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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oh I wish I had found this web site before I started.
Ok, I was all excited that I was able to add my honey super 2 weeks ago. Now I am learning here about "honey bound" and fear I have the same situation.
I tried a few different feeding methods and didn't like the gallon jar because you have to use a deep and it seems like a waste of a deep, not to mention the added expense for a 2 hive hobbyist. I bought the top hive feeder with floats from Brushy Mountain and loved it. I could actually watch the bees feeding any time I wanted too and it seemed like a better idea to be able to feed hundreds of bees at a time, instead of just the number of holes that you punched into the jar lid. (didn't want anyone going hungry!) And they sure did build a lot faster when I went to that feeder.
Now I wonder if I created an artificial "flow" and overfed them, causing them to completely fill the second deep, leaving no room for brood.

A secondary problem is now my upper deep is so heavy, I can't remove it to inspect my lower deep or mix frames. Of course I found out too late that many people prefer mediums for this reason. (again on this web site.)
Any advice? Or do I just tough it out for the rest of the season and try to do better next year?
 

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You can overfeed, and you probably have. You can always remove frames from that heavy hive body one at a time until it is light enough to remove so that you can inspect below it.
 

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Once they have a couple of frames of capped honey you can stop feeding. When they have capped it that means they are storing ample surplus honey. After that you can keep an eye out to be sure they have capped honey. If not, put the feed back on.
 

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Yes! And you can cause swarming when they aren't really prepared for it. If they have capped stores and a nectar flow I would stop feeding until late summer at least. You may have to feed to get them up to weight in the fall, but do it early in the fall, not when it's already cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, your answers have been a lot of help. Thanks.
Just so I don't make the same mistake next year, is there a way to tell if you are overfeeding other than seeing the honey bound situation? Or is that your only warning?
 

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Don't feed at all unless you have a good reason such as:

1) New packages need to be fed until they have drawn some comb and are bringing in their own food.
2) There is a dearth and the hive gets low on stores.
3) Winter is coming on and the hive is too light on stores - Ed Holcombe says to never let a (grown) hive get below 15 pounds of honey. Ever.
4) It's late spring and the hive is building up with lots of brood, but is low on stores, and a cold front comes through and they have to stop foraging - the main time when hives starve.

There are other reasons, but if you just feed for no good reason you can cause unforeseen problems.
 
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