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Northants_new 

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Hi, looking for some advice from experienced beekeepers.

I received my first hive and bees last Friday and set them up in a decent spot at the top of the garden.

I left the frames out of the super and placed 1 ltr of syrup in a contact feeder in their place, as was suggested on the instructions that accompanied the bees.

I was careful to ensure that none of the liquid leaked out around the hive.

Sunday morning I noticed 30 or 40 dead bees outside the front of the hive.

Further, I have noticed 3 or 4 wasps during the day at the entrance. One appeared to be fighting with what soon turniver out to be another dead bee.

This monring the front of the hive is clear....no more fatalties.

In your opinion is this just a case of wasps being after the syrup or would you sugest that this number of deaths so soon after recieving the hive symbolised other problems?
 

Midland Beek 

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Your bees have been locked in at some point, so the 30 or 40 dead bees were perhaps just from housekeeping duties when the hive was opened up. Bees are always dying, and when a hive is closed up they have no other option than to die inside the hive.

Yes. Watch the wasp problem, and be sure that it is only your bees that get the syrup. Do not spill any around. And if you have a colony that needs to be fed syrup, I would certainly operate the hive with the entrance block in place.

You always get wasps around beehives in late summer. Only a lot of UK beekeepers are plain paranoid on the subject. A strong colony takes care of wasps, but any understrenght colony needs to be cared for.
 

Northants_new 

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ok, that is a relief.
Thanks for the advice. I'll order an entrace block.
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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One thing that was pointed out to me after I'd been using contact feeders for a few weeks was that you should turn them upside down away from the hive initially as there is always a big spurt when they are first turned over - which could lead to a drowned queen!

Hopefully you may know this already, but I suspect I'm not alone amongst newbees in not having realised it.
 

Heather 

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Yep, contact feeders do that - press on the mesh hard before you turn over - much less loss.
 

Northants_new 

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I turned the feeder over in a bucket beforehand. I was surprised by how much liquid came out initially but it did make a vacuum before I put it into the hive.

I have been very tempted to open the hive up and check all is ok but all the books that I have read suggest leaving them alone for a week to settle in.

I have ordered an ashford feeder now.....seemed to be a more reliable way to feed. Fingers crossed.
 

Midland Beek 

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Oh, yeah - got to have an entrance block in if you are feeding syrup.

The wasps at this time of the year are not after syrup. They are after larvae. They take them back to their nest and feed them to their own larvae. Wasp larvae are carnivore.

What is more possible if you are feeding without an entrance block, is a robber bee problem.
 

oliver90owner 

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Entrance block? Yes I probably still have some but a stock of suitable square section timber is easy to cut to length, leaving an entrance at one corner, or two pieces if you must have a central entrance. Cheap, cheerful and perfectly adequate.

Regards, RAB
 

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