Bees after dark
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Thread: Bees after dark

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Bees after dark

    Thought i would take advantage of the nice weather and thought i would feed my one and only hive. Using a outside feeder about 100 yards away from hive. Got home from work and checked the feeder and there are stil bee's hanging around. Why didn't they return? Now that it is dark will they just stay there till moening?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Bees after dark

    Bees cannot see that well in the dark. They will usually crawl in the dark environment like
    inside the hive. Now just a little bit before the sunset they will go inside their hives because it
    is too dark outside for them to fly. If you only have one hive then I recommend doing an inside
    empty hive box on top feeding. Without other bees around, you don't have to worry much about
    robbing. My 2 Cordovan nuc hives I just feed them inside.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Bees cannot see that well in the dark. They will usually crawl in the dark environment like
    inside the hive. Now just a little bit before the sunset they will go inside their hives because it
    is too dark outside for them to fly. If you only have one hive then I recommend doing an inside
    empty hive box on top feeding. Without other bees around, you don't have to worry much about
    robbing. My 2 Cordovan nuc hives I just feed them inside.
    . Yea thanks kind of understand that but just not sure why they are still there well after sun has set. No ware near the hive. What is the difference if I feed them in there hive or outside?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
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    747

    Default Re: Bees after dark

    to cold to fly back, no worries, they'll warm up in the day and do their jobs as usual.
    unless they get eaten by spiders or other bugs.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Winona MN USA
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    252

    Default Re: Bees after dark

    There is usually a number of bees that spend the night out of the hive. Normally fewer in the colder fall. Feeding in the fall or any time of year, is best done in the hive, for several reasons in my opinion. The bees can feed longer because the feed is warmer that outside the hive. They also don't have to travel to get the feed and can feed during colder spells when they normally would not fly. I could give you more reason if you like, but these are important ones, not that the others aren't. Disease from other bees, robbing, wasting feed are a few more. I just don't do it. No upside to feeding outside the hive IMO. Take it for what you paid for it. I may not be right. But this is what I would do if it was me.
    GOOD LUCK!!!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
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    663

    Default Re: Bees after dark

    What is the difference if I feed them in there hive or outside?
    When open feeding you may very well be feeding the neighbors or any hives in the area.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Bees after dark

    Did you know with only one hive you can feed them 2-3 feet away from the hive?
    Done that before without any issue. You can observe your bees going in and out
    quickly to collect. But if you want to minimize the flying time then feed them inside
    the box will get the food to them much faster. The only difference I can think of is the time it
    takes to get to the food.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Bees after dark

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Did you know with only one hive you can feed them 2-3 feet away from the hive? Done that before without any issue. ...
    Open feeding like this is ill advised in my area, and probably in ours too. I read a post this week on BeeSource where a beekeeper open fed 70+ pounds of sugar syrup in a week or so, and his hives gained 11 pounds. His neighborhood bees were well fed though.

    Robbing events can be caused by open feeding too close to your hives. Once robbing gets started, it is difficult to stop. Robbing bees won't stop until all the food and brood and pollen in your hive is gone...your bees will probably leave too. But, sometimes you can get away with it. Use feeders inside your hive for all around best results.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,055

    Default Re: Bees after dark

    bee pro
    Did you know with only one hive you can feed them 2-3 feet away from the hive?
    If you did this and had no problim, you just got lucky. Just cause you only have one hive does not mean there are not more bees around. Stick a cup of sugar water out in early feb or march when it turns sixty or seventy for the first few times. You not having hives would not mean there are none around. I thought that one time too and payed for it. Some might get by with it but you won't if there is any weakness in the hive you set it by.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,109

    Default Re: Bees after dark

    I've seen bees overnight on my deck, about 150' from the hives. Usually they will fly back to the hive after they warm up in the am. If it was cold, like a couple of nights ago here in the 30s, maybe they don't make it. Found a half dozen dead ones under some stuff on the patio table this past week.

    Open feeding a small apiary is bad, IMO. But, if you are trying to attract feral (or your neighbors) bees to a couple of swarm traps you have set up, not such a bad idea. Just not in your bee yard.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Bees after dark

    I only do this when the hive population is almost even out because I don't want the
    strong hives to rob out the weak nuc hives in the same apiary. I cannot do this when there is a strong hive around.
    Besides, we don't have that many bees in our area. Must be either too isolated or they are not
    around at this time of the year. If you have many other bees around or a neighbor with hives around you, I don't
    recommend open feeding 2-3 feet next to your hive.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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