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plumberman 

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Grateful for your wisdom................

Checked all three hives yesterday - lots of brood, eggs and no obvious problems . They do have a reasonable amount of stores, but I am suspicious that this is ivy - they have uncapped it, but it is clearly granulated. I would imagine that they will be able to dilute this OK ( they are very thirsty bees at the moment, with lots of them around water sources).

Am I correct in this assumption, or should I also feed some 1:1. Would rather not, as I want them to use up stores.

Thanks
 

oliver90owner 

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plumberman,

Bees normally consume nectar during the active season. When there is a lot of brood they will need a lot of liquid, as those larvae grow an enormous amount in just a few days. Ivy honey will still be the same, or similar, moisture to other honey. If water from nectar is not available they will be collecting it.

Feeding a relatively small amounts of 1:1 syrup will encourage the colony to expand (increased laying rate) by simulating a nectar flow of some sort (and providing a ready supply of water for the bees). Manage that and they will be consuming even more stores! Just a balancing act really; too many bees and no nectar flow and they may very quickly move from a situation of 'reasonable stores' to one of 'need feeding'.

Regards, RAB
 

george 

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If it is uncapped they are using it . Ensure a local and constantly available supply of water and monitor . As the colony will probably double in size over the next few weeks it will be eaten quickly .
If you want to speed the process up a little , score the cappings with a hive tool .This works for me .
 

Finman 

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When you have too much stores in the hive, it will not help if you feed more. They just cap the ivy honey again.

Further more, syrup feeding does not accelerate brooding. It is just belief.
Beekeepers do not understand what they are doing.

When the colony is bigger, put the granulated honey frame between brood frames. Bees will clean the combs but they must trasfer it to super and among other honey. It does not help if they move honey inside the brood box.
 
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roche 

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Further more, syrup feeding does not accelerate brooding. It is just belief.
Beekeepers do not understand what they are doing.
Can you explain a bit more please Finman?
 

roche 

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Excellent link - thank you very much...
 

plumberman 

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Thanks for your help - I shall leave them to get on with the Ivy!
 

mbc 

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Bees need protein and vitamins etc to rear larvae. When new bees emerge, they need too lots of protein.

When feeding syrup to bees, bees can take proteins from their own body. Then they must stop larva rearing.

http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/bkcd/hbbiology/nutrition_supplements.htm
Sorry Finman I think your over simplifying
Bees store a considerable amount of ivy pollen allong with the nectar - both resources available to them in the spring.
Britain is not finland, we have early crocus, hazel , willow and dandelions in profusion in many localities and feeding carbs will help the foragers concentrate on collecting pollen from these sources ( and probably loads more I dont know about ) enabling considerably more brood to be raised
 

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If you have that much stores in the form of granulated honey it might be worth considering removing one or two of these frames and putting some drawn comb in there to give the queen some where unclutterd to lay after all I note that this is a wbc and therefore only has 10 frames she needs space to lay.
 

Finman 

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Sorry Finman I think your over simplifying
Bees store a considerable amount of ivy pollen allong with the nectar - both resources available to them in the spring.
Britain is not finland, we have early crocus, hazel , willow and dandelions in profusion in many localities and feeding carbs will help the foragers concentrate on collecting pollen from these sources ( and probably loads more I dont know about ) enabling considerably more brood to be raised
Sorry MCB, if you do not understand. That nutrition knowledge what I have omitted is from USA and Austaralia and from Zew Zealand. When i read a Finnish beekeeping book they do not even mention word nutrition.

Sure you have early flowers but if you do not have weather to fly, how bees get protein to the larvae.

When you have so much flowers, why you are so mad to feed bees with sugar?

I think that UK has not a one nutrition research. And what I have been on these forums, your knowledge is not above normal level.

You have ivy and it explains everything, and still you are feeding your bees since Christmas.

.
 
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oliver90owner 

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Possibly almost 'plain' water into a frame feeder might be enough to get them going early in the spring? Maybe I will try it next year (in front of the brood divider in a Dartington), although my bees still have ample stores - more than ample, actually. I may well be removing some before the flow comes along - if it ever arrives this year!!

Replacing with drawn comb is better early on, than foundation, if laying space is limited.

Main problem this year has been the un-seasonal weather c/f the past decade.

