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Ive got a hive with about 2 - 2 1/2 frames of honey stores. Is that low enough to start feeding or should I let them be for now? There is A LOT of brood. Thanks!
 

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As a rule of thumb whenever I don't have supers on I heft each hive from behind about once a week. Any hive that feels light gets fed. Once the supers are on, however, I do not feed. The rest of the time I take no chances. I figure better safe than sorry.

HTH

Rusty
 

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Ive got a hive with about 2 - 2 1/2 frames of honey stores. Is that low enough to start feeding or should I let them be for now? There is A LOT of brood. Thanks!
Is there a nectar flow on? If not I would feed if I were you until they store several frames of your sugar water.
 

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Put on some syrup with no feeding attractants like lemon grass oil or HBH or such if they take the syrup they need fed, if they don't take it, there is a flow on and they don't need the syrup. Three quarts of 1:1 in a gallon zip lock baggie wouldn't hurt much either way.
 

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maybe I am missing something.....but....with 2 1/2 frames of capped honey in the spring in the south....I would not feed...especially if most of the brood is capped and not tons of open brood....I would check the hive again in a week and see what's there then....I bet they are already storing natural food, and with a lot of capped brood that means you will soon have even more bees foraging.

I try to feed only to keep them from starving, and not to have them store a lot of sugar water.....I would rather for them to gather nectar and store their own honey for long term food.

Just my $ .02....so take it with a grain of salt.
 

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If there is a flow you don't need to feed as has been said. but if there is not much of a flow you might need to feed. the bees like to have a store of honey in the hive if the store gets low they will slow down raising brood to protect the store. and build up is a good thing this time of the year.
 

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They should keep taking syrup even when there is a flow on, so you can't use an absolute statement about that.

However, how fast they take it is a good indicator. Say you're using an entrance feeder with one of those little 1 pint mason jars. If one of those lasts several days, then they don't need feeding. If you put it on in the morning and its empty by dusk, they need feeding.

You really just need experience with feeding to be able to tell when they need it and when they don't, but it never hurts to feed if you're in doubt.
 

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but it never hurts to feed if you're in doubt.
Not sure I agree with this concept....I have heard it over and over....sometimes I think we feed the bees way too much. Feeding certainly has it's place in beekeeping and when it's needed it is needed, but I am not so sure that feeding as much as wee tend to is the right thing to do?
 

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Once upon a time I kept the feed on in spring "until they won't take it anymore".

That never happened though, because the brood nest got plugged out with stored syrup, the queen had nowhere to lay, the bees swarmed, and I lost a good queen and 2/3 of the forager population.

When in doubt, find out.

It hurts to feed when there's too much in there already.
 

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Ive got a hive with about 2 - 2 1/2 frames of honey stores. Is that low enough to start feeding or should I let them be for now? There is A LOT of brood. Thanks!
Two deep frames of honey is about 18 pounds of honey. In my area, this time of year, I would not feed. Sure, if they could not fly for two weeks, then I would feed. That is just my opinion.

Shane
 

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It hurts to feed when there's too much in there already.
Yes, but if you're doing your job properly and inspecting, you shouldn't be in doubt as to if the hive doesn't have enough stores or not if you've let them jam pack it so full there isn't any room left to lay.

What I said wasn't a blanket "put syrup on 24/7 365" statement, it was just what it said. If you've looked and you aren't sure if they've got enough stores or not, there's no harm in feeding them for a while until you are sure.

Its like anything else, you can't just blindly follow absolutes, you do have to use some judgement.
 
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