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Poly Hive 

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Shrug.

Obviously not aware of the forum ethos of play the ball.

On my ignore list.

PH
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Just finishing checking my two home hives (both on eight frames), bees have been working flat out the last few days - one has plenty of pollen and some stores in the super, little stores in the brood so I've left them to their own devices. the next hive (two feet awqay) very little stores, some pollen around the brood and bu**er all else, so taking into account the poor forecast for the next few days I've given the second hive a few pints of 1:1 and removed the alomost empty super - the out apiary hive will have to wait until the next fine day!.
As PH said, check your hives and make a judgement based on the facts in front of you.
 

Poggle 

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it might be OK for those that steal the last skeret of the the bees hard earned crop, for extra income.
We have a chap in the area who does just that. He empties the hives to supply his customers who get ever larger in number then spends more time trying to keep the hives alive by feeding them! Last year he starved several hives to death with this way of doing things and all due to him getting three more customers that wanted honey right then for their shops. One of them even came to me and asked for honey and got shitty when I said no to him.
 

BeeJayBee 

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When was that issued as I am trying to persuade people not to feed willy nilly at the moment.

I suspect quite a few weeks ago?
The same message is on Beebase, dated June 2012. https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/public/News/news.cfm#127
June 2012 - Starvation Risk - Important Message About Bee Colony Food Levels

Important Message About Bee Colony Food Levels:

With the continued spell of poor weather in many areas of the UK, reports are coming in from Regional and Seasonal Bee Inspectors of starving bee colonies, where the beekeeper is not aware that the bees are severely short of food, or the colony(s) have already starved to death.

Indications are that this current spell of unsettled weather will continue until the 19th June 2012 at the earliest.
..... etc. etc.​
In some parts of the country the weather has been bad enough to keep bees permanently inside for weeks. I don't know much about the biology of nectar production, but I suspect it will have either been washed out of flowers or it's too cold for any (much) to be produced, so there's very little for bees to collect during the brief windows of good weather we've had. I know of some who've had virtually no OSR crop this year.

The weather forecast for us is that it'll top 16C today and there are warnings of more storms on the way. It's currently a little warmer than predicted, but there are thick clouds, an icy wind and no sun.
 

MandF 

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I'd be grateful if we could have some figures on the amount of stores used per day if bees are kept inside. Such information is much more useful than telling beginners to check. What are they going to check for?

ie 8 frames of bees in a national deep would consume 1 frame of stores per day.

Only with that kind of information can a beginner determine if their hive has enough stores to last the (for example) 4 forecast bad days.

Also, could someone confirm the worst scenarios for over feeding. So far all I can think of is

1) block up the hive, no space to lay, swarm instinct kicks in.
2) take up unnecessary space where the queen cannot now lay = slower expansion


Again, there is a balance to be struck, judgement call to be made, but without the full implications of each action a beginner cannot be expected to make a properly balanced call. For example, if the worst case scenario for over feeding is a potential to swarm or slower build up, and the worst case for under feeding is the bees starve and all die, then, on balance, if in doubt I would feed.
 

Steve_gts 

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The funniest thing about this thread is that both PH and the NBU are saying essentially the same thing (albeit with a different emphasis)

PH said - "I am trying to persuade people not to feed willy nilly at the moment"

The NBU email - "Firstly - Check all colonies feed levels by ‘hefting the hive’ "

So hopefully that means the bickering is over.

What would be helpful (for me at least) is an answer to MandF's post above
 

Erichalfbee 

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I understood 2 frames of stores would last a colony till the next inspection...ie a week.
That's what i have always made sure they had (or the equivalent in feeding)
I have been checking every five days recently as that is what the weather has dictated.
A small swarm needed food,my biggest colony has nearly three supers all only partially capped. The others have plenty of nectar and pollen so are foraging between showers in a "June dearth"
 

MandF 

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Thanks, a colony being a full national brood?

So if one had a brood & half, 3 frames (approx) would be needed for a week? I guess a brood and half is about the same as a 14x12 too.

And to extrapolate further, 5-6 frame nuc (in a nuc box or hive, with or without dummy/divider) would consume 1 full frame of stores in a week?

Do all the experienced beeks agree with that?

