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Hello all.
I am a sideliner with about 80 hives (does this make me a sideliner?). Over the last ten years I have learned Quite a bit but I am always looking to learn more. My job requires me to spend a great deal of time driving through the beautiful agricultural areas of the Willamete valley in oregon. Last year I noticed a large local beek with feed jugs on his hives during a flow and was curious as to why. After looking more closely I observed that these hives also had excluders and supers. I considered that there may be a small amount of feed in the jugs to just get the bees started in a new crop if the weather turned wet for a week before the hive was able to put up any stores. this could save the beek an emergency trip to feed in the rain. My thoughts were that he was taking a chance that it would not rain and the hfcs would be stored in the super, this resulting in adulterated honey. After watching very close lately I now see he has added supers and the feed jugs remain. I do know that the crop (meadowfoam) they are in yields lots of very mild honey , almost tastless.
I don't believe he is drawing comb for expansion because the supers are a different size than his brood boxes.

What legitimate reason would there be to feed and add supers at the same time?
 

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Seems like a waste of sugar. And will also effect the taste of the honey. I have also found that when a good nectar flow is on they will leave the sugar syrup alone.
Also according to the author of the book “Bees Besieged “ a beekeeper becomes a sideliner when they hit 25 hives. I personally like Jim Tew’s description of beekeepers. You are either a full time beekeeper or a part time beekeeper.
 

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Sometimes yards have little flow until the main flow. Your bees may end up being on the edge of starvation until the flow kicks in. If you have a couple supers on your hive while feeding in this spring dearth, the bees get accustomed to going through the excluder. If the bees do move any syrup up, they end up bringing it back down and burning it up making bees.

You said it was a large beekeeper. Perhaps they hadn't had time to come back and remove the feeders, and had put on supers early to give the bees room to work when the flow kicked in.

The real question is, why were you close enough to someone else's bees that you could see if they had an excluder on or not? Personally, I wouldn't look kindly on someone snooping around any of my beeyards. (And if you had a legitimate reason to be that close to the hives, you could just ask the beekeeper why they managed their hives that way.)
 

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Feeders on with honey supers is a no no. Not sure what they are trying to do. If they were worried about starvation they would have the supers off and let the hives pack themselves out before adding supers.
 

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I put my supers on when I shake my packages in, because of two reason. One I run 800+ hive and two I run them in a single deep(it gives the bees room). I feed up to the start of my main flow because if I did they wouldn't have the bees I need for the flow.
Maybe you should stop and ask why they are doing what they are doing. That is the way I've learned a lot of my tricks. What kind of queen excluder was they using?????:scratch:
 

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If they are a large beekeeper, they may not have time to manage that intensively. If you have many hives and time is limited, you give them feed and hope it lasts until the flow starts, and give them supers at the same time so they have a place to store honey once the flow starts.

If you are running a single deep with an excluder, you don't have much time when the flow kicks in.

Hmm...just out of curiousity, how does the original poster know that beekeeper was feeding hfcs in the feeders?

I've seen old honey put into feeders before.
 

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You guys can't be saying that it is ok to run feed into supers you plan to harvest? I sure hope not. We run over 4000 hives and don't put on supers if there is feed out just to prevent that type of thing from happening. If you are going to use those supers to feed back to the bees in the fall or remove them once the flow starts that is one thing. I don't want to get into criticizing other beeks on they way they handle their operations but if word gets out that commercial beeks are producing honey made from HFCS it is going to affect the whole industry.
 

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If the feed will be brought back down into the broodnest and used up before the flow starts, what is the problem?

I think the real question is, how much feed is being given to the bees while supers are on?

How do you feed your bees, alpha? Do you use any frame feeders? Do you pull them before putting on supers? Do you run singles or doubles?

If you are running a single deep, and you spray combs full of syrup (and maybe a frame feeder) and dump packages in, and add a couple supers when you dump the package in, the bees move the food around. Come back to those yards again in 6 weeks and the supers and feeders are bone dry.
 

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Those feeders could be empty and attached to the lids. When the flow is over and supers are pulled the feeders are already in place to be filled(through a hole that has a plug) so they are not wasting time trucking pails in and then back out.
 

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Ya, there's no justification for feeding if the honey supers are on. ( if that is in fact what was happening). If it's a time issue, run less hives or hire more help.
 

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We run top feeders, open feeding and put in frames of honey which we have from last year from deeps we placed on hives just to have those frames to feed back to the bees. We run double deeps and no we do not run any honey supers with any kind of feed on. We would rather miss the first part of the flow and let them pack it in the deeps then to run supers and take a chance of feed getting into them.

You guys are trying to justify a really bad practice "hoping" the bees will take the feed down before filling up the supers with nectar. Like 123456 says if you are cutting corners you should cut back the number of hives you run or get help. :rolleyes:
 

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Like 123456 says if you are cutting corners you should cut back the number of hives you run or get help.

Does this mean getting rid of high producing yards simply because they are often inaccessible in spring because they are too swampy?
 

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No it means not putting on supers when you have feed on. We move hives into high production areas later then others because there is still snow in those areas. We keep them in holding yards and feed them and when the roads are clean and the snow is gone we move them up and put on the supers once they are in place.

There are ways to do things. I don't know your operation, run it the best you can. But this thread is about running supers with feed on and that is not a good practice, period. You keep trying to justify doing it and if you do there is a chance you will get it in the honey you pull from those supers. You even state "IF the feed will be brought down to the brood nest what is the problem?" The problem is if they don't bring it down you just contaminated the whole market.
 

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Like 123456 says if you are cutting corners you should cut back the number of hives you run or get help.

Does this mean getting rid of high producing yards simply because they are often inaccessible in spring because they are too swampy?
I wouldn't be surprised if just about every commercial beek has yards like that. I would think most manage without feeding if the honey supers are on.
Not telling anyone how to run their business. Just calling bulls**t on anyone who says there's a good reason to feed with supers on.
The next step is treating for mites/foulbrood with supers on because yards are difficult to access.
 

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Alpha6 and 1234567 all good points. If you have ever run single deeps for honey production with 5-8 lb of bees they just don't fit in just that one box.
How far does a gal. or two of feed go for that many bees. There is a reason the hives have that many pounds of bees. Without feed the queen stops laying. How much feed does a avg. hive use a month. I know if I need 9 frames of capped brood I feed 5 frames of feed. I know 9 frames of bees won't make me a crop either.
There is a point that to much feed is to much. :no:
 
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