Spring feeding?

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Do224

Field Bee
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Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
National
I’ve not been into any of my three colonies yet this year. Hoping to inspect the next decent day (or at least someone will inspect for me as I’m away).

Is the risk of winter starvation still present now or should they be ok on their own from now on? They were all fed invert in the autumn and got 2kg of fondant as well…they’re just finishing off the fondant now, it’s almost all gone.

If it turns out they’re light on stores when inspected would you feed more fondant or use syrup? If syrup 1:1 or 2:1?
 
They were all fed invert in the autumn and got 2kg of fondant as well…they’re just finishing off the fondant now, it’s almost all gone.
If it turns out they’re light on stores when inspected would you feed more fondant or use syrup? If syrup 1:1 or 2:1?
If you fed them well enough before winter its really your judgement call - what's the local forage like? is the weather good enough for them to forage? Is it warm enough for them to take syrup if they need it? do you use an insulated ash forth type feeder?
Personally I tend to give fondant, I did so to one hive just last week, that was a belt and braces approach on my part as the hive is more remote than my others and more exposed to the elements.
 
I’d heft asap to at least get an idea. You could then go armed. Purely depends on weather regarding starvation and how much they have in the hive! If the weather remains good and there’s stores I’d have thought they don’t need it! Avoid feeding during the active season unless beneficial.
 
Hopefully should have a better idea in the next day or two…

It’s not that warm yet but the bees have been getting more active
 
Got them checked. Two hives still really have a lot of stores…way too much I think. I probably need to take some out and replace with drawn comb or foundation. How many frames of stores should I leave them with though??…I was thinking maybe 3 frames of stores in each hive.

The final third hive, which was the one with the most bees, had no brood. It was really packed with bees going into winter and still has loads, so I was expecting it to be my strongest this year. No sign of drone laying though…just no brood at all. Not sure what to do with this one?
 
How many frames of stores should I leave them with though??…I was thinking maybe 3 frames of stores in each hive.

They're making income in most areas at the moment so two frames should be ample, and even then be prepared to move more out later
 
They're making income in most areas at the moment so two frames should be ample, and even then be prepared to move more out later
👍 can I give them foundation or should it be drawn comb. I do have drawn comb I’m just trying to be economical with it as I don’t have much…

Shall I shake the third colony out in front of the other hives or just leave them to it?
 
👍 can I give them foundation or should it be drawn comb. I do have drawn comb I’m just trying to be economical with it as I don’t have much…
you can give them some foundation, it depends on weather and the flow how willing they'd be to draw it out.
Shall I shake the third colony out in front of the other hives or just leave them to it?
give them a week or so to see if she starts laying, then shake them out.
 
You can put a couple of drawn combs in the centre of your new box it’ll get them up a little quicker. Then on next inspection just start moving to the edge interspacing with foundation or partial drawn combs.
If your queens not laying now she’s likely a dud! So I’d shake out next time your there.
 
give them a week or so to see if she starts laying, then shake them out.
I should also mention that there were two queen cells in this hive (I only just spotted them when looking through the pictures afterwards)…both on the front of the same frame in the middle. They weren’t the biggest and both open and presumably empty…not much bigger than play cups.

I guess the queen either died or they superseded her and I’ve likely got a virgin that failed to get mated?
B56535F2-99E7-4DD8-A1E7-41F24EFDA633.jpeg
 

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