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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Around these parts I'm told blackberry is the main flow. Near my hive the blackberries are just starting so my theory is that any eggs laid today probably won't become foragers in time and may end up being a burden if there are too many and nothing to feed on. I'd like to stop feeding but they barely have any stores right now and I'd like to continue to feed until I see some capped honey (or syrup). Will feeding 2:1 vs 1:1 slow brood rearing? How much do they need to live and raise brood day to day? Current population seems 2-3x what I started with (a 3lb package) roughly 9 top bars worth of comb, mostly brood.
 

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Foragers will work themselves literally to death in NO time on a flow. Why would you want to limit brood production before the flow? :scratch: I would be trying to grow my population. The main "flow" may be blackberries...but are you saying there are no wildflowers, trees in bloom, etc? The bees know what to do. You don't have any stores in the top corners of your brood frames? If you have things blooming, I bet the bees are just fine... Feed until blackberries if that makes you feel better, but there are more resources than just blackberries....trust me. I hope somebody from your area responds. Probably hard to listen to somebody from So FLA....and I DO admit, I do not know your flows. Pretty sure there's a lot more going on than just blackberries though.

Edited to go back to your original question....2:1 (sugar to water) is usually used later in the year to help them store without as much effort in dehydration. Whether you do 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, etc...the queen will lay what she knows the hive can support. I'd be trying to grow them as much as I could. Drones can become a burden on a hive, especially late in the season, but I don't believe workers ever are. The workers lose so much population on an every day basis that they need the reinforcements. JMO!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why would you want to limit brood production before the flow?
it takes 3-4 weeks to go from egg to bee and a couple of weeks at least for bees to start foraging. According to Michael Bush its 42 days give or take a week. In that time I'm guessing the flow will be over or ending. It doesn't make sense to me to have peak population AFTER a flow.

The main "flow" may be blackberries...but are you saying there are no wildflowers, trees in bloom, etc?
So far I've seen no evidence that there's enough wild flower nectar. They bring in pollen but on every inspection I've seen only bee bread and pollen no stored honey at all and I've even been feeding a couple liters a week, more this week.

The bees know what to do.
I hear this a lot but bees are not magic animals. They can't see the future and even if they remembered last year they'd be remembering what happened in California.

You don't have any stores in the top corners of your brood frames?
barely anything.

Pretty sure there's a lot more going on than just blackberries though.
Probably true. Given what I've seen so far I'm just worried there'll be too many mouths to feed during a dearth. It may be completely unfounded but I'm worried about them. Last years hive didn't make it through winter.

Edited to go back to your original question....2:1 (sugar to water) is usually used later in the year to help them store without as much effort in dehydration. Whether you do 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, etc...the queen will lay what she knows the hive can support. I'd be trying to grow them as much as I could. Drones can become a burden on a hive, especially late in the season, but I don't believe workers ever are. The workers lose so much population on an every day basis that they need the reinforcements. JMO!
That's a good point. thanks.
 

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I would continue to feed 1:1 until you see excess nectar being stored. Controlling brood rearing to maximize a flow is usually meant for well established or overwintered colonies that are bursting at the seams with bees prior to the flow.

Being a current year package I would advise allowing the colony to build up as much as they can, at their own pace. The queen will know when to slow brood rearing. Be prepared to feed during a dearth if they need it to help them through. I know it can be difficult sometimes to look ahead, but we should be planning now for months in advance, the bees are. You want a strong, well populated colony this fall in preparation for winter. That process has already started in your colony.
 
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