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We too finally had a "decent day". But, for me, it's the opposite, we finally had a day with a decent amount of rain - Saturday before last; first time since November 2013. Just in time to keep the wildflowers alive and continuing to bloom, producing a nice spring build-up flow. They were a few days away from drying out and dying, now they'll keep going for a few more weeks, or better.

Temps running 10C (50F) night to 26C (80F) daytime, rain or not.
 

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In Arizona it is hot and dry in the summer months. How do you manage your bees in term of food supply?
Do you move them around into pastures like alfalfa or clover fields?
 

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Some beekeepers do keep their bees near agriculture, including alfalfa and citrus. Others, like myself, keep a careful eye on our hives and the availability of forage, feeding as necessary (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't), to keep them alive and healthy. Despite the heat and dryness, it is amazing what forage is available, much of the season, even despite multiple years with very little, or no precipitation preceding, for instance, a major flow from mesquite bloom (15 April -> late June/early July). Early spring build-up usually comes from creosote bush, which is like dandelion in other parts of the country. Sometimes, like now, we get enough precipitation that it inspires cool season wildflowers to bloom, providing a fairly strong early season honey flow, which helps colonies grow strong so they can take better advantage of later flows, like creosote bush and mesquite.

The Sonoran Desert is amazingly filled with a wide variety of plants, most provide some forage, as they bloom seasonally, regardless of weather. Others bloom soon after any significant precipitation. And still others, grow and bloom whenever there is above average precipitation (which happens about 1 year in 10). Those years I see many vast expanses of blooming wildflowers, that I, ordinarily wouldn't even suspect were there - annuals that grow and bloom so rarely.

For instance, after the first damp winter, I saw large quantities of grey-blue pollen. I'd never noticed that shade before. So I watched and observed that it was being harvested from redstem filaree. I'd seen a few of these plants almost every year, but one year they were plentiful enough to provide large quantities of pollen, and perhaps nectar too. Many other plants and pollen's, too. Though some I have yet to identify.
 

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What is in the blue buckets?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They are heavy and it is difficult for them them to land so the wobble around the give more. and 2:1 syrup
 

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Do you put syrup and hay in a bucket and open feed?
 

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Hate to say it but it is once again pouring down rain:(...the west coast had a one day reprieve so the bees could stretch their wings!
 

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The bees bringing in nectar rarely have pollen basket with them. I am not saying that they cannot have both.
They are heavier and fatter body than the pollen carrying bees. Inside the hive on the comb cells you will
see shiny watery cells full of nectar. Once they are dry up more the bees will cap them into honey cells.
To fill the nectar on the combs once you started feeding honey water or syrup they will fill these cells up
with shiny watery nectar. To ensure I have the natural honey and not syrup I feed them honey water.
The extra they will capped them for later use.
 

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I hadn't thought about open feeding. We had the same temps as you today, bees flying, pollen moving. I just want to make it to the finish line. If I put out some syrup is 2:1 better than 1:1. I want to avoid starvation rather than stimulate broad rearing at this point. We are going to drop down to the 30's one day next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I only open feed in winter because the neighbors bees don't fly out this far.In summer, I have to feed inside the hive because wasps and neighbouring bees are flying.
 

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If the weather is not ready to support stimulate feeding then you have to hold off on that.
Too cold a temp. they will not take the syrup anyways. You can try 1:1 to see if they will take
it inside since it is still too cold outside. Our weather is so consistent now that they don't take the
syrup anymore. They want the real stuff. At the same time I don't want to flood the combs with
syrup so that the queen have some space for early Spring build up. We are in early Spring now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I gave them fumagilin inside the hive in a baggie feeder. I don't want too much moisture for a prolonged time so I open feed. The weather is supposed to be sunny for the next 2 weeks so they will take in syrup as it is readily available.
 
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