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thundercat 

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I have a new colony (started in June), and they are doing very well [no varroa!] and the queen is still laying. The hive is about 1/4 - 1/2 capped brood, and I have two supers on (although these are mostly uncapped honey).

My question is in two parts:
(1) When do you decide to start feeding? Should I wait for the queen to stop laying?
(2) Is there any penalty to feeding the bees too early?

Thanks in advance
 

oliver90owner 

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1) The queen can continue laying (albeit a greatly diminished amount), all the year round.

2) Started in May/June would likely mean that all the honey stored is not saleable as real honey. You may also need several supers and some very deep pockets, with which to buy sugar.

Common sense needs to prevail.

RAB
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
firstly, please don't assume you have no varroa!

you may not have seen any mites, but that doesn't mean you don't have any....

i would suggest you "shake test" the frames in your supers to see if they are ripe honey that hasn't been capped because the flow stopped, or un-ripe honey.

if it's ripe, i'd take it off now and treat the colony for varroa

you can then feed for winter either by giving the bees the honey back or by feeding syrup


if the honey in the supers is un-ripe, you could leave it for a short while for the bees to process, however the longer you leave it, the cooler it is getting and the less effective varroa treatments may then become...

feeding now would only be to sustain the colony and to aid the rearing of the young bees that are required to over-winter the colony, the main winter feed is usually done towards the end of sep't.....
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
1)2) Started in May/June would likely mean that all the honey stored is not saleable as real honey.
Rab,

pretend i'm thick here, but what do you mean by the above....?

(and no it don't take too much pretending i know :sifone:)

cheers,
 

thundercat 

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Varroa

I pulled virtually all the drone larvae in the colony, and they all came out sparkling white. I also checked the tray every other day for two weeks and nothing [other than the usual debris]... When the colony was just a nuc, it was treated with Apistan, so that's helped. I'm still on the lookout for varroa, but I suspect my very low drone count is responsible for the low/no varroa.

However, I'm still keeping an eye out.
 

Midland Beek 

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Queens tend not to stop laying nowadays.

Early feeding runs the risk, if it is a 'risk', of having the food turned into new bees. Monster colonies need more food over winter and will be more prone to early swarming next spring.

But I would not call September 'early feeding'.
 

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