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I am 3 weeks into beekeeping. Installed my package of Italians on 4/19. I'm not sure if I should continue to feed at this point. There seems to be conflicting info out there about this.
I live on about 20 acres of land. We have several willow trees, lots and lots of dandelions and I just noticed that the apple trees in our small orchard are starting to bloom. We also have crab apples, pear, plum, cherry and peach trees budding or blooming. And we are surrounded by a lot of open land on all sides. The bees have been really busy and bringing lots and lots of pollen into the hive. On my last hive inspection on 5/7 I saw at least 7 frames of capped brood and pollen and I'm not sure it was honey, but maybe the syrup. Anyway, I think they are doing pretty well. Since I installed them they have taken about a gallon and half of syrup and about a half of a pollen patty. My question is should I keep feeding them? I live in Dutchess County NY if that helps. Thanks much.
 

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There will probably be conflicting advice in this thread, too! :lookout:


Based on your description, I would stop feeding at this point.
 

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Thanks so much. I am learning that there are many different ways of being a keeper of bees and so very many opinions! :) I'm grateful for it all.

There will probably be conflicting advice in this thread, too! :lookout:


Based on your description, I would stop feeding at this point.
 

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If they are pulling in copious amounts of pollen and nectar, there is really no need to feed them. Won't hurt, but since you have a very large amount of brood for a new package, I'd quit. You are going into the main spring flow and there is plenty of nectar and pollen available.

Keep an eye on them, and feed them later in the summer if they aren't growing well -- hard to judge on the first hive you have, but I killed mine by starving them to death their first winter, not enough stores.

Italians tend to keep raising brood in the summer dearth, and will eat up their winter stores making unnecessary bees while there is nothing to haul in. You will probably need to feed later in the fall, too, to get them up to weight for the winter, but right now it's a waste of feed.

Peter
 

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If they are pulling in copious amounts of pollen and nectar, there is really no need to feed them. Won't hurt, but since you have a very large amount of brood for a new package, I'd quit. You are going into the main spring flow and there is plenty of nectar and pollen available.

Keep an eye on them, and feed them later in the summer if they aren't growing well -- hard to judge on the first hive you have, but I killed mine by starving them to death their first winter, not enough stores.

Italians tend to keep raising brood in the summer dearth, and will eat up their winter stores making unnecessary bees while there is nothing to haul in. You will probably need to feed later in the fall, too, to get them up to weight for the winter, but right now it's a waste of feed.

Peter
Thanks very much for your response Peter. Much appreciated.
Best, Mary Beth
 
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