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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, been lurking for quite a while ..I have 2 new hives with my 2 package bees coming at the end of April.I an so excited cant wait. Been reading all I can. Strted a new job so I cant take time off to take the Rugters bee course here in NJ this year but will next year.
Please bear with my lack of know how but was wondering . How much sugar do you fokes keep on hand in the beginning.Or do we just run to shoprite when we need right now I have 15 pounds but I have read to think in terms of galloen not quorts. Thanks Jeff
 

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Jeff,
Last year I started 2 new hives with Plastic foundation and went through probably 60-75# of sugar. I found feeding to really help stimulate wax comb production so I continued to feed for about 1.5 months. I basically just waited until I found sugar for a good price and went and bought 10 or so bags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply I was thinking to buy heavey I m convinced now thanks again SD:applause:
 

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I would agree with the 60+ lbs for two hives. Just keep syrup on until they're not taking much of it. Nothing wrong with leaving it on all summer so that if you get a rainy spell they can continue to feed and build comb.

I know you didn't ask this but I can't resist giving advice on a couple of things that I was very happy to figure out... To make syrup, find a couple of sturdy plastic one-gallon jugs with a tight fitting cap. Put 5 lbs of sugar into a jug (use a funnel if the opening is small). Fill the jug the rest of the way with hot tap water. Cap it and shake it for about a minute. There was some air in and around the sugar so now your jug is probably only 3/4 full but that available space helps with the agitation while you shake. Once you have the sugar pretty well dissolved, top off the jug with more hot water and give another brief shake. That will yield a syrup that is very very very close to a 1:1 solution. Very easy, very little mess.

Depending on your weather and how fast the bees take it, you may find that you want to do something to prevent mold growth in the syrup. There are essential oil supplements you can make or buy. Some beeks add a bit of vinegar or even bleach to the syrup to prevent the mold. Look around the forum if you haven't already seen some of that info.
 

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60-70 lbs of sugar for two hives is excessive. I can get 10-15 hives through an entire winter on less sugar than that. I would suspect robbing if a hive is taking that much sugar in.

If you are starting from a package I would give them syrup for 1-2 weeks and then wean them off and let them fend for themselves. 10 lbs each is more than enough.
 

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Jeff, as you've discovered, you ask a question, you'll get different answers.

My goal when I hive packages, usually on foundation, is to get them built up for the next winter as quickly as possible. I put the feed bag on them, and keep feeding them until they have all 20 frames of foundation drawn out in two deep brood boxes. When that is done, I quit feeding and put on my extracting super, likewise (generally) foundation. I do not use queen excluders.

The bees will then start drawing the foundation in the super, and any syrup they want to move upstairs will be either consumed in making wax for the super, or stored in the super until consumed in brood rearing. As they draw out that extracting super (which I leave in place, and for them for extra winter stores), I'll top super. Those extra top supers are my rent. Usually I get 20 -30 pounds of extracted honey from a package the first year. Not always, but often enough.

At the end of the season, I reduce the colony to two deeps, and an extracting super. Generally speaking I do not need to feed in the fall, unless the fall flow completely fails. But I try to have them with that top super full of stores, and the top brood box heavy as well, by mid October here in SE Missouri. Your timing will be different.

The second season, if I can keep them from swarming, I'm usually looking at 100 pounds of surplus from that colony, without having to feed them at all.

Now that's a long way to answer your question, but I figure about 40-5o pounds of sugar per package. If it isn't needed, it will keep for next year. Just decide what you want to achieve, and go for it. They will get by on much less, but that's why I do what I do.
Regards,
Steven
 

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:lpf: Batman, you got that right!
Jeff, take it as a warning, have some more equipment ready!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Too funny I bought the first one an a week later bought the other . Never raised a bee yet I have 2 hives and 2 packages coming .
 

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20 lbs will give you a 5 gallon bucket of 1:1. Feed them till they stop taking it especially if they are drawing out new foundation. Letting them fend for themselves to start if there is no flow on will result in a dead or set back hive.
 
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