Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I inspected my hive March 10th and saw around 4 total frames of honey and pollen and 5 frames of brood. All the bees were in the upper deep with the lower deep mostly cleaned out. I switched deeps and was wondering if I should feed them to keep them going and when to stop as I don't have a good idea as to when the nectar flow starts for me in Shenandoah Valley Va. Hoping to split this hive this season.
 

·
Registered
82 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
Joined
·
560 Posts
Weather report looks like feeding about Tuesday should be OK temp wise.
If honey is in the plan stop feeding when you put supers on.
About mid April should be OK for splitting watch night time temp.
I am in Powhatan other side of the mountain.
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,154 Posts
As a general rule you can feed until you start seeing them store and cap the syrup you are giving them. This tells us they are getting more than they need to the point there are storing it, instead of using it. - Or until you put honey supers on, as you don't want to store syrup in your honey.

You may also want to get some protein in there - patties or open dry feeding. This will encourage them to keep building up so you can split them more easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have been seeing lots of pollen going into the hive and most of the plants that we have around us are begining to bloom but I think they only give pollen and little nectar.
 

·
Registered
4ish langstrom hives
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
I generally use drone brood and/or flying drones as an indicator of when to split hives. If you don't see any drone brood it is to early to split and the queen will probally not get mated well. If you seen drone brood and/or drones and it is not a dearth and/or fall the queen will probally get mated ok.
 

·
Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
Joined
·
1,154 Posts
I have been seeing lots of pollen going into the hive and most of the plants that we have around us are begining to bloom but I think they only give pollen and little nectar.
Syrup and pollen sub only increase growth this time of year. If you think there is enough coming in then don't worry about it and wait until you have drones and elmer_fud mentioned.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
I am a little farther east than John and while I have lots of drone brood, I have yet to see flying drones. If you are going to be splitting, you may want to remove some of the good empty comb that is now in the top box and replace it with foundation. Then feed the bees a 1:1 or weaker sugar syrup to get them in the wax drawing mood. But, as mentioned, if you are trying to get honey, you need to stop feeding before you put the super on. Or forego the honey this year and work on increasing your hive count.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LAlldredge

·
Registered
6a 4th yr 9 colonies inc. 2 resource hives
Joined
·
743 Posts
JWPalmer is spot on. My focus is honey this year. In any given year a beekeeper is either 1) producing honey or 2) increasing apiary size. In my 6a high desert area I'm still feeding as a bridge before the flow. March is a tricky time for nutrition. If your bees are low on varroa (great) your other big cause for loss is nutrition. They are brooding up big time and their nutrition needs are growing significantly. So they can burn through stores much faster now. Right now I'm feeding a combination of dry pollen (open feeding in a low tech paper grocery bag), water, (pollen patties, leftover fondant and a sugar slurry- inside the hive). We also don't have SHB here so I can be more liberal in my choices.

If I were in your physical shoes I would forget about a harvest all together and keep them healthy and get to 5 hives as soon as your can if your goal is a sustainable apiary. The math supports that number as a base. If you have any extra honey you can start a beekeeping pantry. I set honey and pollen frames aside to keep them from being honey/pollen bound and for emergency feed.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top