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hemo 

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Pointless in putting a capped super under them so that they have to undo all the hard work again, there is plenty of time for them to put stores in the BB where they need them. Too early for over wintering configs with all of August through till near end of Sept, I don't give additional feed till late Sept or early Oct and then factor in stores already in situ and ivy income to come.
 

Curly green finger's 

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Pointless in putting a capped super under them so that they have to undo all the hard work again, there is plenty of time for them to put stores in the BB where they need them. Too early for over wintering configs with all of August through till near end of Sept, I don't give additional feed till late Sept or early Oct and then factor in stores already in situ and ivy income to come.
Let's wait untill the first full moon after the equinox before feeding that's what one of the black girls told me the other day... Apologies for the sarcasm.

I've been told at work that they don't want me to feed sugar syrup and I can see where there coming from, there is always two sides to a coin and I'm split both ways.
Each to there own don't forget jbm is a beefarmer guys!
If you actually worked out time spent making or buying in invert then taking it out to x amount of hives, your sugar price is more than £1 a kg etc..
1.Then there's the honey is better than sugar situation/ thoughts!
To the op it is definitely to early to be thinking of winter configurations extract the honey and feed it back to them?
I think you will find if you extract the super the incoming nectar from whatever is left of the season I'm sure will go in the brood box unless it's rammed full of brood like a lot of colonys still are, if so remove some of the brood and donate to others, do you have drawn comb?
I've even still got demaree colonys to break down yet blimey!!
 

Wilco 

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Each to there own don't forget jbm is a beefarmer guys!
Aren't we all? 😉 Unless we're raiding feral colonies for honey, we're all keeping our bees (from which we artificially select preferable traits) in a man-made environment for our own gain. Some people just seem to do it more efficiently or on a much larger scale...

I get a bit confused by people saying feed honey because 'it's more natural' when being true to that line of argument means no beekeeping and ultimately none of modern life, this forum and the tech with which we access it included. It's unnatural to smoke them, it's unnatural to wear a beesuit and gloves. IMHO, 'it's more natural' is a bit of a red herring argument.

The real issue is not whether it is more natural but whether it is actually better for the bees to be fed a wide mixture of plant sugars or a narrow range of them, and what outcome we base that definition on - winter survival rates? Spring build up? How much we curse them for trying to swarm early in the season? Annual yield? Many people's bees successfully overwinter on fondant or autumn fed syrup and the last back-of-envelope figures I've heard suggest 'farmers' tend to average significantly greater yields per colony than 'hobbyists'. I'd hazard a guess (I'm unaware of any studies to back me up or contradict me but welcome either) that it may not be a significant difference to the bees and perhaps the feeding of honey matters more to the mind of their keeper...
 

Curly green finger's 

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Aren't we all? 😉 Unless we're raiding feral colonies for honey, we're all keeping our bees (from which we artificially select preferable traits) in a man-made environment for our own gain. Some people just seem to do it more efficiently or on a much larger scale...

I get a bit confused by people saying feed honey because 'it's more natural' when being true to that line of argument means no beekeeping and ultimately none of modern life, this forum and the tech with which we access it included. It's unnatural to smoke them, it's unnatural to wear a beesuit and gloves. IMHO, 'it's more natural' is a bit of a red herring argument.

The real issue is not whether it is more natural but whether it is actually better for the bees to be fed a wide mixture of plant sugars or a narrow range of them, and what outcome we base that definition on - winter survival rates? Spring build up? How much we curse them for trying to swarm early in the season? Annual yield? Many people's bees successfully overwinter on fondant or autumn fed syrup and the last back-of-envelope figures I've heard suggest 'farmers' tend to average significantly greater yields per colony than 'hobbyists'. I'd hazard a guess (I'm unaware of any studies to back me up or contradict me but welcome either) that it may not be a significant difference to the bees and perhaps the feeding of honey matters more to the mind of their keeper...
We are, as you said above even with one or two colonys... What is the definition of a beekeeper, or another definition at that.
I will be feeding fondant and syrup and leaving honey.
But altimultly I'm a beekeeper or is that a farmer, apiculturist, apiarist.
:willy_nilly::sifone:
 

Wilco 

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We are, as you said above even with one or two colonys... What is the definition of a beekeeper, or another definition at that.
I will be feeding fondant and syrup and leaving honey.
But altimultly I'm a beekeeper or is that a farmer, apiculturist, apiarist.
:willy_nilly::sifone:
Dunno, I'm just the village idiot.
 

bingevader 

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From who?….if they need feeding feed it’s no big deal if they don’t happy days bees winter perfectly well on sugar or honey/sugar.
Well that’s simple, honey £8.00 per LB syrup around £1 the maths are not hard, even if you think you want to keep bees “naturally” you cannot track feeding unless you take it off and then feed, when winter feed time arrives ...................not yet,
I might be wasting my time, but I think the two of you are missing the point.
Very simply, if I leave a super on, I don't need to feed or track feeding and I don't need to fill the brood box with syrup.
Maths doesn't come into it as it's not a business for me, so the price of honey and syrup is irrelevant.
However, it does crop up on an annual basis, that there's no need to leave a super on because there will be plenty of stores in the brood box. :)
 

thorn 

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It varies.
A thinking man would know that a super is not needed if the brood box is managed correctly - feeding or not.
A thinking man will not know unless experienced or well advised. But experience only comes with time, and how does a beginner know whether he's being well advised?
Thus the value of this forum, or thus would be the value of this forum if there weren't so many different views being advanced. The thinking man must sift through and judge whose advice he will follow.
 

