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feeding bees too much?

 
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 36
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:10 pm    Post subject: feeding bees too much? Reply with quote

hello ,

recent nubee in the hive! we bought a nuc from local keeper .
he advised feeding them to help them along. they consume almost a quart a day of 50/50 syrup.
when opening the hive yesterday (they are for now in a langsroth) there was comb on the top cover full of liquid and comb spread on top of the frames also filled with glistening liquid. checked the further most frame from the queens frame and it had some closed cells but not many the frame next to it inward towards the queens frame was hardly touched as well.
question: why are the bees putting comb on the inside of the top and upon the top of the frames instead of on the starter board....also we are wondering if we should continue to feed. is there such a thing as over feeding? it is still in the 70-80 degree range here in florida with occasional nites in the low 60'. also we really really don't like this hive it is much too difficult to work ....and would like to know what we should look for in our colony that tells us they can be transferred into our top bar.
this is the first colony that has done well. the package bees all died and absconded. prudence with this batch is our watch word.
thanx for any advice thrown our way and happy holiday to all!

gizmo
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eltalia
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 66
Location: Australia (Nth. Queensland)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@gizmo

G'day... an' thanks for your post in that the outcome may help others.
First, might I offer the terminology you use does not fit commonly
used references in any part of "bee world"... at least not in my experience.
Do not take that harshly but as advice on gathering the best of replies
to later questions. I will try to unravel the post but I may well have it all wrong also ;)

Action?
Make sure you have capped worker brood around where you find the Queen, usually frames#2 and #3 in a five frame nucleus.
I say the above as the answer to your question relies on a laying queen
being present and not what you are describing which is typical "queenless"
activity for a colony speculating the queen will lay one day soon. Sometimes a fruitless activity as she never does and so the colony dies.

I have just completed fixing a similar scenario and so post the fix
in the Queen breeding section - but that fix cannot apply in this case, nor
can we (reading) be sure the example exists in your colony.
What is needed to go on is your description of the capped cells you
see, or a photo.... cheers

Bill
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 36
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eltalia,

we checked earlier about a month ago, the queen brood frame was active with a healthy queen.
this last inspection was to check to see if the nuc was filling out. we just looked at the last few frames.
we are a rookie keeper and was surprised to see connector combs on the inner top of the langsroth hive and several connector combs over the frames tops oozing with glistening syrup. was wondering if over feeding caused this condition. we try not to get into the hive too often feeling it disrupts the bees.
the weather is still mild here in florida, usa and am wondering when a transfer to top bar can be accomplished without threatening the colony with shock.
thanx
gizmo
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eltalia
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 66
Location: Australia (Nth. Queensland)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@gizmo

Okeee.. it reads like you have a healthy colony simply doing what
bees do, it matters little whether you are feeding them or they are finding their own they would do the same action... build comb to store food.
Nobody can say that activity is from over feeding as long as they are not backfilling brood comb in preference to brood raising.

So, yes... whilst the weather holds, do your transfer.
It pays to keep an eye on broodnests until the colony is up and running
at critical mass (CM), particularly in areas where varroa (sp) and beetle
can be present. Once established then yeah, sure... hands free is an option.

Bill
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't feed my bees except in emergency but I don't know your part of the world. For me the only problem with overfeeding is if you make them run out of room when the queen is in lay as this might stimulate swarming.
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gizmo
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 36
Location: deland, Florida USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eltalia,& cratchercradle, thanx for the reply....that helps put our mind to rest.

the weather is pretty mild here in florida with only a few cold days intermingled thru out jan-feb.
don't understand why the keeper who sold the nuc told us to syrup feed.
the library book we have been reading from a top bar keeper in new mexico , USA stated that he never feeds his bees either .... deferred to what the keeper advised....though he is a commercial keeper so maybe that is what they do to get the nuc filled out fast.

gizmo
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eltalia
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 66
Location: Australia (Nth. Queensland)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@gizmo

Playing the debbil's advocate my friend I offer such advice from
suppliers would be the norm around the industry in your Country.
Such has almost become a mantra, and is creeping into our industry
here in Aussie also. More of an "arse coverer" by the supplier as they
have no control on their product post delivery.
It has been my recent experience to note raised eyebrows on stating
I have never fed bees and would never consider doing so as an option.
Yet the very same people are confuzzled as to why their smaller
colonies are "lazy" with poor brood patterns.
Never having had to "winter bees" I remain pretty much convinced
sustainable colonies will pack sufficient stores to get the cluster
through the depths of winter. I have read more than enough from
practiced 'Keeps throughout the NH to conclude "natural is best".

Bill
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@gizmo

Is this the same colony that you posted about over a month ago and didn't you transfer them to a Langstroth brood box? Have you been feeding them ever since? If so, then YES, you have seriously over fed them especially if you have been giving them a quart a day, as that will amount to gallons of syrup and since there is no where in a single brood box to store that sort of volume, then the chances are that they have got honey bound and swarmed.

Our difficulty is in advising you in a climate which is so very difficult from our own, but it really would have been a better idea to chop and crop them into the TBH when you got them or just leave them to over winter in the nuc without feeding or maybe just a pint or so to get them started.

I'm with the other posters and your Mexican TBH author. The only time I feed is if I have a very small late cast swarm that has no comb and needs some help to construct some comb and lay stores down before winter.... because there is no opportunity to forage in winter here, whereas in your climate, it sounds like they can still forage every day.

Understanding what you are trying to achieve in feeding them is important to knowing what to feed them and how much. Feeding 1:1 syrup like you were doing is usually to stimulate the growth of the colony.... it helps them to build comb and raise brood. If they get too much and have no where to store it.... ie no supers, then the brood box becomes clogged with that syrup and they have no where to raise brood and they run out of space and make plans to swarm and move to a new home.
If you had moved them to the new TBH and then fed them, they would have had plenty of space to expand into, but even then, you can feed them too much and they get honey bound.

Now that that hive is full of syrup/honey it will be much bigger and more sticky job to transfer them to your top bar hive and you may find that you no longer have a laying queen. I really feel like you need a practical mentor or maybe even someone who can take those bees away and sort them out and supply you with a TBH nuc. You might be best to contact Patrick Thomas and see if he can assist you since he is not too far away. He does mostly bee removals but he has both TBHs and Langs and might be able to fix you up with some sort of swap.

I think I gave you a link to his website on your other thread but will hunt it out again for you.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here it is....
https://www.savebeesflorida.com/
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