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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed a few packages in mid April. The first week they used a half a gallon of sugar water, each. I put on some jar feeders, and I havent used a whole gallon since. It has been a while, and they is plenty of traffic at the entrance. How much should I expect them to take? I mean, is a gallon a week for a new package a lot? Is a pint a week typical? I am just not sure what to expect. There have been a lot of cooler rainy days and evenings here, I figured they would be tearing that syrup up, but they are not. When I pull the jar up, there are a handful of bees taking the syrup, I just figured they would be using more of it. Does anyone have any ideas on how much to expect them to draw?

Rob
 

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It can vary from hive to hive. You shoulf have a nector flow going in KY and this will effect how much syrup they take. They like the nector better. I have two new packages one is doing about half gallon per week and the other is maybe half that. Nothing to worry about. They use more when they are building cone. They use more recources getting started. They will only fill out the frames as they need them and sometimes they will also slow on the feed.
 

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they will take true nector over syrup first so if they have found a good nector source they will not take syrup - but i leave the feeding on until june here is the Northwest - just because it can snow in May and this gives them a back up plan

also a mid april package will not really start needing a lot of feed until about a month after install - this is when you see popultation start to pick up

i feed quarts till then--- then i expect them to start suckin it down due to more bees and more demand for wax

on that note - some years i think i feed year round !!!!!!
 

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Hello Rob, I also installed two new packages on April 17th and my bees are acting exactly like you describe yours. In the Georgetown area we are at the end of the locust blooms and there were a lot of them near my house. I figured some of (if not all) the decrease in what the bees took was due to the availability of this other source.
My concern is that if you read what others say, you should stop feeding when the bees stop taking the sugar water. Well, my bees have all but stopped taking it for now and I am not sure if I should continue to feed of pull the feeder from the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, all that makes sense. I kinda figured they would take more with the rainy cool days we have been having. Kinda itchy finger i guess. I guess i figured they would take it as fast as i could pour it. I'll keep my eyes open for them to really start drawing on it.

My plan was to leave the feeders on all season. They are packages and I want them to build up and I am not gonna take a honey crop from them this year. I have two nucs that I installed the same time, I plan to do like they say and pull the feeder when you add the second super.

I had two packages that fizzled out last year about in September or so. One had queen trouble and the other hive did great until about September, numbers went down and small hive beetle took over. So that being said, I dont have anything to gauge them by, in my own experience.

This year I am just hoping for good strong hives to survive until next year! I'll enjoy some honey later after I learn to help manage these babies!


Rob
 

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rob, you need to assess the condition of your hive-how many frames of brood, is the queen laying a good pattern, do they have any stores? they may be occupied keeping brood warm in this crazy weather(my furnace has been on!!!)and have stores in comb to draw on. it seems that lots of folks are having queen troubles in package bees this year. concentrate on getting some swarms and do a newspaper combine would be my advice. good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
its been so cold and windy, I have only done two small inspections. Once about 4 days after I put them all in their hives. That was to check that the queens were released, and I just wanted to see what the nucs were doing.

The other inspection, I removed the in hive feeder 'cause I could tell quickly I didnt want to open em up to feed that often. All hives had larva and eggs. Once I saw that I buttoned em back up and put the jar feeders on.

They looked good. I had some drawn out frames from last year that had been in the freezer over winter that I had ready when i installed them. My hive stands are about 20" from the ground, so I take a peek in from the bottom every few days to see how full they are. They are slowly working on it. I figure they will pretty much explode when the warm weather is here to stay. So I am keeping an eye out on that!

Mike, do you run a screened bottom board? If ya do, do you cover it up in this type of weather on a package? I always read to use the SBB all year, but I didnt know if it hinders a package getting started...

Rob
 
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