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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone does or has fed extracted sugar syrup back to the bees?

The reason I ask...

Is because my two new hives have been fed enough to fill most of the foundation in the second deep and the queen has also moved up as there is some capped brood in the bottom of some of the upper frames. I added a third deep to each hoping they will draw those out (if I keep feeding) so I will have empty comb next spring in hopes of some splits as well as some emergency winter food. But of course, before I can have empty comb for the splits to quickly grow into I will need them to be extracted.

It seems like a waste to extract and discard the syrup if it can be reused. But then again, could this whole process of trying to pre draw the foundations be a waste?

If not a waste, I am slightly worried about back filling the first deep. They haven't back filled yet as the queen is a laying beast:lookout:. As a precaution, I added an excluder between the third deep and the second. Since I am top feeding I thought maybe they would feed and the excluder would discourage them from going back to the second or especially the first and they would be more apt to store in the third.

Good thoughts, bad thoughts?

Thanks in advance, John:)
 

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Well, I never can understand harvesting anything just to feed it back... why not just leave it in the comb? But assuming you've already harvested it, just feed it like any syrup. If they are going to be "in" it like a frame feeder, you might water it down to keep them from getting stuck, but watering it down will cause it to spoil more quickly. If you do water it, I wouldn't water or feed more than what they will take in a day.
 

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A beekeeping budy of mine does this on purpose to draw comb after comb-drawing season is over. He'll feed them syrup, extract it, give them new foundation and feed it back. He says that when they get the already processed psuedo-honey/syrup, they tend to willingly draw comb if they don't have anyplace else to store it. He selects a strong hive that is a good comb builder for this purpose.

He agrees its a lot of work to get comb and probably hard on the hive, but claims it is a good way to get drawn comb.

Never done it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I never can understand harvesting anything just to feed it back....
Actually, I'm only feeding them and then extracting so I will have the extra frames of drawn comb. I will leave about half of the frames full and store them for late winter feed if I need them. But mainly I was anticipating some splits in the spring and understood it wise to have extra empty comb. PLUS, I also made a mistake when I first started by using nine frames in the brood chamber and they were only foundation:doh:. So needless to say I have some mess to clean up down there as it is very unevenly drawn and congested. I thought the best way to go about cleaning up the mess would be to have them draw out extra frames and use those to replace the uneven ones in the brood chamber and then clean them up to be reused properly.

Is there a better way to clean up the mess I made?

Won't having empty comb instead of foundation be better for getting splits off to a good start?

Thanks again, John
 

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If it were my mess I would pull the bad stuff out now and slap in a couple frames with foundation.

Won't having empty comb instead of foundation be better for getting splits off to a good start?
It doesn't matter, either way the comb has to be drawn by one or the other. Feeding, then extracting and feeding back....seems like a lot of work for something the bees will do naturally, but then again I do not feed to stimulate comb building. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Guys.:)

I think I will stop feeding and use a few frames from the second deep that have been drawn out well to replace the few below that are in a mess. My mentor told me I should just leave it alone for now because I might cause more problems than it would be worth. However, I feel like the sooner I fix it before winter the better. I'm going to have to deal with it sometime, might as well be now. I'll just be careful and take my time with them. Thanks for your input.

Thanks, John
 
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