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I've got 2 'established' hives and 2 new ones. "Established" ones were bought last year and over-wintered well here. The 2 new ones were started April 6th. I've been feeding all of them - the established ones since about the end of Feb, and the new ones since they were installed mostly (a few days at a time the feeders may have been empty) - Always 1 to 1 sugar syrup.

The 'established' hives have been sucking up the sugar water like crazy. In just the last two days, they sucked up over a gallon.

Help. I live in a rural area. There are flowers around but we had a major drought last winter. I don't know what flowers in north Texas are right for bees -- the Misquite has finished blooming. Is this syrup eating going to contine through the summer? What should I expect? And what should I look for to know when to stop feeding or switch over to 2 to 1 syrup? :confused:

[ May 17, 2006, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: TexasBees ]
 

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If we have a nectar flow on none of my bees seem interested in sugar syrup, not even packages installed this season. So I would say feed them until they don’t seem to take it anymore. If you look at what you can sell a pound of honey for verses the cost of sugar it’s worth it. You don’t need to feed the 2:1 syrup until fall, the logic is it is cured into honey faster before winter sets in. and will boost there stores that were depleted from the beekeeper robbing their honey. It’s 1:1 in spring 2:1 in fall.
 

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gently lift the back of the established hives and see if they seem to be modestly heavy. I drove thru dallas/forth worth last week end and by all visual signs there should be a good flow. my guess is that the established hive should be able to fend for themselves.

the newly established hive are another thing altogether and this year the bloom has been extremely erratic. I tend to keep on a feed bucket until a new hive has completely filled out a box. like all newly created living thing you have to keep an eye on 'em.
 

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My bees are near San Antonio. We had some rain a while back, but nothing much lately. I have been feeding steadily since April. Depending on the type of feeder that you use, I'd suggest refilling only with a minimum amount and monitoring the level closely. That way, you can stop when no longer consumed and keep spoilage to a minimum.
 

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You should continue to see some Mesquite bloom for awhile yet, and wildflowers are late this year so they are still going some. If the hives are reasonably heavy, stop feeding for a couple of weeks and see if the bees are working something.
 

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ron s sezs:
I'd suggest refilling only with a minimum amount and monitoring the level closely.

tecumseh suggest:
a dribble of sugar water is the approach that I most often suggest. which is to say a small splash of sugar water continously will yield superior result to a big gush of sugar with large time intervals in between with nada.

another way to monitor whether a flow was occuring in your specific area is to simply watch those empty coke cans. when the girls take no futher interest in scavanging the suger from the coke cans then you likely have a bit of a nectar flow taking place.
 
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