Should I feed a swarm? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmlehman View Post
    I am not sure that I am qualified to assign a cause to the swarms, but they swarmed. I started feeding them about three weeks ago. They all had brood (all stages) and a few drones, but no swarm cells. They've been pulling in pollen consistently for a few weeks. I collected ~200 g from two hives during the four days before they took flight. This was the first week the traps were open (planned to close them after 7 days).
    Are these two events - the collecting of pollen and the decision to swarm - related ? Could it be that they objected strongly to this activity ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Where did you get this? How do the bees dilute the sugar in the cold? Where do they get the warm water? Why is cold sugar more consumable in cold weather? Why would syrup be less available?
    Where did I get this? right in my own yards. Bees don't take syrup when it's cold, but they will take other forms of feed.

    Picture taken early March of a light colony found so in December. Sugar sprinkled with water to hold together applied mid December. That was a pile of sugar when applied, they consumed and hollowed out the inside from the bottom up. From December to late February there
    are no days a colony would take syrup, barely a couple to go on poop flights. But, they will consume sugar in cold temperatures and even survive on it.
    As for the rest of your questions, can't help you.

    IMG_20180424_141950753.jpg

  4. #23
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    May 2015
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    Default

    I tried to train them to the trap over the last few weeks. I installed it and left it in the neutral position (if that makes sense, no pollen collection). They seemed confused by it at first, pilled up on the entrance, but figured it out. I found some dead bees on the landing board the next day, but none after that
    A few days later, I engaged the trap for a day just to see what would happen and collected a tiny amount of pollen (3 g). That was a couple weeks ago. I don't know what the root cause is, but there a number of potential contributing factors. Also, based on my limited experience, there a many potental solutions to preparing for swarms and managing collected swarms. I appreciate everyone's ideas. I'll check the feeder baggies in a few days and post an update

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    I always heard wait three days so that the swarm can use up the stores they brought with them so that no disease they might have might make it into stored honey. I also heard that this gave them time to get organized in their hive defense before drawing attention to them.

    What I do however, is normally put about a gal on them right off when I hive them. I do this out of laziness and it has mostly worked out. I have never got a swarm so early that it went many day of cold where it did not warm up during the day every so often that the syrup might not get warm enough to use. To be honest, I wouldn't know anyway cause I don't get in the hives in the cold.

    I do like LJ's advice that putting food on near dark is not a bad ideal.

    I like sugar blocks during winter though I am trying to wean my bees of all feed as soon as I get more guts. It is hard to do that cause I know that sugar blocks work.
    Just thought I would throw out the wait three day thing though I don't practice it.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Where did I get this? right in my own yards. Bees don't take syrup when it's cold, but they will take other forms of feed.

    Picture taken early March of a light colony found so in December. Sugar sprinkled with water to hold together applied mid December. That was a pile of sugar when applied, they consumed and hollowed out the inside from the bottom up. From December to late February there
    are no days a colony would take syrup, barely a couple to go on poop flights. But, they will consume sugar in cold temperatures and even survive on it.
    As for the rest of your questions, can't help you.

    IMG_20180424_141950753.jpg
    This is exactly what I experience as well. Come October, syrup consumption slows to a stop by the end of the month. When I find light hives during winter, I do exactly what's pictured and explained here with the same result.
    Last edited by trottet1; 03-17-2019 at 01:05 PM.

  7. #26

    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Where did I get this? right in my own yards. Bees don't take syrup when it's cold, but they will take other forms of feed.
    Ahhhh….the old ‘works for me’ science.
    How could anyone argue with that?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    i can imagine a scenario whereby the bottom of the sugar block/fondant is in contact with the top of cluster, and the rising heat and moisture from the cluster warms and liquifies the fondant making in more consumable than cold syrup in a feeder would be.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Ahhhh….the old ‘works for me’ science.
    How could anyone argue with that?
    Just a beekeeper, not a scientist. I suspect you aren't a scientist either.
    Your advice for the OP is off base in cold weather, period.
    Try feeding syrup to your bees in the cold and then tell me how they make out.
    Then try feeding them sugar or better yet fondant and let me know.
    It's hard to believe someone with so many years in hasn't already come to terms with when
    to feed syrup so the bees take it and when other food sources should be used. It's a lesson
    learned early in a cold climate.


    Either you didn't bother to read the thread or have a hair up the bung hole and either way I've
    said all I have to on feeding syrup during the cold to hungry bees.

