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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a first year hive with a 3#package. I'm still waiting for them to draw the comb on the second deep. I've been feeding because I hear it helps them draw comb. On the other hand, I watched them tonight and there are bees returning with pollen and what I believe is nectar. Please keep in mind, that our summer lags behind by about a month. Do you think I should be feeding them or not? There are a lot of young bees and much capped brood in the lower box.
 

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If there is a flow, I would not feed. First, it is their job and their instinct to gather nectar. Second, too much too fast just gets the brood nest clogs, confuses them into swarming and leaves them with half as many bees...
 

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I agree with Michael Bush, if there is a flow, I do not feed. They usually won't take it anyway and it just contaminates the honey with sugar.

But he is in Alaska. I would imagine there is only 2 seasons up there. Frozen and NOT frozen. The summer's are short and the flow must be pretty much the entire summer (all 6 weeks of it) and then it is over.

My guess (keep in mind I'm in Florida) is that the flow is on up there and feeding should not be necessary right now.

Some ways to tell if the flow is on. 1) Bee traffic at the door - lot's of heavy looking bees landing at the door. 2) Are they drawing wax? Bees usually only draw wax when they are loaded up with nectar. 3) Is the hive gaining weight? Pick it up each time you visit and during a flow it should gain a pound or two a day. 4) The smell. Surplus honey drying in the cells smells sweet and heavy. Kind of reminds me of the smell of hot maple syrup on hot pancakes. Sweet and warm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
There is a lot of traffic coming and going and many returning bees look heavy and land short of the run way. The first deep is loaded with capped brood but they have not started drawing the comb on the second deep which is the main thing I want (for next year.) because all I have is new undrawn foundation. I think I'll stop feeding and see if that gets them going. Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There seems to be two schools of thought on the subject of overwintering in Alaska. I'm going to give it a try since I already have the hive insulated. I'll put it in my wood shed and since I go there everyday, feeding will not be inconvienient. That is if they put up any honey this summer.
 
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