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Starving swarm? Bad weather

 
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barshambees
Nurse Bee


Joined: 26 Feb 2015
Posts: 26
Location: UK/Suffolk/Beccles

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 3:23 pm    Post subject: Starving swarm? Bad weather Reply with quote

Hi all. I hived a small swarm (size of a small melon) on Saturday evening.
National brood box, 25mm foundation starter strip, a strip of Queen excluder over the entrance, no feeding. I took the Queen includer off the entrance last night (48 hours later).

We have had terrible weather.. gales and horrendous rain for 36 hours and doesnt look much better for the next 2 or 3 days.

My question is, how long will they last without feeding? I do have a couple of jars raw honey taken off a tbh a few feet away at the weekend to feed if necessary, or I could feed syrup if I had to.

I was trying no feeding and no treatment this year, but don't want to let them die just for the sake of it.

No idea if queen is a mated queen or Virgin. I assume she is present as the rest stayed.

Ideas please ...

Thanks in advance


Last edited by barshambees on Tue May 31, 2016 6:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 288
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hived a small swarm last night and again this morning Smile

Was told by the man, don't leave them more than 48 hours in this cold weather without feeding.

For what it's worth . . . . . .
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barshambees
Nurse Bee


Joined: 26 Feb 2015
Posts: 26
Location: UK/Suffolk/Beccles

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndyC wrote:
I hived a small swarm last night and again this morning Smile

Was told by the man, don't leave them more than 48 hours in this cold weather without feeding.

For what it's worth . . . . . .


Thanks Andy

Was that the same swarm twice? Or a different one in the morning ?

I assumed a couple of days, that's why I,m getting a bit twitchy.

Bit late in the day now but better give them something in the morning I guess?


Last edited by barshambees on Tue May 31, 2016 5:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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barshambees
Nurse Bee


Joined: 26 Feb 2015
Posts: 26
Location: UK/Suffolk/Beccles

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just given them a couple of pounds of honey just in case.

I took a very quick peek and they were all up one corner... Hope they get a smell of the honey.

Its now got me thinking - should I feed the swarm hived two weeks ago?

Don't really want to open up another hive to borrow some more...

or should I bite the bullet and give them a syrup? What's best for the bees ? Sugar syrup or nothing?

Not easy this bee keeping malarky!
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 288
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The same one. I'm on pretty sure, as the weather is just too poor for flying bees.

I either accidentally left the Q in the cardboard box. although I could only see maybe a dozen bees in there when i shook it in, or she is so thin she slipped the through the QX.

They had built a tiny bit of comb in the cardboard box so maybe it just smelt right.

Anyway put an eek and a syrup feeder on and they are taking no notice of it.

Just took a very quick look and there a few bees under the feeder hole so I just dribbled a bit of syrup down the inside of the funnel to tempt them up.

Hard making breakfast with fingers crossed. Smile
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Barsham


I 'think' I'm right in saying you should feed sugar syrup to a new swarm as this helps with drawing comb and feed for them. Not 100% sure on honey but I do know if its not your own honey then honey from elsewhere is a no no. I'm sure one the experts will be along soon enough to put you right..

Good luck

Ollie
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a rule, I am against feeding swarms, however there are odd occasions when some need a bit of help. If it is a small cast swarm and they have been put into a empty hive with no drawn comb and the weather turns bad within the first few days, then yes I might be inclined to give them a jar of light syrup to help them along.
Your swarm that has had two weeks to get established should be fine unless the inclement weather lasts for another week or so and there are no opportunities for foraging.

Personally I don't feed honey back to bees once it has been extracted. If they need feeding, especially to build comb, 1:1 syrup is better anyway in my opinion because they don't need to forage for so much water with light syrup as they do if you feed honey. I'm also wary of transferring honey between hives, even in my own apiary.
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barshambees
Nurse Bee


Joined: 26 Feb 2015
Posts: 26
Location: UK/Suffolk/Beccles

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Barbara. Will keep fingers crossed. Weather improvement due in couple of days. Has been pretty awful here on the east coast for few days now.

Thanks all.
Andy
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