Dearth?

Bee related information that doesnt fit any where else

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Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs »

I have placed my nectarometer back out in the last couple of days because of robbing I have seen in some of my queen-questionable hives starting Sunday. I have kept a 2 oz. honey/pint of water mix this year to give a more consistent gauge of bee interest. Today, for the first time, the bees emptied the nectarometer in less than a day (approximately 6 hours). This is the first time since late winter/early spring that the bees have shown this much interest in this honey water mix.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs »

The bees are emptying the nectarometer at a quicker pace and are waiting for me as I come to refill the jar in the morning. Clearly, this honey water mix has more value to them now.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs »

I am in near full dearth. The nectarometer is being emptied in less than 2 hours. I'll have to be aware of triggering robbing when I am able to work my bees again.
Pharmacyman
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:05 pm

Re: Dearth?

Post by Pharmacyman »

If we are in the dearth, should I start feeding my bees sugar water? If so, what concentration? Just inspected today and after harvesting honey they still have a fair amount of honey. I am ready to feed, just don't know when to start.
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs »

I would go with a 1:1 mix until late September and then switch to 2:1, thick syrup, if the hives are light at that point. If you keep an eye on your food stores and don't get the bees in a starvation situation, you can hold off feeding until the bees need it. Depending on the genetics of your bees, continued feeding may help with continued brood rearing and stopping/slowing the flow of nectar/thin sugar water, may cause your queen to slow down brood rearing.
Pharmacyman
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:05 pm

Re: Dearth?

Post by Pharmacyman »

Thanks Jacobs, when I inspected last I noticed they were a little low on honey stores. I started 1:1 sugar water a few days ago, as you suggested, and both hives sucked down the first bottle within 12 hours. Been adding fresh quart bottles daily since then. Should I keep feeding till they stop taking it? I have some Pro Health vitamin/essential oil supplement (supplier was out of Honey Bee Healthy) that I added. Should I keep adding that with every jar?
Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1680
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs »

I would feed steadily, but probably not heavily at this point. I want the bees to have "nectar" that allows a queen to keep laying if she is inclined to, but not get "nectar" bound to the point that the bees put sugar water in every open cell and the queen has nowhere to lay. How much to feed is something you will need to figure based on how strong the hives are and how much space the bees have. A quart a day for a strong hive is probably not going to put them in a position where they become nectar bound.

I haven't been using the liquid supplements. That's not to say I won't decide to try them sometime in the future. If some have an attractive smell to the bees, you may be setting up a potential robbing frenzy. During periods of dearth, I prefer to add sugar water closer to dusk than earlier in the day. It leaves less time for larcenous bees to be active and an overnight period for the fed hive to make use of the liquid without robbing potential.
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