Become Queenright

    Think about it this way. A deep frame takes about 4 days for a queen to cover with eggs. Lots of the sugar that is consumed now will be turned into brood food. So as long as she has a frame or two of empty cells, you will be safe. A good to and average queens will lay around 5-6 deep frames of brood. You will be amazed at how quicly the sugar you are pumping into them now will be vanish with new brood. So consider feeding as long as you have one empty frame for her to lay in.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Holts Summit, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Feeding Rate While Waiting for Colony to Become Queenright

    Next season I will be repeating splits. While queens maturing, will they also be able to sustain the drawing out of foundation and storing syrup as "honey" and still have room for brood? This round they have drawn out comb to work with but that will be exhausted by next go around.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    325

    Default Re: Feeding Rate While Waiting for Colony to Become Queenright

    My experience has been that drawing foundation is best done with a laying queen in warm weather with plenty of syrup. A shook swarm is a great example of that. A 4 lb swarm can probably draw out a deep in about 2 weeks with heavy feeding. Thickly rolling wax onto plastic foundation really helps with drawing out comb. They just rechew it into shape. Italians tend to draw out better than other varieties. More drawn comb you have, more bees will gravitate towards working with that comb, than building new one.

    So when the populations are strong enough, do shook swarms. Basically put 9 frames of foundation with one central drawn frame with young larvae on the old stand. Shake the bees from the existing hive into the new hive, release the old queen and start feeding. With nothing else to do they will draw it out and with larvae already there they will not abandone the hive.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: Feeding Rate While Waiting for Colony to Become Queenright

    Some suggestions: 1) Remove a frame of empty worker cells so you are sure of having one for when the queen does begin laying; 2) continue feeding syrup; 3) add pollen or pollen substitute patties. It is the pollen that gets the egg laying into high gear. I find the Tucson diet to give excellent results, but here are several good patty formulas.

    Whenever bees are less than 2 frames from full, increase the chamber size (unless it's late fall or winter). If they are in a nuc, move them into a full box, if in a single add a second box. Additional boxes are an opportune time to add foundationless frames and let the bees draw out the combs. One caveat - be aware of chamber volume-to-colony strength ratio going in to winter. Too much volume for too few bees = dead bees.

    A good piece of equipment for a nuc moving into a 10-frame box is the dummy frame, a wooden box the shape of a frame of honeycomb. It takes up excess volume, making it easier for a small colony to control temperature inside the hive. I make and use a lot of them, and some doubles to save time. You can use a straight wooden top with no holes in an empty frame feeder to do the same task as a hive dummy. Remove hive dummies as the bees draw out and fill successive combs until the hive is full of honey and brood combs.

    If you have a laying queen and population is crowded, and if they start back-filling brood cells with honey, they are preparing to swarm, so splitting would be a good idea at such time.

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
  •