Patrick1 

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I might be wasting my time, but I think the two of you are missing the point.
Very simply, if I leave a super on, I don't need to feed or track feeding and I don't need to fill the brood box with syrup.
Maths doesn't come into it as it's not a business for me, so the price of honey and syrup is irrelevant.
However, it does crop up on an annual basis, that there's no need to leave a super on because there will be plenty of stores in the brood box. :)
The chances are good that your bees or wasps will live on the stores you have left in the supper over the next month or so and come the winter when they need food they will not have any and feeding is far more difficult, but hay, I have only been doing this for 20 years, still learning :D :D
 

Patrick1 

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I do think I want to keep bees "naturally", whatever that is supposed to mean. Do you keep bees unnaturally? I am a hobby beekeeper, not a bee-exploiter for profit, and the maths are irrelevant for me. It is perfectly possible, actually quite easy, to keep bees without feeding them sugar. It does not involve "tracking feeding, taking it off and then feeding when winter feed time arrives".....what does all that mean anyway?
All I do is leave sufficient honey frames in the hive after harvesting the surplus. Not difficult at all and probably better for the bees.
So you want to be a keeper of bees and not a beekeeper, my dream customer.

We are responsible for our bees, regulating the carbohydrate and protein is essential, just as it when we have responsibility for any other living creature on this planet.

Natural keepers of bees just loose the bees more frequently than “Beekeeper”
 

bingevader 

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The chances are good that your bees or wasps will live on the stores you have left in the supper over the next month or so and come the winter when they need food they will not have any and feeding is far more difficult, but hay, I have only been doing this for 20 years, still learning :D :D
I'm sorry, and I don't mean to be rude, but for someone "doing this for 20 years," I don't understand what you are talking about! :D
I don't keep wasps.
I thought leaving a full super was overkill and now it's only going to last a month or so? :unsure:
Feeding bees might be difficult, not (routinely) feeding and leaving a super, isn't. :)
 

Murox 

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Yeah sort of.Thanks to you all for contributions. There doesn't seem to be much forage about at the moment.
sounds like the flow has slowed or maybe ended in the vicinity of your hives. After this damper weather I anticipate a small resurgence even where I keep bees. Might be worth you having a good look around where your hives are situated and accessing the available year round forage. Maybe you will need to keep them in an area with "better bee pastures".
 

Patrick1 

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I'm sorry, and I don't mean to be rude, but for someone "doing this for 20 years," I don't understand what you are talking about! :D
I don't keep wasps.
I thought leaving a full super was overkill and now it's only going to last a month or so? :unsure:
Feeding bees might be difficult, not (routinely) feeding and leaving a super, isn't. :)
Trust me you will soon be a wasp feeder (y) the problem with leaving the super on is that you do not know how long it will last, I do believe you need to work out your own style, I genuinely wish you all the best.
 

Ian123 

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There’s already some that claimed not to feed bees when they came on here, who this spring convinced to change to I feed in an emergency! Colonies weather pests and humans are all variables that proactive beekeepers deal with, wild colonies in natural holes with all their own honey and not exploited by the even a half decent beekeeper survive far better of course 😂
 
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Poly Hive 

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A classic thread.

It's very simple. I feed fondant in an eke on top of my brood boxes. In Spring is there a risk that some fondant might be in the stores? Never seen it but I accept that there is that risk. So by managing the brood boxes and encouraging the bees to use up the stores by the time the bees are ready for supers the stores are used up. Now where is the risk? KISS
 

Patrick1 

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There’s already some that claimed not to feed bees when they came on here, who this spring convinced to change to I feed in an emergency! Colonies weather pests and humans are all variables that proactive beekeepers deal with, wild colonies in natural holes with all their own honey and not exploited by the even a half decent beekeeper survive far better of course 😂
According to Professor Thomas Seely, wild or feral colonies seldom survive a year, he studied swarms, feral colonies in trees, then buying cutting it down to examine the hive in detail.
 

Woodland bees 

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What was the answer again? I often wonder with such threads if I live in an area that is very different to most.

OK, I've only been keeping bees for about 5 years but each season has been very different. One the bees stuffed their hives with ivy and still had plenty left in spring but last winter there was virtually no ivy at all.

Some colonies also don't seem to cope well with a double brood so I do leave a super of honey on top. This winter, even with a full brood box, a couple of colonies ate though everything and did need some fondant.

If a super is left on top then it does turn into a brood and a half which I know annoys some.

As I learn I'm gradually moving to double brood boxes, dummied down where necessary. This year things seem to be going ok but that could be down to the good weather (my colonies are actually capping up their stores now which is much earlier than previous years).

And another thing that seems different to others, we have loads of wasps and hornets in the garden but very little problems with them raiding the bees, even with no entrance blocks.
 

Ian123 

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And another thing that seems different to others said:
Wasps are rarely an issue at this time, it’s later on when they move onto the sweet feeding stage that problems start for bees. Ian
 

bingevader 

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Trust me you will soon be a wasp feeder (y)
Are you talking from experience? We very rarely have problems with wasps.

the problem with leaving the super on is that you do not know how long it will last, I do believe you need to work out your own style, I genuinely wish you all the best.
You seem under the misconception that I have never done this before, as opposed to never having done anything different! :D
Yes, we all have our own styles, it doesn't make the alternative wrong.
I'm just struggling with the conflicting suggestions that on one hand a super is overkill and on the other it's now not enough! :unsure:
Anyway, thanks for your kind wishes, I wish you well too. :)
 

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