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Temps here are in the mid 20s to mid 30s at night, high 40s to mid 50s during the day. I currently have candy boards on both my hives with plenty of sugar left. Is there a specific time frame when liquid food is better for the bees than the hard sugar? I was thinking to switch it over soon, but in Ohio it can go from mild and sunny to cold, freezing and windy in one day (and stay cold for days). Last year was my first year and I installed my bees on May 1 and immediately started feeding 1:1 syrup with the reservoir type box feeders you set on top of the hive. We are barely to the halfway point of March right now, which leaves me unsure because the only experience I have to go by was last year when I didn't even get the bees until May. Thoughts? Thank you!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Wait until nights are above 40° consistantly. I am just now putting 1:1 on my hives here in the Richmond area. BTW, today got up to 84°. Tomorrow we will be back in the 50's which is more seasonal.
 

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Wait until nights are above 40° consistantly. I am just now putting 1:1 on my hives here in the Richmond area. BTW, today got up to 84°. Tomorrow we will be back in the 50's which is more seasonal.
Ok great. This is exactly the info I was looking for. It will give me a good frame of reference as I watch the weather. Thanks for the response.
 

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If I followed that advice in my area it would be 1/2 way threw swarm season before I put on liquid
you might try a little of each and see what works for you in your area.
There are many people who put on liquid as soon as there is flight weather, they feel if its warm eunff to regulary fly and bring in pollen, its warm enuff to take liquid.
It depends on your goles... If you want to built them up for an early split get the liquid on early... if you don't want to split your going to be fighting swarming all spring if you pump a lot of feed.
Candy boards are a safty net, to provide food in case they went in to the winter light. They are there to ward off starvation, no reason to remove them unless there are enuff stores in the combs.

Either way if the beekeeper did there job in the fall, and you have "normal" spring conditions there would be little need of feeding
 

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There is that beekeeping is local thing again.:) The decision to add feed should be based mostly on a determination of remaining food stores. Since the candy boards still have plenty of sugar left, chances are good that additional feed is not required. This is the time of year in my area when the bees are rapidly consuming stores and making more bees. You do not want them backfilling the broodnest at this time. Of my 17 hives and 6 nucs, only 1 hive and the nucs have feed on them. The rest are being monitored. Our flow will start ramping up in about another three weeks. Giving them a surplus now could promote early swarming at a time when very little is really available.
 

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I started putting 1:1 on about 2 weeks ago, when the lows were in the 30's. However, I had 3 boxes on, I wrapped the upper 2 boxes with light insulation, and there were a lot of bees which were giving off a lot of heat. I figured the temperature on top where I put the sugar water on stayed above 50 degrees at night, which I understand to be the threshold temperature for the bees being able to take liquid. The bees consumed the 3 quarts of sugar water in one week, so I added more. I also added pollen patty and a pound or so of sugar granules on top next to the sugar water jars just in case the bees said NYET to the liquid sugar water.

Hope this helps.
 

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if the beekeeper did there job in the fall, and you have "normal" spring conditions there would be little need of feeding
Really?
All encompassing statements are difficult to comprehend. Does it include temperature, bloom, temperature during bloom, previous fall, condition of colony, rainfall, wind, cloud cover, etc...?
Care to explain what 'normal' spring conditions are?

And here I thought beekeepers prepared the bees to the best of their ability and then tried to anticipate the needs of the bees as the season revealed itself.
 

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Over here it's been an insanely warm winter and - despite what some are saying about memory's playing tricks - Spring has kicked-off several weeks early. All of my hives have had fondant on them for some weeks now, and many colonies have been scoffing it - perhaps even relying on it for survival.

A week ago, I placed a small jar of 2:1 on a test hive, and it was sucked dry in 3 days. Earlier today I placed a similar jar of 2:1 on all the remaining hives. This is the very first time I've needed to feed syrup at this time of the year. I won't be giving them much - maybe a pint each week until mid-April - but a few pounds-(dollars)-worth of sugar is cheap insurance against starvation.

If I should find excess stores in place (which I seriously doubt) during the first inspection of the year, I'll deal with that scenario then. If it should exist, that scenario is temporary and can be fixed. Starvation, on the other hand, is permanent ... and can't be.
LJ
 

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I see how you could be reading that in a way not intended
all sorts of beekeepers use little to no spring feeding, a well provisioned hive will do just fine, bees took care of them self's for millions of years with out beekeepers to feed them in the spring. Sure there are time hives need fed (running low and a spot of bad weather, etc) , and if a hive needs fed it needs fed... but I see a lot of BYBK way over feeding, I even know some out here that keep liquid on all winter
as I said it all depends on your goals
 

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Just a reminder to Johnnymms and other keeps going into their second year. You do not necessarily have to follow the same path you were advised to do in your first year. Feeding syrup when you first got your bees was necessary because they needed to survive and make comb. You should be in a position now where you do not necessarily HAVE to feed. It is all dependent on the status of your hive's stores and what you are trying to accomplish this season. I have gotten the impression that new keeps think that feeding syrup in the spring is routine. For some it is because of local conditions. For some it is not. So talk to your fellow keeps in your area. J
 

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I see how you could be reading that in a way not intended
all sorts of beekeepers use little to no spring feeding, a well provisioned hive will do just fine, bees took care of them self's for millions of years with out beekeepers to feed them in the spring. Sure there are time hives need fed (running low and a spot of bad weather, etc) , and if a hive needs fed it needs fed... but I see a lot of BYBK way over feeding, I even know some out here that keep liquid on all winter
as I said it all depends on your goals
Thanks for clearing that up.
:lpf:
 

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Temps here are in the mid 20s to mid 30s at night, high 40s to mid 50s during the day. I currently have candy boards on both my hives with plenty of sugar left. Is there a specific time frame when liquid food is better for the bees than the hard sugar? I was thinking to switch it over soon, but in Ohio it can go from mild and sunny to cold, freezing and windy in one day (and stay cold for days). Last year was my first year and I installed my bees on May 1 and immediately started feeding 1:1 syrup with the reservoir type box feeders you set on top of the hive. We are barely to the halfway point of March right now, which leaves me unsure because the only experience I have to go by was last year when I didn't even get the bees until May. Thoughts? Thank you!
So take the brick or rock off the hive and Lift one end, for a double deep you should be able to lift it with 1 hand now, if it is a grunt to get it lifted they have plenty feed, if it is very light, maybe hold it with 3 fingers you are likely in need of feed. If they are really in need, warm the feed, put it in a top box wrap it in something insulative, old blanket, etc. every other day, take it out warm it put it back. You state candy boards with plenty left, if they were starving they would have a big hole ate thru and you would see only pieces left.
Do a lift test every time you work a hive then 100 lifts later you will know what is inside. Lift , then do your swarm cell check, lift then look to see if they need a super.
In a year or 2 you will be able to lift and be confident of what is inside. do it with the same number of boxes you winter with. If when you have one starve out, lift it, you can get a feel for what is ok and what is not . Just start :) None of us out here have the data you have at your finger tips...
GG
 
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