Should I remove feeder?

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Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
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Location
Bath
Number of Hives
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Dear all - quick one - I have newly installed hive of Carnolian bees, and they seem to be doing well. I installed them from a healthy 5 frame nuc last Friday and so there (were) 5 frames of new foundation. The weather as you know has been awful, and it's been very cold, so I put a top feeder on with about 4-500ml of syrup. The bees have been actively feeding during the week, but otherwise very dormant with no visible activity at the entrance (I have of course left them well alone - only lifted the roof (WBC) to peek at the feeder). My question is: now that better weather is arriving, they are now very active and bringing in pollen and (I'm assuming) nectar and water like mad things - so should I remove the feeder? There's about 200ml left.

Sorry if that's a bit daft or terrible minor, but I don't want to overfeed them.

Thanks!
 
don't want to overfeed them
Good thinking. Take the feeder off and let them get on with it.

Watch for rapid colony expansion with Carniolan: they can make v big colonies, depending on the strain: triple brood easily, so have spare kit ready.

Bath weather is good for the forseeable, and they'll work between the warm showers.
 
They will be working hard to build themselves up. I had to feed a nuc at the weekend containing a queen from a split that I did last week. They had used up a brood frame of stores in a week. I have local bees headed by my queens on the whole, so I don’t have experience of the needs of Carniolan bees. You are only a few miles from me, so I would leave the syrup in place. Keep a close eye on them. We are not out of the woods yet.
Have you signed up to Beebase? The NBU sends out alerts and information as needed. The report that came through this pm is that the SBI’s (seasonal bee inspectors) are seeing colonies that are either short of stores or have already starved.
 
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Good thinking. Take the feeder off and let them get on with it.

Watch for rapid colony expansion with Carniolan: they can make v big colonies, depending on the strain: triple brood easily, so have spare kit ready.

Bath weather is good for the forseeable, and they'll work between the warm showers.
Available nectar is patchy. The OP is not far from me.
 
Good thinking. Take the feeder off and let them get on with it.

Watch for rapid colony expansion with Carniolan: they can make v big colonies, depending on the strain: triple brood easily, so have spare kit ready.

Bath weather is good for the forseeable, and they'll work between the warm showers.
Thanks Eric - appreciate the advice.
 
They will be working hard to build themselves up. I had to feed a nuc at the weekend containing a queen from a split that I did last week. They had used up a brood frame of stores in a week. I have local bees headed by my queens on the whole, so I don’t have experience of the needs of Carniolan bees. You are only a few miles from me, so I would leave the syrup in place. Keep a close eye on them. We are not out of the woods yet.
Have you signed up to Beebase? The NBU sends out alerts and information as needed. The report that came through this pm is that the SBI’s (seasonal bee inspectors) are seeing colonies that are either short of stores or have already starved.
Thank you - in fact as soon as I had posted that message that alert came through. I'll remove the feeder, but watch them very closely to make sure that they continue to bring food in. I'll inspect at the one week mark.
 
We are not out of the woods yet.
True, but the woods are not necessarily a lack of forage, but a lack of flying weather, or perhaps a bit of both. Improvement in the weather is imminent.

The Doc's decision seems balanced: take it off but check stores - twice a week, I suggest. Another way to check, Doc: heft the hive an inch with one hand, see if it's easy or heavy and respond accordingly.
 
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