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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a top hive feeder from Mann Lake. I noticed their was condensation on the telescoping cover right above the screened area. We have the hive pitched a bit, but worried that it isn't enough. It has been cold here with night temps in mid to low 30's.
Should we pitch it more?
 

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I sounds like all the condensation is above the feeder so I wouldn't worry about it. Anything that might drip down onto the bees would be very minimal and not enough to harm them. Heavy condensation below the feeder inside the colony can be an issue, but not above. Some condensation is actually preferred as the bees will use it as a water source.

What are your daytime temps? Are the bees taking down the syrup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I sounds like all the condensation is above the feeder so I wouldn't worry about it. Anything that might drip down onto the bees would be very minimal and not enough to harm them. Heavy condensation below the feeder inside the colony can be an issue, but not above. Some condensation is actually preferred as the bees will use it as a water source.

What are your daytime temps? Are the bees taking down the syrup?
Daytime temos have been high 40's to mid 50's. I guess they are eating the syrup, hard to tell. Checked 2 days ago, added more just to be safe. We saw them out foraging today. High if 55. Infrequent sun.
 

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Still pretty chilly. Bees usually won't take syrup when it's cold and requires daytime temps around 55F to get them to come up and drink it. As such, I'd keep an eye on the level and note if they are coming up to get it or now. If not, it may just ferment and not be of any value to them anyway.

Is this a new colony or overwintered colony? Do they have stores inside the hive? If they aren't starving I may suggest waiting until you get warmer temps to feed syrup. If you're worried about them starving you may try some dry sugar directly over the brood nest. You can mist it with a little water to harden it a bit. This acts great as an emergency food source. But again, if they aren't starving or using it, may want to save it for warmer days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Still pretty chilly. Bees usually won't take syrup when it's cold and requires daytime temps around 55F to get them to come up and drink it. As such, I'd keep an eye on the level and note if they are coming up to get it or now. If not, it may just ferment and not be of any value to them anyway.

Is this a new colony or overwintered colony? Do they have stores inside the hive? If they aren't starving I may suggest waiting until you get warmer temps to feed syrup. If you're worried about them starving you may try some dry sugar directly over the brood nest. You can mist it with a little water to harden it a bit. This acts great as an emergency food source. But again, if they aren't starving or using it, may want to save it for warmer days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We got 2 overwintered nucs from NY. We are in northeast PA. I did notice some bees at the screens when I checked the syrup level. The 5 frames we installed in each nuc were heavy, but it was so intimitadating, we didn't look that closely for pollen and honey. It is supposed to be 65 on Tues, was hoping to get a brief inspection in. But it is supposed to be windy, so not sure if that is a wise idea or not. This is very nerve racking!
 

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You'll do just fine. A little smoke (too much isn't good) and moving slowing and with intent goes a long way to an easy inspection. I just went through 30 nucs without smoke and a veil. It's all about how you treat them.

I'd bet they have plenty of food in there already and if it's only a few bees then they likely aren't taking it. When my hive top feeders go in during our dearth there are thousands of bees in them.

When the weather permits get in there and get some education. Doing is far batter than reading or watching youtube videos ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You'll do just fine. A little smoke (too much isn't good) and moving slowing and with intent goes a long way to an easy inspection. I just went through 30 nucs without smoke and a veil. It's all about how you treat them.

I'd bet they have plenty of food in there already and if it's only a few bees then they likely aren't taking it. When my hive top feeders go in during our dearth there are thousands of bees in them.

When the weather permits get in there and get some education. Doing is far batter than reading or watching youtube videos ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all the advice. Much appreciated. I just want to do the right thing. I had no idea that there were so many gray areas with beekeeping. Everyone has a different approach, very confusing.
 

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Thank you for all the advice. Much appreciated. I just want to do the right thing. I had no idea that there were so many gray areas with beekeeping. Everyone has a different approach, very confusing.
There are a million ways to get the same result, especially with beekeeping. You will get a lot of different advice and what works for one, may not work for you. As such, it's best for you to always use your best judgement and as you go along, your experience, to guide you.
 

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Yesterday being April 18th, I would not worry about the condensation even a bit.
This time of the season bees could use extra water (due to brooding) while nothing to worry about them freezing due to some condensate above.
As for me condensation would be welcome the next 3-4 days here - too cold to fly getting watered.
Good time to stick in a bottle of slightly salted water for them.
 

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It is still too cold in your area to feed syrup. Assuming the heavy frames you installed was honey, you can hold off on feeding until it warms. If you feel it is necessary to feed syrup in cold weather, a more effective way is a zip lock baggie placed directly on the top bars. The hive will keep it warm enough and it is directly above the cluster.
When it warms up enough so your syrup an be delivered in your feeder, put in small amounts periodically so it is taken before it gets too cold. You can put it in warm, but not hot!
The condensation above the feeder is not an issue. J
 
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