Bees starving
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Thread: Bees starving

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Bees starving

    I've had a couple of deadouts with tons of honey left over. I've got 3 hives that are very short on stores. I was going to try and get into them this weekend and put a couple of honey frames in each one. Well the weather was cold and nasty and the frames were very stuck with lots of propolis and when I tried to break them free the bees were very angry. Could I take a full deep box of honey and just put it on top of my single brood box or would that cause too much space? Also, I was thinking of just placing the honey above the inner cover and letting them go up and get it. Are either of these options ok or would it cause problems?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,572

    Default Re: Bees starving

    You can put a full box on top, yes.
    You can also put it over the inner cover.
    I've put a box on top without having inner covers myself.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: Bees starving

    Hello,

    I have changed to have 2:1 syrup on my hives during winter until I start feeding with frame feeders in March.

    I use reversed pint glass jars with plastic lids that have three small holes, smallest drill bit I had (1/16"). The jars are inside four 2" thick, 12"x12" EPS boards with a 5" hole, topped by a solid 2" 12"x12" EPS board, all glued together. I had the same problem as you, lots of stores in dead hives and it did not make sense to me. I looked at the stores and I feel the bees where not able to liquefy the stores to use. We are not through the winter, but we had a week of -35C (-31F), now at +3 to 9C (37-48F) and the bees are nicely feeding.

    BTW, I have two hives that received a pound of pollen sub. in the fall before winter wrapping and they are now bringing the paper backing out, telling me they are feeding on it. Ask me in April if this is good or bad.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Bees starving

    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor View Post
    I've had a couple of deadouts with tons of honey left over. I've got 3 hives that are very short on stores. I was going to try and get into them this weekend and put a couple of honey frames in each one. Well the weather was cold and nasty and the frames were very stuck with lots of propolis and when I tried to break them free the bees were very angry. Could I take a full deep box of honey and just put it on top of my single brood box or would that cause too much space? Also, I was thinking of just placing the honey above the inner cover and letting them go up and get it. Are either of these options ok or would it cause problems?
    Ray, I would.... take the top box from your dead out. If it is 90% full leave as is. if not then reverse the first 5 frames and the last 5. IE start with
    1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 end with 5,4,3,2,1,10,9,8,7,6 goal,, center is solid or very close with honey. then just set the box on top of your hive needing stores. you want to avoid an empty comb gap between the bee cluster and the honey. 1/2 empty combs against the wall is better than the center. either medium or deep will work. I have done this several times. can also combine several boxes into 1 to get more dense honey stores. can also have 6 solid frames of honey in the center adding the 1/2 empty frames to the sides to give each hive some feed
    good luck you can split the bigger hives in late may back into your other hives.
    GG

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    270

    Default Re: Bees starving

    I do not move honey from one hive to another. I would feed syrup first, like Biermann said - it's cleaner. Of course I am a newbie but ask yourself why they died before moving the honey. If you do plan on moving the honey warm it up first. Above 60 F and then install it so that the bees do not have to warm it up for consumption. It takes a lot of heat to warm a super of honey. I find bees want the honey / syrup to be above 50F, higher the better within reason - like in your house to RT. Good Luck

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,698

    Default Re: Bees starving

    "Could I take a full deep box of honey and just put it on top of my single brood box or would that cause too much space?"

    Yes, and the way I would do it, that is by the box. It will not cause too much space, if the bees need feed they will relocate into that full deep of honey or cluster just below it. It is not worth the risk in the winter to manipulate individual frames. Placing a box of feed on top is barely a interruption if done quickly with a puff of smoke.

    "Also, I was thinking of just placing the honey above the inner cover and letting them go up and get it. Are either of these options ok or would it cause problems?"

    This would probably work as well but option 1 above is the better of the two. Sometimes the ICover becomes a barrier and the cluster stays below it
    and could get caught too far from the feed and starve out anyway.

    One last thing, get the feed on them now, without delay, if they are very short on stores.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Bees starving

    Thanks alot guys. I'm going to put a box of honey on each hive tomorrow. I've got a small spacer on top now for the mountain camp. Any harm leaving that and the mountain camp on in between the two boxes?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,698

    Default Re: Bees starving

    Get the feed on them, you can always pull the shim/spacer and sugar later in the early spring as temps moderate.
    Priority 1 is feed.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Bees starving

    I would remove the spacer and MC pile and add the box with out any thing inbetween
    They will move up into it as they need.
    GG

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    566

    Default Re: Bees starving

    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor View Post
    Thanks alot guys. I'm going to put a box of honey on each hive tomorrow. I've got a small spacer on top now for the mountain camp. Any harm leaving that and the mountain camp on in between the two boxes?
    i would think it to warm to MC now in TN. if the bees are able to fly then they will haul out the sugar.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Bees starving

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    i would think it to warm to MC now in TN. if the bees are able to fly then they will haul out the sugar.
    With MC of no-cook sugar bricks, I find 10-20% of the sugar on the mite board (I use SBB with mite board inserted all winter). Am in mid-MD. Is that sugar just being accidently dropped, or is it being intentionally removed that way? Sometimes the pile on the mite board is so high, it is higher than the screen above it and I have to struggle to yank the board out for cleaning. Scrapped-off sugar falls to the ground when that happens. When intentionally removing, do the bees actually fly out with it (so I see the need for warm weather), or does intentional removal also include just dropping it onto the bottom (which does not require flying weather.)

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    883

    Default Re: Bees starving

    Quote Originally Posted by davemal View Post
    With MC of no-cook sugar bricks, I find 10-20% of the sugar on the mite board
    This is one of the reasons I make sugar bricks. The bees have to dissolve it to get rid of it. If there is any brick left over in the spring, I can easily take it out of the hive and use it to make sugar syrup. It is time consuming to make but I make 15 pound batches so I have to make it once a month.

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