Do I need to feed the bees in my ob. hive all the time?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Do I need to feed the bees in my ob. hive all the time?

    Hi, everyone. Just got an observation hive last week - 8 frame by Bonterra Bees. For background, I'm on a farm in Half Moon Bay, CA (Zone 9B) a mile from the ocean. Temperate, lots of flowering plants & trees (flowering and fruit) through most of the season. My hive will be managed by a beekeeper who has many hives on our property, but he has never managed an observation hive before and I'm on that steep learning curve that most of you experienced years ago! To start my learning I am reading Frank Linton's Observation Hive Handbook in which he states (p.43) that an observation hive "will need to have feed available at all times," He says this without qualification, but does say they will eat different amounts at different times of the year. I am happy to do this, but why? What is the logic if the bees have easy access to varied forage for much of the year? I'm not questioning his claim - though some might and I am interested in the rebuttals - but trying to understand why he says that as a way to learn about what might be unique properties of observation hives.

    Any other reading suggestions or websites would be appreciated by this newbie to bees and to observation hives in particular. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Do I need to feed the bees in my ob. hive all the time?

    As a general rule, if they're getting enough of the real thing, they will ignore the sugar syrup. Try starting them on some and see how it goes. If they don't use it, take it off. Watch how much nectar and honey they have stored up themselves. If it's getting low, consider feeding. (fresh syrup. don't leave it sitting for months)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Do I need to feed the bees in my ob. hive all the time?

    Quote Originally Posted by brushwoodnursery View Post
    As a general rule, if they're getting enough of the real thing, they will ignore the sugar syrup. Try starting them on some and see how it goes. If they don't use it, take it off. Watch how much nectar and honey they have stored up themselves. If it's getting low, consider feeding. (fresh syrup. don't leave it sitting for months)
    Thanks, brushwoodnursery. I'll follow your recommendation.

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