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Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:29 pm
by Jacobs
I was just on the phone with Wally and he reminded me to start checking hive weights frequently. I like to tip them from the back and from the front. With us past the solstice and with the unusual warm spell we had, brood rearing may be cranking up in a big way in some hives. Mine were going heavily to water yesterday when the general air temperature was 37°F. They are either thinning honey to eat or to feed to new brood. In either case, they can burn through stores pretty quickly.

David next door has a sugar block on the nuc of bees we cut out of an old farm house a couple of months ago. I used one of my old Mite a Way spacers on a hive at the Ag Center with newspaper and a couple of pounds of sugar over the cluster (Mountaincamp method of emergency feeding). I still have some frozen frames of honey that I may put in hives that need feeding when the weather conditions permit.

However you go about it, try not to lose bees to starvation.

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:27 pm
by Jacobs
Burning through food stores-1/10/16

Image

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:18 pm
by Jacobs
David and I checked all of our hives for food stores today. Most were ok for now, but the hive at the Ag Center had bees in the top medium and all of the sugar I had put on them was gone. I don't know how much longer they could have gone without starving, but they have a couple pounds of sugar to burn through now. The last thing I want is to have a functioning hive starve this close to the spring season.

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:48 am
by Jacobs
What goes around comes around. I put 2 nucs in regular 10 frame hives this morning. Both had really good laying patterns and had built population nicely from 2 trapouts earlier this summer. They must have been bringing in just enough nectar/honey water to sustain growth because neither had any honey stores and almost no nectar. I put the top feeders on and am burning through sugar supplies in a serious way. If your hives were not strong during the flow or if they were strong and you haven't checked recently, you may want to check them for stores.

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:53 am
by Wally
It's been over a month now since any flow. I am seeing more and more hungry hives as I visit neighborhood keeps. As Jacobs says, they ALL need to be checked ASAP.

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:25 pm
by Jacobs
We will all be checking to see if hives made it through this cold snap. If Thursday and Friday turn out to be as warm as predicted, this will be the perfect opportunity to pop the top on hives, see where the cluster is, and put shims/sugar blocks on hives that need feeding.

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:34 pm
by donwal
Girls bringing in natural pollen and taking up the pollen substitute I put out for them. I popped the top to the hives today to check the sugar block I gave them back in December and put some substitute in the hive for them.


https://www.facebook.com/donna.r.wallac ... 6275469323

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:59 am
by Jacobs
David and I did our larger round of honey extracting Friday. I made sure to leave a good amount of honey on hives, but that doesn't mean it will be there 3 weeks or a month from now. I waited until 7:30pm last night to put the wet frames on hives above the inner cover to get them cleaned out. I also used fresh green leaves to plug the upper entrance of the inner cover. The outer cover sits directly on the super with the wet frames and seals it from bees entering. The smell of the honey in the air was enough to set off strong probing. When I had put just a couple of wet supers on hives 2 weeks ago at 3:00pm, it set off robbing attempts I had to work to stop.

Our nectar flow now is minimal to none. Swarms you captured, hives you split, or building packages that you fed and stopped feeding when they stopped taking sugar water may not have stores built up. If you do need to feed, consider loading feeders as close to sundown as you can to limit the amount of time robbing may be a problem. All was calm with my bees this morning after sunrise because of the precautions I took last night.

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:52 am
by Jacobs
Yesterday was the start, but today my home bees are bringing in large amounts of pollen. With brood rearing on the increase and little to no nectar, bees will be burning through stored honey and food supplies. It has been a bad enough winter with larger than normal losses for me, so I don't want to lose any hives between now and our nectar flow because I allowed them to starve.

Re: Don't Let Your Bees Starve

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:26 pm
by Jacobs
I'm glad I checked my Brown Summit bees yesterday. I had put sugar bricks on the 4 light hives a couple of weeks ago. ALL had completely consumed the bricks and one was dangerously close to starvation. I could smell fall nectars as I popped the top of the hives, but none had any significant amount of fresh nectar or newly capped honey. Needless to say, I am cranking up sugar brick production.