My bees will certainly not be storing great swathes of sugar honey in the supers; they were not fed sugar last autumn and filled up with more than enough late forage (I redistributed some frames and actually removed some frames of stores in the autumn).

The small amounts of fondant put on two colonies (the Dartingtons) was removed as soon as I could take a peek and see that there were sufficient stores.

So I have both honey in the hives and in my store. It will all get utilised sooner or later (nucs if nothing else). The important thing now, for me, is to get most of the pollen cleared from the frames, whilst monitoring their stores levels. I will replace the pollen in the frames with protein feed if necessary, but even that is looking unlikely.

So not unduly worried, I have just one colony that was a little slow off the mark (she is laying strongly now) but I am thinking I might transfer one, or perhaps two, frames of hatching brood to that one, as it is sitting next to a field of OSR and would benefit me by starting the flow with a lot more foraging bees. It is interesting to note that it was one of the colonies without extra insulation (just had a block of polystyrene in the roof).

The hive that suffered an unsuccessful woodpecker attack, and was covered over with a stout, well fitted plastic bag (over the roof insulation and under the roof), was completely dry when the bag was eventually removed (I had checked and noted there was very little condensation inside the bag, so was not concerned until the first hive check). That bag will be stored carefully and I intend to try to source some more bags of similar size and quality, just in case they might be needed next winter.

Back to feeding. The bees would generally take care of themselves, or be part of Darwinian history, in nature. It is only humans interfering - taking too much stores, not replacing with adequate stocks, restricting the colony to a too-small box for winter, spraying herbicide over their 'otherwise' autumn feed plants, ploughing up and seeding ever greater continuous tracts of land in the autumn, etc, etc that is making life difficult for them.

Only if one is trying to attain a large honey crop does one need to take steps to speed things up in springtime. Otherwise the bees should be able to regenerate during the summer and be ready for the next winter without undue interference from us. A later start, but perfectly adquate for them to survive (and prosper in good seasons), so there needs be no worries from inexperienced beeks trying to speed things up too much - just accept a reasonable return for the first years until you have more experience. That is my advice on the subject.

Regards, RAB
 

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I think that you have in UK so much beekeeping theory that you do not know what to do with it.

My knowledge has become better and better every year but I wonder why my average honey yield have stayed at same level last 30 years. Do I have something vain in my head?
 

mbc 

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Sorry MCB, if you do not understand. That nutrition knowledge what I have omitted is from USA and Austaralia and from Zew Zealand. When i read a Finnish beekeeping book they do not even mention word nutrition.

Sure you have early flowers but if you do not have weather to fly, how bees get protein to the larvae.

When you have so much flowers, why you are so mad to feed bees with sugar?

I think that UK has not a one nutrition research. And what I have been on these forums, your knowledge is not above normal level.

You have ivy and it explains everything, and still you are feeding your bees since Christmas.

.
Fact: bees fed carbohydrates collect more protein ( pollen )
Fact: bees can store pollen as 'bee bread' for quite a long time
Opinion (mine ) : bees fed sugar syrup in early spring when there are plenty of early pollen sources but few high energy nectar sources will raise more brood than bees not fed sugar syrup ( so long as ther's plenty of room for the queen to lay in )
As for UK beekeeping knowledge not being above normal level, I can live with that, I'm just trying to keep my bees as best I can in my locality:)
 

Finman 

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Fact: bees fed carbohydrates collect more protein ( pollen )
Fact: bees can store pollen as 'bee bread' for quite a long time
Opinion (mine ) : bees fed sugar syrup in early spring when there are plenty of early pollen sources but few high energy nectar sources will raise more brood than bees not fed sugar syrup ( so long as ther's plenty of room for the queen to lay in )
As for UK beekeeping knowledge not being above normal level, I can live with that, I'm just trying to keep my bees as best I can in my locality:)
However, don't try to teach me in these issues. Your opinion is far from knowledge and more far from practical knowledge.. you may collect all your UK experts together and you cannot teach me about bee nutrition.
 
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mbc 

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finman it seems to me that its you who are trying to teach us brits from afar with your falty logic and sweeping statements .
 

Finman 

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finman it seems to me that its you who are trying to teach us brits from afar with your falty logic and sweeping statements .
That is my big idea even if I do not know what it is. Life is to be continued



(You get a national issue from what ever, even from extra ivy honey)


.
 
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