Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding). - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    There was a guy named Storch who wrote a book called: "At the Hive Entrance" - a copy of which can be downloaded from http://www.biobees.com/library/gener...20Entrance.pdf

    He calls this type of robbing 'Latent Robbing' - a good term as Latent means 'Hidden', and describes it thus:
    LJ
    An excellent recommendation At the Hive Entrance! All beekeepers should have this in their library. Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    In light of a number of members here suggesting passive robbing as a possibility, I've reduced the entrances down to their smallest setting in those hives that're being fed.

    Otherwise, I'm still frustrated at how slowly some of these hives are gaining weight.

    Perhaps 2:1 sugar syrup isn't the best feed for weight gain in the fall.
    Last edited by username00101; 10-11-2019 at 09:36 AM.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    ...
    Otherwise, I'm still frustrated at how slowly some of these hives are gaining weight.

    Perhaps 2:1 sugar syrup isn't the best feed for weight gain in the fall.
    For as long as bees convert the carbs into brood - no feed will have them gain the weight (even feed the honey - it will evaporate).
    The bees don't weigh much themselves.
    You are looking at a totally different problem.

    When they are done brooding (hopefully soon) - just provide with honey frames and/or dry sugar.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Is there any information on how much honey is required to raise brood? I've fed Hive A 30lbs of 2:1 , and they gained little weight.
    Last edited by username00101; 10-11-2019 at 12:28 PM.

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    Is there any information on how much honey is required to raise brood? I've fed Hive A 30lbs of 2:1 , and they gained little weight.
    Your location I would think the queen is not laying a lot of brood at this time. The prerequisite for brood rearing is bee bread etc. Looking at all the answers you have received on this, I believe sneaky robbing is going on. Since you reduced your entrance, and you closed the upper entrance on the inner cover? you should see some weight gain.
    Proverbs 16:24

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    I have seen the figure of a frame of honey to raise a frame of brood. This time of year will be seeing a net drop of thousands of timed out foragers. How many thousand bees to the pound? Personally I have fed ~40 pounds of sugar to get a net 20 gain on hive weight. Sometimes makes you question the laws of conservation of energy!

    Somewhere lies the answer.
    Frank

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Another possibility for a hive to lose or not gain much weight is heat loss. If a hive is opened too often or for too long (ie. more than 4 minutes in moderate weather), the bees will consume a bunch of honey just bringing the hive temperature back up to ~91 degrees F. This also applies if the box, lid, hive bottom, or any part of the setup "leaks" a lot of heat.

    It does not really have to be all that cold outside for heat loss to be a major factor in total honey production. I read of a gentleman who inspected his bees every day and always complained that they rarely made much honey. His neighbor had a world record for wildflower honey production in a single hive. When the neighbor suggested that he not open the hive so often, he replied that his bees were accustomed to his daily visits. Small wonder the poor girls couldn't put 20 pounds up top?

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Another possibility for a hive to lose or not gain much weight is heat loss. If a hive is opened too often or for too long (ie. more than 4 minutes in moderate weather), the bees will consume a bunch of honey just bringing the hive temperature back up to ~91 degrees F. This also applies if the box, lid, hive bottom, or any part of the setup "leaks" a lot of heat.

    It does not really have to be all that cold outside for heat loss to be a major factor in total honey production. I read of a gentleman who inspected his bees every day and always complained that they rarely made much honey. His neighbor had a world record for wildflower honey production in a single hive. When the neighbor suggested that he not open the hive so often, he replied that his bees were accustomed to his daily visits. Small wonder the poor girls couldn't put 20 pounds up top?
    That's a terrifying prospect. I did have two hives open for about 5 minutes the other day, when I was looking at the brood. Otherwise, they're not generally open for very long.

    Now I'm going to have to be faster. I didn't realize they could lose quite so much weight just having the hive open.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    I did have two hives open for about 5 minutes the other day, when I was looking at the brood. Otherwise, they're not generally open for very long.
    Now I'm going to have to be faster. I didn't realize they could lose quite so much weight just having the hive open.
    So you had both hives open for 5 minutes, but only one hive is having a problem retaining weight.
    To everything there is a season....

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    How much weight is your neighbor's hive gaining?
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    I wasn't clear.

    when I was feeding, I did not open either hive. Hive A and Hive B were both closed, and both fed. Hive A barely gained any weight, while Hive B gained exactly the amount of weight I fed them.

    Hive A had 3 frames of brood. I didn't open Hive B to check brood.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Gotta say- if money isn't an issue I'd throw some ProSweet on those bad boys. It's super thick, already inverted and will add weight like nobody's business. Also I'd pile it on with a big hive top feeder, pail or something to give them no choice but to store it quick. Expensive though.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    ........Hive A had 3 frames of brood. I didn't open Hive B to check brood.
    Then why don't you check the B for its status?

    Somehow it was assumed you correctly checked both - "A had brood" AND "B had no brood".
    So now that theory turns possibly wrong too (until B status is confirmed).

    People have been bashing their heads to come up with the answers for you.
    Yet the information provided is still incomplete.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Hi username,

    First thing to check is if there is any open brood present. If not, they may be queenless and this will disrupt gainful activities.

    There are 2 different grades of corn syrup feed - schedule 55 and schedule 77. My mentor noticed that the bees just seem to burn through the lighter schedule 55 syrup, but they add weight to the hive with schedule 77.

    I do make up sugar water, 1:1 when it is warm outside, and 2:1 when it gets cold enough that I want to wear a jacket, but I have learned to add the schedule 77 corn syrup in order to get them to put the weight onto the hive. I also add Honey B Healthy and Nosevit, and a few drops of lemon to keep it slightly acidic. The small amount of lemon helps "invert" the sucrose, meaning that it converts more easily into fructose and glucose.

