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To feed a new swarm or not to feed?

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tkwinston4 

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Hi all, I am as chuffed as chuffed can be because I got my first swarm last night and I am now officially a bee keeper. It was a lovely big swarm, as the books say, it was rugby ball size, hanging a foot off the ground. An expert came and helped us two novices to put the bees in the skep and then came to my hive and showed us how to settle them in. It took about half an hour for them to get themselves organised and settled. We did not even put on any protective gear!! Went down this morning when I let the birds out and they were all still asleep. Had a quick look just before I left for work and there was about four out flying around, trying to get the lay of the land.
My question is - the chap that helped us last night is from the old school of bee keeping and said to feed them straight away but when I spoke to the lovely lady that ran our course later in the evening, she said to leave feeding them for a few days. She said this was because they would eat any honey that they had gorged themselves on and so avoid spreading any diseases etc.
What do you guys think?:confused:
 

sherwood 

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General rule for a swarm of unknown origin is to let them use the the honey they have stored in their honey stomach first. This will be used to pull wax and any pathogens that might have been present therein will be destroyed. The exeption might be were you know the origin of the bees or where you know the have been clustered there for a day or two then shorten the time before feeding.
 

Poly Hive 

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Given the BBKA disease obsession then yes let them alone for three days before feeding to alloy any potential nasties to be digested.

PH
 

tkwinston4 

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Thanks, that my question answered. I will leave them alone and feed them on Sunday/Monday. I have a miller feeder so wont need to disturb them. I will then have a proper check on things next weekend (20th/21st). Thanks for the advice, its very much appreciated.
 

Finman 

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Swarm has 3 days food with them but who knows how long they have travelled.

But the secret of feeding is that you get good combs with sugar.

I feed swarms with 20% sugar. Others ptotest that because all say that 1:1 is the right. But bees store that strong syrup.

When I feed with 20% syrup, they fill cells and make walls and when they have dwarm combs nothing is stored.

Last summer I noticed that swarm eates likely pollen patty too. It needs protein when it makes wax.
 

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