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wukkie1 

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hi im feeding 2 new hives at the moment one is taking like mad the other is not touching it at all, is there a reason. i dont want to lose over winter reagrds wukkie1
 

wukkie1 

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hi, i am feeding 2 new hive to build up to survive the winter, there does seem to be a shortage of natural feed at the moment, am i wrong, regards bill
 

Poly Hive 

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Just seems a bit early. Look at finmans recent posts regarding this very issue.

PH
 

Heather 

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PH - if it is a new colony and frames to be drawn - why not feed as well to encourage development or the queen will have less space to lay.

I know it is a fine balancing act and we don't want comb filled with syrup- but there is a gap in nectar incoming at the mo. I have similar situation- the colony from the tree had 1/4 of one comb with food and no pollen. I have given them some food and they have gone from torpor to frantic feeding- from not being actively foraging when in the tree to obvious flying. Just hoping it isnt others raiding, but I have reduced entrance to 2 bee size to help them

Just a thought -it being mentioned it was new. Obviously the one not touching is a better forager.
 

Finman 

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no difference, is it old or new.
If someone sells a hive, it must have enough food.
In summer bees use to get their own food and they draw combs without human help.

it is midd summer now.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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wukkie,
It may depend on the proportion of young/old bees and brood in the colony. Lots of young bees and no foragers means empty mouths.
However some colonies behave differently to others. My view is that if the bees don't need the feed they won't take it. This works most of the time.
 

victor meldrew 

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no difference, is it old or new.
If someone sells a hive, it must have enough food.
In summer bees use to get their own food and they draw combs without human help.

it is midd summer now.
Very true but we actively discourage swarming at the ideal time (season) for it,
only to create small colonies much later in the season when it is really too late for such small colonies to thrive on the little forage available . Therefore if we indulge in such practices then we must give small newly created colonies often on foundation for the most part; a good feed to get them to the stage they would have been had they bee started earlier ??

John Wilkinson
 

Poly Hive 

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It's a bit odd here. I have not had a flow as such for near a month. And yet...the bees have stores galore, and are tramping on.

Hence my querying whether feeding is really required.

PH
 

Heather 

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And some indulgences are thrust upon us :toetap05:
Rescued colonies need help. As do struggling ones.
As I said- a balancing act- don't overfeed-filling the comb but allow them to develop said comb to encourage egg laying.
The flow has certainly slowed down here - hopefully it will pick up again after this rain rallies flora- and the August/Sept flowers kick in
 

oliver90owner 

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My view is that if the bees don't need the feed they won't take it

It is naive to take that line. Sorry, but not remotely applicable at this time of the year, or even remotely appropriate for others. Just think about all those exceptions to your rule, there are many. Try explaining, for instance why we do not feed 2:1 (sugar:water) syrup in the springtime.
I am confident your answer should include something like 'they don't need it and will just store it', but not confident that your first statement would allow that response.

Regards, RAB
 

mbc 

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no difference, is it old or new.
If someone sells a hive, it must have enough food.
In summer bees use to get their own food and they draw combs without human help.

it is midd summer now.
The summer flow was over by july here in west wales and any foundation to be drawn out needs sugar syrup to do it. If newly made up colonies are left till september befrore feeding then they find it much harder to draw foundation as the evenings draw in
 

peteinwilts 

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i guess the weather is not really helping... hardly any rain, hardly any decent heat. Whenever i have wandered around the apiarys hardly any bees are flying.

My bees are not collecting a great deal, but they are also not consuming the honey they have, therefore they must be bringing at least enough in for their own food and brood.

if they are not starving, i would not feed (note the wise words by finman who deals with longer winters than we do!)

just because they take food, does not mean they need it. At the end of last september i started feeding, and they took a quite a lot. So much so, not only did they have enough to last the very long winter, but still had frames of food in spring.
I had to remove it (I gave it to a couple swarms) or it would have ended up in the supers this year
 

Mike a 

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My view is that if the bees don't need the feed they won't take it

It is naive to take that line. Sorry, but not remotely applicable at this time of the year, or even remotely appropriate for others. Just think about all those exceptions to your rule, there are many. Try explaining, for instance why we do not feed 2:1 (sugar:water) syrup in the springtime.
I am confident your answer should include something like 'they don't need it and will just store it', but not confident that your first statement would allow that response.

Regards, RAB
First of all let me say to clarify, Don't feed if they don't need it, if you are unsure seek local advice.

I disagree RAB.
It may seem naive to you as an experienced bee keeper who can gauge the levels of forage at any given time of year in your local area. However I'm sure plenty of experienced beeks in some areas of the country are currently feeding to save their colonies from starving to death right now. But what should a new bee keeper do if they are unsure have no-one local to give them good advice and they log on here for help.

Surely it is better to give them proactive advice and suggest if they feel the level of stores is low to feed a small amount of sugar water and potentially keep the colony from starving to death. It won't matter if the advice to feed is wrong and they already have plenty of stores, but if they don't feed when they should of because they read "You should not be feeding your colonies" ?

From what I've seen with my colonies who aren't prone to robbing if they don't want it they won't take it as sugar water is a pretty poor substitute for nectar even if it is inverted.
 

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