to feed or not to feed

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janandmaxbee 

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this is only my second winter as a beekeeper - I was advised not to feed after October - was this good advice - should I feed now . worried there is not enough food in the hives (2) for them.
 

Polyanwood 

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Fondant is cheap. If you are worried, why not put on a block.
 

VEG 

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As posted above better to do something rather than nothing.
 

Finman 

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Open carefully the inner cover and look if you see capped food in upper parts of frames. If you see cappings in almost all frames, don,t feed.

.
 

Heather 

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I think they were referring to not feeding syrup - that should finish by September really as the bees need to reduce and store that before the cold arrives or it will not be good as store.
Fondant is fine any time after. If in doubt- feed- cheaper than new bees- and they are your livestock to look after..

You can judge by the insert tray if they are uncapping.
Wax in fine lines - bees there and eating-
No fine wax ? bees alive.
Lumps of random cappings -have you a mouse there too??
 
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Russel 

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I think they were referring to not feeding syrup - that should finish by September really as the bees need to reduce and store that before the cold arrives or it will not be good as store.
Fondant is fine any time after. If in doubt- feed- cheaper than new bees- and they are your livestock to look after..

You can judge by the insert tray if they are uncapping.
Wax in fine lines - bees there and eating-
No fine wax ? bees alive.
Lumps of random cappings -have you a mouse there too??
In your best Yoda voice:laughing-smiley-014
 

oliver90owner 

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was this good advice

October is a whole month. Was this date for stopping feeding the beginning or end of October?

If the beginning - incorrect. Rather depends on the season and your location. Usually OK in most southerly areas for early Oct, I would guess.

If the end - incorrect. Feeding should be finished earlier than that most years, particularly if using sugar syrup.

Most get the bulk fed in August/September for the most of England and Wales.

Beekeeping is weather dependent, not date dependent. Feeding into the second half of October was not a good idea this year. Syrup needs to be evaporated to reduce water content and the cells need capping before the colony clusters, or the stores may ferment.

Not feeding early enough is down to the beekeeper. For one or two colonies it is more important than for those of us with a few more.

For instance, if the season finishes with some colonies (14x12s) without a full brood I can easily unite for taking stronger and better supplied colonies into winter; I can move a frame, or two if needed, to supplement a less well provisioned colony - after all ten frames and a chunk of insulation, to fill the gap, will still be adequate for most winters.

Better to be early than too late where bees are concerned, generally - must be a few exceptions but I am thinking of feeding, being ready for the early flow, A/Sing, treating for disease and pests. They all are better done early rather than later!

If there was not enough food in the hive then, now is too late - you need the emergency-feeding fondant block on, as Polyanwood wrote. A sort of feeding anyway. And if too late for that? - yes that's right, they won't need it after they have perished due to starvation! So do it now.

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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Whilst checking on my feeding situation today, and yes 5 needed, I spotted 2 empty bags of mouse poison which I had tucked under some of the hives.

Mice are an ONGOING problem in winter, dinna think for a moment they are not.

Little bu****s.

PH
 

chipper 

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In South Devon, near the coast, I feed through October, topping up any light ones in early November . I do use Ambrosia though....bees take it down quickly and its capped rapidly.
I find if I feed any earlier it s turned into brood.
Will heft the hives when doing Oxalic treatment this week. Just for peace of mind....
Any light ones get a slab of fondant but usually not until mid February.
There are BIG differences in climate in Devon.
 

Heather 

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Advice from 2 bee farmers- this year may be different and hives already seem lighter than previous years by this time- just be ready to slap fondant on according to hive behaviour and not the calendar
 

chrismcd 

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Advice from 2 bee farmers- this year may be different and hives already seem lighter than previous years by this time- just be ready to slap fondant on according to hive behaviour and not the calendar
I would agree. I put some fondant on as a trial and one hive is really tucking in but the rest are not interested.
 

Dishmop 

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I would agree. I put some fondant on as a trial and one hive is really tucking in but the rest are not interested.
could be that they havent found it....

I put a piece of broken off burr comb with honey in front of hive in the good weather and they didnt find it for 2 days...... until I put it on the landing board.
 

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