Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got (2) hives, side by side that I started from nucs in April. Both fairly large now.
One hive has at least one super of mostly capped honey. This being their first year, I have no intentions of robbing, but will monitor after the fall flow to see if they need to be fed.
The other hive however seems to be completely out of any negligible stores. The super they were filling is now empty.
So here we are mid-August. I don't want to feed this early, for several reasons. Mainly, I just worry about the hassle of doing that, just to sustain the size of the hive, when in actuality, I just need to let them cull back. On the other hand though, if I don't feed, do I risk losing them before winter...or risk them robbing my other hives? My gut tells me just to leave them bee until after the fall flow, but I'd like the opinion of others. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,054 Posts
If they do not have any stores, they will rob other hive which might be why this one doesn't have any and the other hive does. If you don't feed them they will starve long before winter. J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
If the hive has no stores in it you risk them starving out. Also, the mite population is increasing while the bee population is decreasing. If they have no or very little stores in the brood chamber, I think you would be wise to feed them. Also, if the hive gets too weak in population, that opens the door for opportunist like small hive beetles and wax moths. If you do choose not to feed them (and it's 100% your decision) consider condensing the hive down so they don't have too much space to protect from the opportunist pests.

Pay attention to what you are seeing. You see the traits of one hive that perhaps scales back when the incoming nutrition stops while the other hive potentially has "eaten themselves out of house and home." Just something to be mindful of and observe as you continue in this most awesome hobby!

Edit: If you feed. Feed them both!! This will hopefully keep the strong one from robbing the one with less stores. I find that feeding in the late evening and only giving them what I think they can remove from the feeder before the next day works to help with robbing.
 

·
Registered
6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
Joined
·
635 Posts
Two suggestions- 1) feed aggressively without plugging the brood box- both protein and carbohydrate 2) treat for mites. Period. Rinse and repeat. Then and only then does someone have a shot at over wintering a colony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
If you are not planning to take any honey this year, then I see very little downside in feeding them right now. If you feed too much, they will fill all comb with syrup and queen will have no place to lay, but I have to assume that you inspect those hives from time to time and would not let that happen. Also if the fall flow is strong they may run out of space at that time, so stop feeding before they fill every cell with syrup... I feed my nucs constantly but in small doses, I fill the feeder in the evening and if by morning it is not empty, then I skip feeding that colony for few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much! It sounds like the general consensus is against my original thinking, so I'm glad I asked.
I'm not a fan of entrance feeders. I use the top (super-size) feeders that have the screen so they can access.
From what I'm reading here, I just need to make sure I don't fill that thing (1.5 gallons?)...just give them a little, a couple of times a week maybe?
One more question: Last year, I lost a hive that left me several gallons of honey. By the time I realized the colony was gone, I had a free for all feeding frenzy on my hands. Maybe I should have just left it alone, but I was afraid the frenzy would move on to the other hives next. I put reducers on the other hives, and then robbed this remaining honey. Getting these bees out of that hive took longer than I expected, and I left the fume board on too long. I've got 7 gallons of extracted honey that tastes like fuming agent. Do you see any issues with me feeding them this honey now? (I didn't want to give it to them in the spring, because I knew they needed sugar-water then to build comb)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
My general rule is not to feed them anything I would not eat myself as sooner or later it all comes back... That being said, I don't have first hand knowledge on the subject, I never use fume boards...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I would take a few frames of honey out of the other colony to hold it till fall then feed both hives to hold down the robbing.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top