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Hello all,

I inspected my four hives today and found all of them very light. The brood chambers are pretty empty with 2-3 frames filled with pollen. The Food chambers are medium filled. 2-3 frames capped, 3-4 filles but not capped, 1-2 empty.

Should I reverse the boxes on the hives and feed?

Three hives are very strong. The fourth is weak probably due to robbing, I may combine it.

Advice is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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You might try reversing if you don't split up the brood nest.
I would also reduce the entrance to about 1 inch to reduce or discourage any robbing. I would also be feeding them 2 to 1 syrup as fast as they take it.
Clint

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Clinton Bemrose
just South of Lansing Michigan
Beekeeping sence 1964
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks,

Theres not much of brood nest this time of year here. I can reverse and feed heavily.

If I use fondant, where do I put it?
 

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im having this problem with all of my hives of course, that is why they were free to me
...so, i went out and bought some inside feeders to see how they do, they just arn't getting it how theyre needing it...they are still getting loads of pollen which i do not understand, there arnt ANY green houses for atleast 10-15 miles and its been raining for a few weeks straight basically...whatever works though, im just hoping feeding them will help them get through to the next year, so i can continue being a beekeeper ;)
 

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To get inside feeders to work, you very often need to bait them with honey or some scent that the bees can pick up on. Dribble some syrup or honey down the entranceway to the feeder. The bees will trace it back to the feeder as the source.

I use jar feeders on the top bars and always sprinkle syrup around to draw bees up.

The other thing that you can do to help them along is taking empty frames of drawn comb and pour thick syrup directly into the empty comb on one side. Place these frames back into the hive. The bees will move the syrup around to best suit them. It works as a big feeder that many can work at the same time. They don’t have any trouble finding the syrup this way either. Make the syrup thick.

You can put quite a bit of stores into a hive in a hurry using different methods of feeding at the same time.

I will open feed, which the stronger hives make the most use of, and then also feed internally for the weaker hives. The stronger hives are pre-occupied with the open feeding and tend to leave the other hives alone.

I would think that in Maryland that you could still feed for another 4 – 5 weeks with a little luck. Use a black felt paper wrap on the hives and that will extend the time you have as well. A strong hive will use internal feeders with outside temps in the upper 30’s and low 40’s. Weaker hives need a little higher temperature, but with a good sunny day and a black wrap, the hive will warm up enough for them to feed with an air temp in the 40’s.
 

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My 2 hives were also light, so I put a poly hive-top feeder on each and, so far, they have each taken approx. 5 gals. of heavy syrup. I didn't have to bait these feeders. Inside of an hour, loads of bees taking syrup. I'm in north-central North Carolina. They are still flying like mad and bringing in pollen, and, I assume, the ones without pollen are bringing aster nectar back.
 
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