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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I entered beekeeping on 7/2 of this year with a tbh. I've been feeding constantly since then and the bees seem to be doing well. I have seven combs of mostly brood with babies coming out of the cells. I have fed about a quart of 1:1 syrup every day and they eat it all. Since I started from scratch so late in the season, I want the bees to build up as fast as possible. I've read everything I can find on feeding and have read to feed them as much as they want, all the time. Or, feed them a little every few days to stimulate comb building. Is there a correct answer? Is it somewhere in between? Can I feed them enough to mess them up? I don't care about anything but getting them to survive the winter. Can anybody tell me how much/often to feed? Thanks.
 

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Hello Steve,
Another Steve here with TBH's. IMHO I'd feed them as long as they'll take it the first season so they have plenty of stores for the winter. The TBH's don't seem to run into the backfilling problems my Langs do resulting in swarming. Maybe it has to do with the constant need to produce wax, not sure. My climate is different than yours, but if I leave them three full bars of honey (more is better), they survive our winters fine in central NY in a Tanzanian TBH with front entrances (one bar in front, two in back.) Sounds like yours are coming along nicely.
Enjoy, Steve
 

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At least one full top bar/comb of honey at the entrance and two top bars/combs of honey at the rear, with top bars/combs of brood in the center. Since I have front entrances on my TBH's, I use that as my reference point for directions. Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I understand the "tucking in" part. After all the reading I've done, I just thought that there wouldn't be any more brood after a certain time of year. Are there actually brood? Or just brood comb? I appreciate your time and patience. I went to my local beekeeper association meeting Monday night and they weren't real receptive to the whole TBH concept!
 

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We went into last Winter like this:
hhBBBBBBBBBBBHHHHHHHH

The little h's represent the two combs near the entrance that are used primarily for honey. We had 11 brood combs and 8 pretty full honey combs in the back. I don't know how much honey was in the brood nest itself, but it must have been a good amount. They only ate 2 combs (the little e's for empty) of honey. We came out of Winter like this: eeeeeeBBBBBBBeeHHHHHH

This Winter, I hope to go into it with at least 5 combs of honey in back. That would be 30+ pounds in my hive. Right now, we're looking like this:
hhBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBbHH_H
The little b is a brood comb that they are backfilling with honey. The gap is where I'm trying to get them to build a nice straight honeycomb.
 

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I have fun with my TBH's. Having both TBH's and Langs is a nice way to see the pros and cons of each so you can speak practically about both.

As far as the brood goes, all I'm sure of is there are brood when I tuck them in and if they survive the winter, there's brood when I open them up in the spring. Since I've never opened a hive in the winter, I can't speak from experience about the presence or absence of brood during this time, BUT my understanding in our climate is the queen's laying activity decrease steadily as temperatures drop and day length shortens. She may stop all together, but she usually begins increasing her laying activity after the winter solstice and when temperatures rise and day length increases.
 
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