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Hi, everyone,

I realize I don't want to make an assumption.
I have been assuming that 99.9% of beekeepers will feed their hives sugar water during the dearth.
Yay? Nay?

regards,
Thomas
 

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Burlington, MA. Langs
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I plan on letting them keep their own stores.
But I did feed syrup when I got the Nuc this spring but I am doing foundationless and a 1st yr beek so I don't fully count
 

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I rarely feed mine (but will if they need it); they usually make plenty on their own to last through our long dearth (Oct-March).
 

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I don’t typically feed during the summer. Our dearth is from about July to September. The honey that is stored in the double deeps is usually enough to get them through the summer. When things start to get dry in July, I do make sure to keep a good water supply close by. Our small leak in the irrigation line makes a great watering hole. If we don’t get a decent golden rod flow in October, then I will feed light hives going into the winter.

If I happen to have any nucs, I will feed them syrup during the summer dearth.

Ryan
 

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Not really a comment related to this post....but does anyone if the bees have a pattern if they have to eat their own honey...
 

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I will feed some (quart) then stop for days just because it created a late swarm from over feeding last year. So enough to take the edge off before goldenrod starts.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Our nectar flow shuts off like a faucet right about now. I am making nucs and trying to get the replacement frames drawn as well. I feed about 1 gallon per week of 1:1 to the hives and maybe a qt per week to the nucs. The hives have much more in the way of residual stores and a much larger foraging force so they do not need as much repective to population.
The bees start uncapping honey from the center frames first. Looks just like how they prep a frame for brood.
 

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For production colonies, I leave supers on spring to fall so I only feed the light colonies in early spring and late fall. Generally not needed.

For nucs, I might feed when there isn't a flow. (And I sometimes have hives in double deeps that I call "nucs" -- it's just any hive I'm not going to super that year.)

We don't have much of a summer dearth here. The bees break even or come close to it anytime it's warm enough to fly. I use scales and have only seen a couple pounds of weight loss per week in summer, averaged across hives.
 

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I understand feeding nucs and new hives, but why would you add syrup to the hive that may still make fall honey? Are you guys taking supers off when feeding during summer dearth?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Cant speak for others, but here in Virginia, we do not get a fall flow. We have a six to eight week season and then nothing for awhile. Later we get a small amount, not enough to harvest, from goldenrod, asters, and soy beans. We also have to feed because harvesting here means taking as much as you can. No supers left for the bees, just what is left in the broodnest.
 

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Cant speak for others, but here in Virginia, we do not get a fall flow. We have a six to eight week season and then nothing for awhile. Later we get a small amount, not enough to harvest, from goldenrod, asters, and soy beans. We also have to feed because harvesting here means taking as much as you can. No supers left for the bees, just what is left in the broodnest.
OK, in that context it certainly makes sense to feed. What about pollen sources? Are those readily available for growing hives or do you have to go to pollen substitutes?
 

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I weigh hives to determine need but a quick visual is often all that is required all summer and into the Fall. I will feed when they are in trouble which is rare here. It did happen one Fall when the flow failed completely after a dry July and August. Hive weights were dropping so I started feeding heavily-early.

I do not feed with supers on but I will feed nucs and the brood chamber. Basically if bees are short of foragers (queen failure) and honey, supers come off and I will feed syrup to establish a colony. I do plan on feeding all hives, after the supers are removed, when a hive is light ( by weight). I plan to be up to "winter-over" weight by early Nov. but can feed into December. I am conflicted by what is best for winter - syrup honey or natural honey. I will likely end up with a mix by topping off the brood chamber with syrup after the Fall flow.

My sixth year and feeding application is still evolving. Fall feeding to weight this past winter appears to be very successful. Providing what would seem to be excessive stored syrup honey in the Fall ( Nov.) did not look that way in April around here. I have not feed since Nov 2, 2019 to any hive.

Hope this helps - it's not easy
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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OK, in that context it certainly makes sense to feed. What about pollen sources? Are those readily available for growing hives or do you have to go to pollen substitutes?
I will provide pollen sub for the summer nucs since there is nothing to collect. The hives all should have ample stores of pollen but I won't heisitate to drop a patty on one if the cupboard is bare.
 

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I take splits when the dearth starts. populations are extremely high and I only run singles, so when I take the supers off, there's no room for all the bees. I'f I dont do something soon, they'll all be in the trees. The frames I take for splits are replaced with foundation and i feed about 1-2 gallons a week until they get the frames drawn out. it takes alot of sugar, but I think the dearth is the perfect time for wax making because them bees ain't doin nothin else anyway, might as well be productive. in about 2 months or so when the golden rod comes out, ill put drawn supers back on till mid october maybe. once it starts to get cold (modern gun season/first of november) and the pollen completely stops coming in, ill pack out the singles with 2:1 until they absolutely wont take any more.

Then I eagerly wait for spring...
 
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