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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went through two of my hives today for the second time this year. I went through them the first time about 3 weeks ago when we had several days the 70s. Two of them were already starting to explode and had drone cap and very little stores. The third one was still in the typical winter ball with good stores left. I went ahead and opened up the first two hives a little by putting a few empty frames on the outside. I also began feeding some with Hive top feeder. It was in the sixties today so I decided just to go into the top box and check stores. The first hive was almost completely out again with maybe a half a frame one side and slam full of bees and larvae. Most surprising is it they had pulled out most of the empty frames with comb. Pop the top on the other Hive that had plenty of stores and they were still in Winter cluster mode with plenty stores but lots of capped brood. Didnt have time to check the third "exploding" hive as ran out of time but figure they are almost depleted as well. All this to beg the question any tricks on how much to feed without filling frames full of sugar water without constantly popping the top? The Bradford pairs are in half bloom now and ornamental in town are starting to pop everywhere. I'm way out in the country so still pretty bare but it want be long and when the previt hits I should be able to take full advantage. Just dont want a bunch of sugar honey off in there.
 

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If you only have 3 hives to manage, I would be very happy to continue what you are doing as long as they keep pulling out frames that fast. They are making gold for you. Do you have supers on yet? Not from your area but it sounds like a flow is about to start. Once they are bringing in nectar consistently, stop feeding and make sure you have your supers on. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh I got the bees and comb. Just don't want to fill them up with sugar. They will take 6 cups of sugar a day pluse who knows how much more but that's all my homemade top feeder holds. Its empty the next day!😊 Still several weeks out for any meaningful flow out in the country yet.
 

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A 6 cup hive top feeder? Not aware they make them that small. Most will hold 2 gallons or more. I would buy bigger hive top feeders! Stop feeding when flow starts. Keep making comb. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LOL that's 6 cups pure sugar before I add water. Fat bee man type feeder I just got a old Tupperware bowel for reservoir.
 

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I misunderstood, but that's still a small feeder. More appropriate for a nuc. If your hives are booming like you say, are sucking it down, and aren't storing any, keep giving them more until the flow or they stop taking it. Check frames for storage at your convenience and stop if too much is going in brood nest. Starvation usually happens at this time of year. Better to give too much than to little until the flow. At least that's what I would do. J
 
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