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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With new installation of packaged bees and the use of a frame feeder, does just sliding the top cover and inner cover only enough to check the feeder interfere with the bees activity? not pulling and checking frames. I don't want them to run out of food and not sure how quick they will eat it up.. also what if night time temps drop below freezing, how with affect the sugar mixture in the frame feeder? Thanks for the advice to a newbie..
 

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Sliding that inner cover may roll bees. I would just tilt it up enough to fill the feeder, set it back down and move on if you don't want to look further.

I would certainly look and see how many frames you have in your colony/s and make a note. That way you will know if your troops are increasing or decreasing.
 

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I am experimenting with putting the frame feeder into an otherwise empty deep that is above the inner cover of the bottom bee-filled deep. The hope is that they come up into the deep to get the nectar, then go back into the bottom deep to draw comb. This will make filling the feeder much less disruptive.

Obviously I'll have to pay attention to when the bottom deep is drawn and that they aren't drawing comb in the deep with the feeder. If it works I'll then just move the inner cover above the top deep and add frames to the deep for the bees to draw out.
 

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Has it warmed up there in PA? Putting the feeder too far away from the bees like in a overhead box might not be the best course of action in PA. You don't really get disruptive unless you are pulling frames more often than is needed. Your attempt to really minimize your opening is justified on cold windy days. Don't be afraid to do necessary inspections, like determining if your queen is released and laying properly. It is a bit scary to start but you will do fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am starting with 1 deep box for each hive with 8 frames and a frame feeder, when 6 or so of those frames fill up I was going to add another deep box to each hive and move the feeder up to the added box. is this the right way to do it? The temps are in the high 40s now and to be 50 on Wednesday when I'm adding the bees with temps rising each day to 70 on Sunday.
 

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Close anyway. Sometimes the bees decide that they like what they are gathering better and quit taking the syrup unless you put some feeding attractant in the syrup. Leaving undrawn foundation down below a second box is a problem because very often the bees don't draw it out. If it were me, I would be prepared to revisit that bottom box and move the undrawn frames one at a time in between two frames of capped brood. Doing that results in well drawn frames of worker cells. After all the frames of foundation in the bottom box are being actively worked on, I would move a frame of brood up into the center of the second box if they have not started working there. It is important to get all frames in you brood boxes drawn.

It is also important for you to keep track of how much of this syrup is stored. You don't want to feed them so much that your queen has no room to lay eggs or the bees room to store nectar being brought in. I have a good friend beekeeper in your area that would be able to help you with questions and I will try to get him to contact you on this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That would be great thanks! The gentleman I get my bee equipment and bees from is the only one I know of that keeps bees and don't want to be a bother with a lot of questions, I already asked him a lot and took up his one Saturday morning. I plan to only run one box until that one is drawn out fairly well and then add a second deep.
 
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