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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've been feeding 2:1 for a couple of weeks and the bees have been taking it in like crazy. Today, when I opened the hive to treat for mites (I'm not taking any honey...this is my first year), I found that my previously slow and half empty hive had only the end frames un-drawn. The rest were filled with brood, pollen and honey. The hive consists of two deeps and it is very heavy now. I would guess that I've fed them about 7 or 8 gallons of 2:1.

The brood nest is spread between the bottom and top deep...mostly the result of me putting frames of brood into the top deep some time ago in an effort to get them to move up.

Somehow, my "gut" tells me that I need to continue to feed and also to throw a medium super on top of my two deeps. I don't know why, but I want them to continue to put stores away while there's still time. Here's my rationale:

1) If they don't want to use the medium, they'll leave it alone. If they need it, they'll have it. Frames are undrawn foundation. Hive is being fed with a hivetop feeder.

2) If they backfill the broodnest with honey stores (from 2:1 and whatever flow is on right now), they may decide to swarm. I want to give them space in case they need it.

3) I'm too new to guess the right amount of brood to honey. I know that the bees will try and take care of this but I don't see the harm with throwing a super on now and letting the girls figure it out.

What do you all think? If they were to use the upper medium, will they go that high in the cold weather to use the honey? Without the upper medium, will they consolidate before the cold weather and tighten up the hive?

I'm concerned about having too much space in the hive and I'm also concerned about not enough honey. Maybe I should just leave it alone and plan to feed all winter??

Thoughts????
 

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Hi Ravenseye

If you mean 2 sugar and 1 water by weight you probably only used about 40-48 lbs sugar that would be about the weight that they have stored if they didn't use any raising brood NOW if you have a good fall flow on they will have also gained a few lbs of Stores there. usually i would figure the deep to have only about 40-50 lbs Stores Because usually there will be pollen under a lot of that honey.

It would depend on how the flow is going now and how much loner it will continue. If it's almost finished I would feed another feeder full of 2 Sugar / 1 Water
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Velbert. I do mean 2:1 sugar to water by weight. I also added another feeder full late today. There might be a flow on now but I don't know for sure. LOT'S of pollen coming in. I still don't know about adding that super. Might wait until next week and take a peek to see how things look.
 

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just a few monkey wrenches to throw into your thinking ravenseye...

1) placing an empty box of foundation between the hive and the feeder will definitely slow down the hive's uptake of sugar water.

2) at this point in time the bees seasonal clock should be naturally slowing down the queens egg laying. liberal feeding of sugar water is partially confusing this natural tendency. If the queen was laying less then back filling of the brood nest is not so much a problem.

3) if you continue to feed then an added benefit with the super of foundation added is that you may get the foundation at least partially pulled.

having made the above comments to your talking points.... my thinking at this time is to consolidate hives into the smallest package for the coming winter. once consolidation is accomplished, then I can simply heft the hive to get some idea of resources and the less excessive space available the less problems I encounter with the small hive beetle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmmm. I like monkey wrenches. Makes me re-think. I have noticed that there is less brood than before. I thought maybe it was because I kept noticing cells partially filled with "honey". I think I'll wait a week and see what things look like. The girls will likely finish off the feeder full of 2:1 that's on there now and that will give me a chance to see where it all stands. I like the idea of having foundation partially pulled though. That's valuable stuff!
 

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Hey Ravenseye,

You are describing my situation. I put 1:1 bee juice(sugar syrup) in my top feeder and within 2 days they had emptied it. My next batch was 2:1 and they gobbled that up in 30 hours. They were waiting in line for both batches. I too feel I don't have enough store. But...like you, when I checked the girls after feeding them for one week, I noticed the empty, undrawn comb was almost full. I did have a super on but pulled it because I was told they might fill it with sugar syrup and not honey. Here in eastern NC we will experienced a brief honey flow any day now but I'm sure it will not be enough for their winter store. Now I wonder about the super. There are so many more bees and the frame are jammed with them and capped honey. They have drawn and filled 2 1/2 frames in less than one week. My question is the same as yours---what now? I filled the feeder with 1:1 on Sunday and noticed they weren't as keen to feed as before.

Mimi's Bees
 

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Mimi,

I couldn't say too much with Ravenseye being in Ma., but here in N.C. I can be of help. If you have two deeps, a deep and a med., or three meds. as a brood chamber, you don't need to add the super. If you have only one deep, then I would permanently add the super, as part of the brood chamber. Once the bees fill the chamber, they will have enough for the winter and will sit back and relax while waiting for spring. I would not add a "honey" super to the hive this late in the year.

Ravenseye, if you know the size of brood chamber you need to get through the winter in MA. then the rest of the post will apply to you, too.
 

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Hey iddee,

thanks for the input. I don't know what I would do without beesource. My bees are very active and still returning with pollen so something is going on. I also noticed that the docile girls of spring have taken on a little attitude. One followed me to the house across the yard. Maybe it's the thought of all those months stuck in the hive. Bee cabin fever?

I will the super off and keep an eye on them.

Thanks again

Mimi's Bees
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
iddee / Mimi,

Thanks for keeping the thread going. It's amazing how much there is to learn.

Iddee, I'm not real sure of the size of the brood chamber that I need to winter over. I'm going to ponder that and ask a local beek as well (he was the one who seconded my thought on adding a medium now to see what would happen). Mimi, mine have a bit of an attitude as well. I can't believe how many bees are in there compared to a month ago. Opening the hive now is quite an event. BUT....it's my first year so I have nothing to really compare it to.

Thanks again!
 
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