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Discussion Starter #1
I have ordered 10 packages for April 17 pickup. I know when I install them (on foundation only) that I have to feed them 1:1 sugar syrup for about the first month so they can draw comb. Today I found a great sale on 5# bags of pure cane sugar and bought 30 bags. My question is - did I buy enough or should I go back and get more? I have done the math and that comes out to about 112 quarts when mixed or roughly 11 quarts per hive. How many quarts of sugar water will a newly installed package consume in that one month? I'm sure it depends on several factors but can you guys give me a best guess please? Thank you.
 

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That will likely depend on many things: How each package performs. If there are pollen and nectar sources available. If they don't build up enough so they have sufficient honey stores to make it through next Winter, you will likely, in late Summer, feed 2:1 until they have sufficient winter stores.
 

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My experience has been that a gallon of W can last from 2-3 days to 7 days. Just depends on the bees. You are also assuming that your bees will have a very good nectar flow and will quit taking the SW and bring in nectar to make comb and some honey. You are also assuming that your new packages will be at population that can take advantage of the flow. I doubt the latter and the first is dependent on the weather.

So if your bees were to take 1 gal. every 3 days. That would mean that in 7 days your 10 packages would take in 2.33 gal x 10 = 23.3.

1 month would be 93.2 gallons.

If you put in 5# of sugar + water to fill a 1 gallon can:

You would need 93.2 5# bags of sugar for just 1 month. 5 pounds of sugar is a little over 1:1. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds.

Perhaps some of the guys that are long in the tooth when it comes to being a beek may have something saying it takes less sugar.

BTW, we basically didn't have a spring nectar flow which meant even the established hives needed feeding. I purchased over 1,200 pounds of sugar.

Well, there you have it. One of the "long in the tooth" beeks posted while I was giving my "baby tooth" post.
 

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I realize my earlier post was kinda a worst case scenario.

Here's the flip; After hiving your packages, you could be feeding a little 1:1 sugar syrup and a honey flow may begin. It may be strong enough, and the packages may have large enough populations of foragers that they will quickly grow beyond the need for additional supplemental feeding. They may also be able to maintain sufficient populations of foragers that when the late Summer rains bring on the Autumn honey flows the now established colonies will be able to store up enough to take them through the Winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks UC! I am very much a numbers person and yours were awesome. Your calculations painted the perfect picture for me. I will be going back to the store tomorrow to buy a lot more. At $1.63 per 5# bag I can't go wrong if I store it in plastic tubs in a big empty closet right? Right. Thanks again.
 

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wow

that's a really good price for retail sugar
my first thought was "heck, you got a lot of sugar, just wait and see if you need more"
but that's a really good price (almost $2.50 a bag here)
stock up if you have the room

Dave
 

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Ken pretty much nailed my hives' consumption average last year of just about a quart a day
 

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I was pouring mine into 5 gallon buckets and then sealing them with a lid. But then it's hard to measure unless you dump it out using something that you knows has X amount of sugar. I finally quit doing that and just left it in the bags and put it on shelves in my garage double bagging 2 5# bags. But if you are going to buy in volume. Check with the store manager. 5# bags of sugar usually are packed in 8 bags to a case which is just heavy brown shipping paper. It's easier to stack because it's still in it's gross packaging of 40# (8 x 5#).

I have about 70# left over. But will be using some of it up in short order because the ladies were flying yesterday and today. And again tomorrow based on the weather reports. Have to check to see how many hives I still have that are living at a farm and 1 behind a store. So I will take several 1 gal cans of SW and 1 5-gallon bucket that I will leave for common feeding under a hay barn.

The girls at the house were really sucking up the SW from the common feeder I have at the house under my patio and patio table. They were flying everywhere. I just walk through them like they weren't there. Never bothered me one time.
 

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Also remember it takes 21 days after enough comb is drawn out for enough brood to hatch. at about week two 14 days after you hive your packages your population drops then in a week you start to recoop your population of bees. then in about three weeks after that you add a nother deep on with just plain foundation and you still need to feed till they no longer take the syrup. because you now have to have 10 new frames drawn out. then when 7 out of ten are drawn out you can put a super on and maybe you might get some honey. a few 50 pound sacks sould do you.
 

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When I have hived packages or nucs, I work hard to get them built up. As I have no comb, I have to give them foundation, or foundationless now. I calculate between 50 and 100 pounds of sugar total for the year for a new start...that's spring build up, and emergency feeding in the fall if the fall flow fails. I tend toward the 100 pounds, just in case, and what I don't use current year, I save for the next year.

Half of the nucs I bought last year I was able to harvest honey from (stopped feeding when the flow started)...an average of 30# honey from each. Unfortunately the fall flow only trickled, and I had to feed. Next year I'll leave more honey on if there's a repeat.

Sugar will keep, especially if it's cheap! What you don't use this year, you'll use next year. I have 200# left over from last year that's just fine.
Good luck, and have fun!
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I swear they are 5# bags. I went back this morning and bought 30 more and again this afternoon and got 24. I put them in 5 big plastic totes with snap on lids for storage. If I had the space I would go get more. I am just happy that I saved over $1 per bag. This truely is a case of saving money ($84) by spending money today. Woohoo!
 

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If its from wal- mart check the lead levels in it. might have came from china:lpf:
 

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After reading this thread I thought I would report on the Price here in SE Tennessee at our local Wally World - a #25 Bag is $11.67

If I have done my Math right (if not my Buddy USCBeeMan will correct me) the Price per pound is $0.47 cents a pound.

Even though I'm only going to have two Hives I think I will get #50-75 lbs and and store it for a few months.
 

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.47 a pound is a pretty good price. Wonder what sugar costs at Sam's. Seems like they have 50# bags.

But it doesn't come close to the .326 a pound in 5 pound bags at that other Wally if you plan on buying a couple hundred pounds.

Kinda strange why so much difference. But then gas can be the same way just across the street.
 
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