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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all again, thanks so much for answering my feeding questions. I'm into my 2nd week and for the 1st 4 days I had an in-hive feeder (1 gallon) with 1:1 syrup and a pollen patty on top of the excluder. I took it out Sunday as my neighbor with bees said with the activity he's seeing it looks like they're finding plenty of their own food. There was about 1/5 left in the feeder when I took it out. I left the pollen patties in. There's also a huge blackberry honey flow on now for the next couple of weeks and they were already drawing out the 2 empty frames so they now have 2 new empty frames in place of the feeder. That said, the folks I got the bees from said unless they've got 80% of the frames drawn I may want to keep feeding.
I plan to do my weekly check Saturday so my feeling is if they're not on all frames maybe put the feeder back in? I guess that's a "that depends" question, just thinking out loud.
My main question relates to the hive itself. It's one of those mason jar beehives - 8 frame deep brooder with a 12 mason jar honey super above the excluder. Pretty neat idea but the more I read the less comfortable I am with it. It seems to be hit and miss as far as getting the bees up there (ya starter strips, etc but they don't seem foolproof from what I've read). Also some thoughts that they can actually lead to swarming so I think I'm going to build a regular deep super and start with the 4 empty frames I have on hand (buy 4 more to fill) and just go the regular route. Maybe put the mason jar super on top as an extra to see if I can get a couple of jars filled with comb as a novelty but not my main honey source.
The bees had already started making comb up to the jars as of Sunday so not sure where they are right now. The one great feature of this hive is it comes with drop down viewing windows so I may be able to see in enough to get an idea.
Anyways, thinking out loud, feel free to correct :)

PS - activity is crazy and at least 1 good brood hatch has happened...
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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2nd year myself. Watched a video called Comb Building on YouTube by the University of Guelph. Paul Kelley is the head beekeeper and a fantastic resource. That put feeding into perspective for me. He fed 3-4 gallons over a period of a few weeks until the colony had all 10 frames built out with comb. He also shows you how to manipulate frames to fix gaps. He quit after that when a flow hit. I followed his advice and quit when it was built out and they just started to backfill the broodnest. For me it was hard when they keep taking it but I added a super with a frame of honey in it and knew they had plenty to eat. One of my mistakes last year was adding a super before comb building was complete in the broodnest. They abandoned the outer frames and were at a disadvantage going into winter without enough stores. I fixed that this year because I realize the importance of comb building.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2nd year myself. Watched a video called Comb Building on YouTube by the University of Guelph. Paul Kelley is the head beekeeper and a fantastic resource. That put feeding into perspective for me. He fed 3-4 gallons over a period of a few weeks until the colony had all 10 frames built out with comb. He also shows you how to manipulate frames to fix gaps. He quit after that when a flow hit. I followed his advice and quit when it was built out and they just started to backfill the broodnest. For me it was hard when they keep taking it but I added a super with a frame of honey in it and knew they had plenty to eat. One of my mistakes last year was adding a super before comb building was complete in the broodnest. They abandoned the outer frames and were at a disadvantage going into winter without enough stores. I fixed that this year because I realize the importance of comb building.
Thanks, I've watched almost all of Paul's videos from the UOG. Funny thing is my niece just got accepted there in their wildlife program so I said if you ever study bees, Paul's the guy to talk to! I ended up putting a regular deep 8 frame honey super on top. The hive has almost fully drawn the bottom frames but seem to have stalled on the top super. There's honey on the middle 3-4 frames but still haven't touched the outside 2 frames on the one side and 1 outside frame on the other. I may checkerboard the upper honey super to coax them to the empty ones. Also a deep honey super is a lot of frame to build out. I'm building medium supers to put on after, I may use the deep as another hive base.
 

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I would listen to your neighbor. You might give up a tiny bit by not feeding the last ounce possible but you risk losing a lot if they swarm out because the queens laying space was flooded with syrup and incoming nectar.

Putting honey into those many isolated storage areas is probably not natural for the bees to do. Someone familiar with handling a colony for rounds and cut comb honey production would be able to give you good advice. It can be hard enough to get them to draw and fill regular frames without having them take to the trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Agreed. I have normal frames in the honey super now. I may try the mason jars at a later date or even convert half the mason super to regular frames and split the box, that way if they don't like the jars there'll still be some frames to go to.
 
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