    Or, the easy option - just buy BeeSweet, already mixed up for you.

    The other big trick to add weight is to add pollen substitute. That increases the number of bees adding weight to the hive. I use the "Tucson Diet" marketed as MegaBee by Dadant and Sons. It is the original superfood for bees, and still the best on the market.

    If you want to get deeper into bee nutrition, read the nutrition section in Randy Oliver's website, www.scientificbeekeeping.com Lots of excellent articles there.
    @kilocharlie

    Where exactly do you purchase this schedule 55 or 77 corn syrup?

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    @kilocharlie

    Where exactly do you purchase this schedule 55 or 77 corn syrup?
    I would not really worry of the the kilocharlie's ideas and keep it simple
    He is coming from the toasty California coast and does some commercial grade work (hence his approaches and make sense for him).

    Time for liquid feed should largely over in PA and WI (even then basic 2:1 sugar is all you really need).
    Regardless, it is just too cold to be pouring the syrup.
    Even if they take more - the weaker hives will not likely dry it down enough - then you just created excessive moisture/not dry enough syrup in the frames.
    Best to stop liquid feeding now.

    First thing to check is if there is any open brood present. If not, they may be queenless and this will disrupt gainful activities.
    In our locations (be it PA or WI) this is totally fine to NOT have any more open brood.
    We have freezing nights; no pollen intake anymore; time to shut down the shop.
    I would not worry the least about being "queen-less" - in fact, I want my better queens to shut down about now and take a break.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    FYI- Ian (Canadian Beekeepers Blog- YouTube) has 5 gallon pails on his colonies and just went through a snow event. If you have a few minutes it's worth it to follow his videos to see what he's been through the last few days. He hasn't brought them indoors yet and had the biggest storm that he can remember this early in October. He just got out to his colonies to find them fat, happy, heat caverns around the boxes and not really noticing what just happened. He mentioned moisture but not having them at the proper weight before he winters is a bigger problem.

    The reason I'm mentioning it is- you may have to pick the lesser of two evils. Personally I don't miss with #1 or #2 (mites and starvation). I would get on the phone to MannLake and order 5 gallon pails of ProSweet (the 77 mentioned is like this). Greg and I will just have to disagree on this one. If Ian's colonies are still taking the thick stuff in Canada I'm guessing you can too.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    FYI- Ian (Canadian Beekeepers Blog- YouTube) has 5 gallon pails on his colonies and just went through a snow event. If you have a few minutes it's worth it to follow his videos to see what he's been through the last few days. He hasn't brought them indoors yet and had the biggest storm that he can remember this early in October. He just got out to his colonies to find them fat, happy, heat caverns around the boxes and not really noticing what just happened. He mentioned moisture but not having them at the proper weight before he winters is a bigger problem.

    The reason I'm mentioning it is- you may have to pick the lesser of two evils. Personally I don't miss with #1 or #2 (mites and starvation). I would get on the phone to MannLake and order 5 gallon pails of ProSweet (the 77 mentioned is like this). Greg and I will just have to disagree on this one. If Ian's colonies are still taking the thick stuff in Canada I'm guessing you can too.
    Ian winters his in the conditioned storage AND packed into single boxes.

    He CAN winter the boxes pretty much opened (no lids and stuff).
    In fact, you want them wintering pretty much openly ventilated, when in the conditioned shed (cold is a non-issue in the conditioned storage, to worry about; the moisture just gets ventilated out also).

    Can you do the same?
    Do you do what Ian does?

    I don't.
    As for me, I have nothing in common with Ian (well, pretty much similar winter - that's about it).

    The context must be similar, if to do similar things.
    Last edited by GregV; 10-14-2019 at 03:06 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Ian uses both 2 1/2 gallon pails and 1 gallon pails, Not 5 gallon pails. Size is determined by how much syrup he believes bees need at that point in the bee year and size of the colony.

    He also is concerned about too low of a humidity in the winter shed. He likes to see a bit of condensation just beyond edges of cluster. Bees can access moisture to dissolve any crystalized honey. My recall says 35-40% humididty in the winter shed.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    Ian uses both 2 1/2 gallon pails and 1 gallon pails, Not 5 gallon pails. Size is determined by how much syrup he believes bees need at that point in the bee year and size of the colony.

    He also is concerned about too low of a humidity in the winter shed. He likes to see a bit of condensation just beyond edges of cluster. Bees can access moisture to dissolve any crystalized honey. My recall says 35-40% humididty in the winter shed.
    So the question is- how different are these numbers for someone wintering outdoors?

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Why the heck won't they gain weight (after ALOT of feeding).

    Hi username,
    We've been using BeeSweet, which has the schedule 77 corn syrup in it.

    I'm with Greg V about if it is getting too cold for liquid feed. Once there is a danger of freezing, get the liquid feed out of the hive and put up sugar bricks or fondant or both, along with the patties.

    Also, if one hive has no brood, shot brood, drone brood only or otherwise poor brood, then they are probably queenless (which would explain why they are not gaining weight) and I'd combine them with the other hive or add a nucleus colony with a hot queen. As Greg says, you may be past the time of year that a laying queen is important - I would combine resources and get the hives into
    Winter shape - two deeps and a honey super weighing in well over 130 pounds. If you have to sacrifice a colony to get that for the other, so be it - at least you'll be very likely have bees come Spring.


    btw, I highly recommend a hive top feeder when feeding liquid feeds, especially Don the Fat Bee Man's version of the Miller hive-top feeder. It has a 30 degree ramp-tunnel into the liquid food and the bee don't drown in it. Again, I don't use it when it gets cold - it comes off and I replace it with a fondant board-bottomed quilt box.

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