  10. #29

    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Either you didn't bother to read the thread or have a hair up the bung hole
    A civil disagreement until this.
    Last edited by beemandan; 03-17-2019 at 10:43 AM.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    From December to late February there
    are no days a colony would take syrup, barely a couple to go on poop flights. But, they will consume sugar in cold temperatures and even survive on it.

    IMG_20180424_141950753.jpg
    I do this as well, but I also wonder about moisture. The heat from the cluster rises along with the humidity. It collects and forms on the sugar and through a magical process, becomes sweet. The bees feed on it and all is well. Sort of. I think

    When I don't feed Laura's sugar recipe to my bees, I tilt the cover to let condensation drain backwards. This thread has me wondering why I think it's okay to put a moisture blockage right over the cluster.

    Thoughts?
    The question is what to do, and the answer, as always, is complicated by a muddle of reason, emotion, and doubt.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtbeeguy View Post
    Honey is best but that's not always possible for newer beeks to have extra around .
    *I think* that was the point, the OP said his other hive is "loaded with stores". I actually was thinking the same thing, why not give a frame of honey rather than sugar or fondant.......But I could be wrong...LOL
    zone 5b
    Back in 2019!

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    >Where did I get this? right in my own yards. Bees don't take syrup when it's cold, but they will take other forms of feed.

    That's been my experience.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Where did I get this? right in my own yards. Bees don't take syrup when it's cold, but they will take other forms of feed.

    That's been my experience.
    +1 ^^^

    Beekeeping for 10+ years, My experience also says going into winter with candy boards not 2:1.

    As to the OP question, a day or 2 of cold in spring is not "going into winter" I always provide 1:1 feed to a new swarm/package. They can use it or not, but if they want it they can have it. If they have comb to draw (which they almost always do as I give them only a few drawn frames and several foundation only frames) then they will almost always take 1:1 when drawing comb.

  15. #34
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by c-bees View Post
    I'm usually more worried about letting too much heat out by opening the box when it's chilly and they aren't established. If the weather is crappy they aren't going to be flying much, you can close the box entrance for a few days to make them stay. If they swarmed from a decent colony, they should have filled up on stores before swarming, they are probably already drawing white wax....

    You mentioned stealing a frame from another hive, but sugar slurry is a faster energy source for a swarm than honey, and remember they need to get water to dilute honey before they can eat it, especially if it has crystallized in the frame you steal for them. So if they can't fly, either due to bad weather or the fact that you closed them in to make them stay, they can't get water. .
    How do they eat their honey in the winter if they need water?

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    When the bees metabolize honey, water vapor is a by product. This vapor condenses on the sides of the hive into water droplets and is consumed be the bees. In practice, it does not always work out that way.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i can imagine a scenario whereby the bottom of the sugar block/fondant is in contact with the top of cluster, and the rising heat and moisture from the cluster warms and liquifies the fondant making in more consumable than cold syrup in a feeder would be.
    somewhat concur Squarepeg, in winter i see steam coming out the top entrance, in very cold it freezes into frost even blocking the upper entrance with frost. So if the sugar is cold and warm moist air comes up it would condensate on the sugar at some point. so they use the condensation to water down the sugar.
    GG

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    GG, I seriously hope you meant water vapor, like from your breath on a cold day, and not steam.

    I think steam coming from a hive would indicate a problem.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    GG, I seriously hope you meant water vapor, like from your breath on a cold day, and not steam.

    I think steam coming from a hive would indicate a problem.
    Ha Yes water vapor, my reference to 212 degree water vapor was in error. I use a 1 inch by 3/8 upper opening on the rim of the Quilt box somewhat the same as an inner cover has. at 15 degrees it is vapor , by about 8-12 below zero it creates a frost plug. I was worried too much heat was leaving the hive so this past year I closed 8 of 12 hives upper entrance. well by feb15 on a visit I noticed those 8 had Ice on the bottom board, a few were completely sealed off with 3/8 to 1/2 inch of ice, so promptly the top entrances were opened. So it is a balance between heat leaving and vapor staying. I feel/my opinion is they need the water in the winter as a water source. Contemplating laying a shammy cloth on the inside wall of the hive to "hold" water. something very absorptive that they could get water out of.
    GG

  20. #39
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    Jan 2015
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    Hubert, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Should I feed a swarm?

    Any thoughts?, you asked. Yes... why did "all" of your hives swarm? I'd take a look at that first.

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