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When to stop feeding ?

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Nannysbees 

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Our two hives are taking a lot of sugar syrup down which is brilliant as they were light, their weight is now very healthy but they are still feeding well. Do we stop the feeding or do we leave it up to the bees and stop when they stop?
 

enrico 

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Bees are wired to take anything they can get until there is no more room, they will fill up queen laying space so you have to judge when they have had enough. You should get used to hefting your hive by lifting the back and judging the weight or use luggage scales. Sorry I can't be more specific! The hive should feel so heavy you feel it is stuck to the floor!
 

Swarm 

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You are a few miles south of me and there should be abundant Ivy down the Vale for them. I would hold back on feeding for a couple of weeks and keep a check on their weight, you want laying space for your queen as well. See what happens with the weather after this wet spell, if we get some half decent days, they will be out in droves. Do a final assessment and feed any who need topping up.
As a guide I've recently fed all of mine, they get four pints of invert, then a couple of days later a further four pints with thymol added. That was nearly a week ago.
It can't get much worse than last year when we had constant rain from September to March and no colony had more than twelve pints in total.
If when hefting you conclude that the hive would be difficult to pick up and you wouldn't fancy carrying it very far, they should be fine.
Is this your first season? How has it been?
 

Nannysbees 

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You are a few miles south of me and there should be abundant Ivy down the Vale for them. I would hold back on feeding for a couple of weeks and keep a check on their weight, you want laying space for your queen as well. See what happens with the weather after this wet spell, if we get some half decent days, they will be out in droves. Do a final assessment and feed any who need topping up.
As a guide I've recently fed all of mine, they get four pints of invert, then a couple of days later a further four pints with thymol added. That was nearly a week ago.
It can't get much worse than last year when we had constant rain from September to March and no colony had more than twelve pints in total.
If when hefting you conclude that the hive would be difficult to pick up and you wouldn't fancy carrying it very far, they should be fine.
Is this your first season? How has it been?
Yes it is, thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained so much knowledge with the help of Tim from natures little helpers, he's been amazing. Had one hive at the start of June the second the end of june, have left them with all their stores for winter. The second hive have had quite a few mites, used apiguard and had in excess of 1500 mites over the two weeks, the first hive had much lower. Used a luggage scales to weigh and the weights are 26.25kg and 23.35 kg
 

The Poot in Somerset 

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Yes it is, thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained so much knowledge with the help of Tim from natures little helpers, he's been amazing. Had one hive at the start of June the second the end of june, have left them with all their stores for winter. The second hive have had quite a few mites, used apiguard and had in excess of 1500 mites over the two weeks, the first hive had much lower. Used a luggage scales to weigh and the weights are 26.25kg and 23.35 kg
Are they in a single brood box or brood plus super?
 

beeno 

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I am sure your QXs are off - just checking. Weight is currently more than adequate, but bear in mind that they probably are still producing winter bees in which case it can drop suddenly, so keep hefting. However, I would stop feeding for now. You can always pop some fondant on at a later date.
 

Nannysbees 

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Thank you we removed the feeders this morning, removed the q x several weeks ago, fingers crossed they survive the winter.
Does anyone insulate their hives?
 

Swarm 

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Top insulation.
Hold on with those feeders, it's only the first day in October. Keep hefting and think about final feeding more like the end of the month, if they need it.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes. I have cosies on the wooden hives. I turn them into poly hives over winterIMG_0561.JPG
 

Nannysbees 

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Do you leave the vents clear in the roof for air flow?
 

Swarm 

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I think Dani removes the roof to fit those. The vent in the roof is not necessary, my hives are cedar but have abelo poly roofs. The crown boards are also insulated (25mm recticel in an eke)
Checking the hives today, I could feel the heat radiating from the feeder boards, you could warm your hands on them. Insulation overhead keeps that heat in the hive.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Do you leave the vents clear in the roof for air flow?
Swarm has explained. I take the roof off and put the cosies onto the crown board. It's best to paint them as UV degrades the foil
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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To be fair I think nanny means in the roof not the crownboard
same thing - the roof doesn't need venting - same as that photo in the BBKA magazine - go to the effort of insulating a roof then put two vents in directly to the crownboard!!
 

Nannysbees 

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That's interesting, we were told if there is little ventilation the condensation from the heat that the bees produce can wet the bees which can kill them
 

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