Winter stores (or lack of ).

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rossbyjove

House Bee
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
335
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261
Location
Hilperton Wiltshire
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
ONE
Hi Beeps, second year of keeping Bees.
Now have two colonies , one has a lazy queen who I tried to replace and failed earlier on in the year.
The newest colony has a good queen.
However neither have much in the way of stores right now.
Only one has a full brood frame of honey at the moment.
Been putting fondant in for the last month and it's gone in a week.
If there are no stores does one just feed through the winter ?
 
just pile on the food now - not give it in tiny little dribs and drabs, by the end of the month they will have plenty.
trouble with fondant is the bees need water to assimilate it and turn into 'honey' and with the heat at the moment they are working overtime to bring in water for hive cooling.
 
The time for winter feed is the autumn. I keep a bit of fondant available to plonk on mid winter if I have gotten the autumn dose wrong.
 
My colonies all have 20+ lbs of stores which I keep an eye on, some I have given back sealed saved stores, any feed will likely be a half of or full block of fondant.
Waiting for signs of ivy forage to start in earnest before I feed.
 
Hi Beeps, second year of keeping Bees.
Now have two colonies , one has a lazy queen who I tried to replace and failed earlier on in the year.
The newest colony has a good queen.
However neither have much in the way of stores right now.
Only one has a full brood frame of honey at the moment.
Been putting fondant in for the last month and it's gone in a week.
If there are no stores does one just feed through the winter ?
You can feed well into November if needed in fact you can feed all year if temperatures allow bees only refuse the syrup when it gets chilled, you’ve months to top up! Just include some thymol!…..forget the fondant and apply syrup you’ll get it in much faster.
 
Just pile on the syrup fast. Give them 10 litres over a few days or put a whole block of fondant on.
Is now the time to feed heavily? I was under the impression it was a bit early as they still needed the space to raise winter bees…I was planning to pile the syrup on first week of October. I’m still learning though…!
 
Is now the time to feed heavily? I was under the impression it was a bit early as they still needed the space to raise winter bees…I was planning to pile the syrup on first week of October. I’m still learning though…!
Just top up if you have the time or inclination. Will you get a decent ivy flow? In my area I can wait for that and finish up feeding as required.
 
My bees have brought more in during this last week of warm weather, than they have since the middle of June.

I went through 18 colonies yesterday and the queens are back laying strongly after a good brood break of 3 or 4 weeks-ish for some (I was starting to worry about a couple of queens). Glad I managed to vape whilst there was no brood!

I'm seeing full brood frames of wet stores on outer frames, plus the golden arch around the edges of where the queens are laying, and plenty of stored pollen too.

Lets hope for a continuance of this clement weather and a late influx of ivy. Ive spent enough on sugar already!
 
Imv here it is too early to feed heavily , winter brood in some of my colonies is just being laid up as noted this week with frames of eggs only.
Usually late Sept or into Oct if I need to feed heavily with syrup or a block of fondant.
I placed a 1/2 block of fondant (6.25kg ) in my long hive one year and they smashed it within 4 days, so they got the other half as well.
 
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Added a second brood box to one busy colony last week, it's drawn and filled now. Queens need laying space, a swift guzzle after supers are removed, to make sure they have provisions, should be adequate. Feeding to Winter weight is some weeks away yet and with the current flow and Ivy on the cusp, possibly no need.
 
Just top up if you have the time or inclination. Will you get a decent ivy flow? In my area I can wait for that and finish up feeding as required.
There seems to be a pretty big Himalayan balsam flow right now and the ivy should be out in the next couple of weeks. To be honest I’ve been looking at the activity and wondering if I should be adding supers?!

View attachment IMG_4186.MOV
 
Get a round rapid feeder and place it over the hole in the crown board. Fill this with syrup at a ratio of 1 pint of water to 2lbs of sugar, mixed with a little heat to get it dissolved and top this up every night for at least ten days. Learn to weigh with luggage scales, I will give details if required, and get them to a decent weight before winter. I intend to start feeding towards the end of September here if they need it but I am in the sunny south.
 
Get a round rapid feeder and place it over the hole in the crown board. Fill this with syrup at a ratio of 1 pint of water to 2lbs of sugar, mixed with a little heat to get it dissolved and top this up every night for at least ten days. Learn to weigh with luggage scales, I will give details if required, and get them to a decent weight before winter. I intend to start feeding towards the end of September here if they need it but I am in the sunny south.
Is it still warm enough weather for feeding a weaker syrup ? (eg. 1 litre to 1kg)
 
Is it still warm enough weather for feeding a weaker syrup ? (eg. 1 litre to 1kg)
You are just giving them more work to do evaporating the extra water off. Generally the idea is 1-1 for wax building and spring feeding and 2-1 for storing and autumn feeding. But any feed is better than none if that is all you have
 
just pile on the food now - not give it in tiny little dribs and drabs, by the end of the month they will have plenty.
trouble with fondant is the bees need water to assimilate it and turn into 'honey' and with the heat at the moment they are working overtime to bring in water for hive cooling.
Been putting half brick sized lumps of fondant in and it's going fast.
I have some syrup made up with a bit of thymol in .
I will put that on and see if they are interested.
Cheers.
 
I'm a beginner, this year. What is the purpose of the thymol? Can you buy it easily?
 
I'm a beginner, this year. What is the purpose of the thymol? Can you buy it easily?
thymol in the syrup stops it from getting mouldy.
Thymol is also a good prophylactic against nosema and in studies it has been found that colonies fed thymol go into spring better.
 

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