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Feeding to produce comb; do bees self regulate to maintain brood capacity.

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fiat500bee 

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Everything I have read about bees so far indicates that the collective "bee-brain" works to make the best out of every situation that confronts it. The concept that they thrive despite our well-intentioned efforts is found in many writings. But one exception to this is when it comes to feeding. Starting from scratch I would like to have them draw out as much foundation as possible; not necessarily for essential use now, but to give us a flying start next year. I have some bees who are proving to have a phenomenal ability to produce comb from a generous syrup supply, but obviously they then simultaneously stash the stuff in the newly manufactured cells as pretend "honey".

I can see that there is an "art" to getting the balance of feeding right and I think Ihad better give them a break from it to be certain that we max out the brood rearing at this time of year. But I'm wondering if bees are so sugar crazy that they really will store sugar to the detriment of brood production space or whether, if given sufficient undrawn frames, they will anticipate the need for egg-ready cells and leave the appropriate space?
 
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drex 

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The fact that I take several supers off each hive every year, but leave enough for them, as I prefer not to have to feed, is evidence that they do not know when to stop. I have space in my supers but at present they are ramming stores into the brood box. I think they would know enough to leave space for sufficient brood for over winter, as their survival depends on it, but then we introduce our own ideas of big strong colonies for overwintering.
You are right, feeding is a balancing act, and if I feed I still do not always get it right
 

madasafish 

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When I am feeding bees to draw comb - or raise queens - I use a contact rather than a rapid feeder and feed little and often - max 500ml a day.
So some may be stored but the majority is used to draw comb or produce wax. Especially true in QR...


Use a rapid feeder with liters of feed and bees will tend to take it down ASAP and HAVE to store it..
 

Erichalfbee 

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I use a 2 litre rapid feeder half full and give the bees a couple of days between them emptying it and adding more. Seems to work well
 

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