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So I broke my promise to myself today and unwrapped one of my hives. It is still a few weeks early for it to really be time.

There are 5+ solid frames of honey left, mostly in the top box. The queen was laying on frames 2 & 3 in the top box. Frame 1 was solid honey, 4 & 5 were 50% plus. Not alot of brood but what was there looked like it had been through several cycles.

Given the remaining honey supplies, should I get some syrup on to stimulate brood production?

What I did do was rearrange frames somewhat - In the bottom box I put solid honey in 1 & 10, and moved the frames with brood down and put four mostly empty frames next to them so that the queen would have some space to lay. In the top box I put frames of honey in the outside positions moving the emptier ones to the center.

This hive backs up to my garage so it is no trouble to feed. I've held off feeding any hives that seemed ok on stores. I'm wondering now if that was such a great idea.
 

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You should check all hives to see if they need feeding. Feeding 1:1 sugarwater will stimulate broodrearing, assuming they have enough pollen either in the hive, or coming in. I find putting on pollen patties and light feeding will stimulate better than just one of those. Just be sure to provide feed if they run low on stores to support the additional brood.
 

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I would question what you did and here's why:

In January, I had 1 of my 2 hives still alive. It was a small cluster, but still alive none the less. I was hoping for a fair rest-of-the-winter to get this colony through to spring and to help matters along, or so I thought, I moved frames around to get the honey stores closer to the cluster so that if we got a cold snap (which we did) they would be better able to reach their food stores. The hive ended up dying off. Some clues seemed to still point to starvation (heads in the cells) but I also had what seemed to be quite of a bit of K-wing.

I constantly question myself whether I should have moved frames around and whether that had anything more to do with their demise. I guess you would have to evaluate the cluster size to see whether they would be able to keep any brood that she may lay warm enough and still have honey close enough to get to along with having pollen available as peggjam stated.
 

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Thanks for the feedback Peg and Bee. I've known for years now that you feed to stimulate brood, but somehow, with the hives still heavy I convinced myself I didn't need to this spring. I hefted the 7 hives I have at my outyard this morning and they still have plenty of stores.

Anyway, the hive I manipulated today is now enjoying some 1:1. I'll have to see if I can get some syrup this week. Mixing sugar and water in one gallon milk jugs for 15 hives is not my idea of a good time.

Beecron - I too get nervous about moving brood away from stores. However, the daily high temps have been in the 50s for the last few weeks dipping down to the 30s/40s at night - so I think I'm ok. When I was in the box this afternoon there were bees scattered in every part of the hive.

[ April 22, 2006, 07:14 PM: Message edited by: Andrew Dewey ]
 

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For what it's worth, I haven't fed my bees this spring as they had plenty left over from last fall. They're brooding up fine from the looks of things. Seems to me, pollen coming in and warm sunny days stimulates brood rearing pretty good
 
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