Another question would be, on a glorious June day, how much would a colony (national brood) store? Ie how long would it take a colony to replace 1 full frame of stores - this info is also useful, if we have a week of rubbish weather, with a couple of good days in between. Just like we are in the middle of right now here in Surrey/South East, once it starts tipping down this eve.
 

meidel 

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Would the honey arc above the brood be sufficient to feed that frame of brood? What I usually go by is that and one or one and a half frames of stores each end of the brood frames.
 

Poly Hive 

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A powerful colony on a single National brood can store and seal a super in three to four days with a good flow. 40 odd lbs in that time.
From that you can extrapolate a brood frame.. say 12 hours...3-4 lbs..

A nuc can put a brood frame into stores in roughly two days.

On saying that there are nucs and nucs. The above refers to a five frame nuc getting close to needing hiving.

A dying nuc on one frame or two of bees.. will manage a patch or two of stores but nothing to shout about.

PH
 

psafloyd 

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I have never heard anything so stupid as that comment!!
Trying to make yourself sound like some sort of expert in bees in every single area of the UK. Your bees might be ok but in some areas the bees are starving!!
I speak to beekeepers from all over most days i can tell you stright a lot of peoples bees are in big trouble others its too late. So unless you know or have some sort of magical powers how every beehive is for stores in every part of the country i would keep it buttoned as you may find your self responsible for there loss as a lot of begginers may take your ill thought advice as gospel
I don't think he was speaking for every area of the country, but feared the consequences in his own where beekeepers are perhaps overreacting.
 

MandF 

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A powerful colony on a single National brood can store and seal a super in three to four days with a good flow. 40 odd lbs in that time.
From that you can extrapolate a brood frame.. say 12 hours...3-4 lbs..

A nuc can put a brood frame into stores in roughly two days.

On saying that there are nucs and nucs. The above refers to a five frame nuc getting close to needing hiving.

A dying nuc on one frame or two of bees.. will manage a patch or two of stores but nothing to shout about.

PH
So, we are saying that a full hive will be able to restock itself for a week in a day or two's good weather (in a flow).

A nuc should be able to restock itself in 2 days. The caveat there is that it has/had 1 full frame of space to put the stores after the few days bad weather - ie the queen hadnt started laying in the empty stores frame?

A dying nuc will need to be addressed if there is any spell (>2 days) of bad weather due.
 

Poly Hive 

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Most nucs will have empty space to put stores in.

I hived two today that had no space and needed room to expand.

A full colony will indeed take a day or two to store up for the next week, not to mention the super/s

PH
 
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Mini nucs are particularly at risk, they can go from well fed and waiting for a virgin to get going, to overpopulated and starving in the blink of an eye, and its always the successful ones that reach crisis point quickest.
Reading this spurred us to go and check two of our mini-nucs today instead of tomorrow.

Glad we did, not a drizzle left and they dived at the syrup and ignored us completely.

Well done Mbc!
 

Poly Hive 

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I have to ask why your minis of all units should be so close to the margin?

All, minis are a quite separate case, they are vulnerable from many fronts.

Give them damp sugar please.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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Reading this spurred us to go and check two of our mini-nucs today instead of tomorrow.
The smaller mini nucs certainly soon get through the food quite fast,topped up a few today,i much prefer the larger feed compartment in the wooden ones, which hold over 2kg of fondant or 2 litres of syrup,plus a stock of full food frames/combs,but looks like they are unlikely to be needed.
 
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I find that the fondant type feeders empty far less quickly than the liquid feeders ( in mating nucs)... and less messy!
 

Poly Hive 

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Liquid feeders?

Minis usually have damp sugar for feed, and Hivemaker we are discussing mini nucs which to my mind are normally poly not wood. Sorry sir but... in northern climes this is a bonus.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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Minis usually have damp sugar for feed, and Hivemaker we are discussing mini nucs which to my mind are normally poly not wood.
Fondant is much better,as it does not all run out when filling most designs from the bottom with bees. And the poly mini nucs are simply modern copies of the wooden ones,Abelo still sell the wooden version,they are quite far north.
 
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PH..
I have been trialling some mating hives/ mini nucs from( A bell o on fleabuy) that are polly hives 2 in ones with a Millar / Ashforth? type feeder for syrup. fiddly but work well at the budget price... my meagre budget won't run to Keilers ( although I do have one!)
 

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