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Package bees after installation feeding

 
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:05 pm    Post subject: Package bees after installation feeding Reply with quote

Hi,
I have installed two package bees into my TBHs on Wednesday and have been giving them sugar water 1:1 since. It is June now, and temperatures are between 25 and 39 degrees Celsius. They are placed on the outskirts of the village, close to the meadow and corn and sunflower field.
I was wondering how long should I continue giving them sugar water since I plan to make them as natural as possible as soon as possible, and in the same time would note like to kill them.
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you mean Wednesday just gone (11/06/14) and it was a totally new hive, ie, no drawn out combs, then you will need to feed until the get some built, which should not take long, I caught a small swarm, which is probably half of even a third in size of a package of bees, and mine had comb within 7 days, although I provided a wax starter strip, what do your top bars have?
maybe inspect them again this coming wens/thurs or even the weekend, if they have built comb, and you see them bringing in pollen, I myself would then stop feeding

this is the swarm
http://youtu.be/8FsFpRC0e34

they were in for week with the feeder, and within that time had built comb on 5 frames, after seeing eggs/pollen, I removed the feeder the next day, a week later they had doubled the amount of built comb
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the quick reply,
Yes, this Wednesday I've installed them. Next evening I went to check on them, and they have already made at least one comb (did not dare yet to check where the biggest clump was Rolling Eyes it all still seamed a bit terrifying Smile ) The comb was about 8cm long - it was an eye candy for me Smile
Next day I went again to add some sugar water and to check how it is going on, and it seamed to me that on the bottom of their cells, some liquid was already in place.
This evening, I went to do some adjustments and add some sugar water. There were combs on 9 bars. The biggest ones were about 17-18cm long and they all had that liquid in most of the cells. On the first three bars I've noticed on the bottom of the cells a bit of darker yellow substance - I guess it is a pollen. There were about 20-30 such cells per each of those three bars. I've tried to locate the queen, but since I was on a clock (the sun has already set), I did not find her - hope there will be better luck on the next inspection.
So, so far I see a lot of cells with transparent liquid in them and about 50 cells with some, what I guess is pollen, on the bottom. Is it possible that that liquid is only the result of the sugar water and not real nectar?

As for the top bars: I have made them to have 20 degrees slope on the bottom, and in the middle 4 mm groove where I've carefully pored molten beeswax. So far, there is not one bar that they have started making comb onto in a bad way.

Thank you for the advice and the video - I appreciate it Smile

Example of the comb with the transparent liquid:


Example of the longer combs:


Last edited by agapetos on Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yup, the clear liquid is the sugar water you are feeding, the dark stuff sounds like pollen, and polled is used to feed brood, did the package come with a mated or virgin queen?
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess with the unmarked mated queen.
Here is why I am not certain... Here in Serbia it took me some time to find anyone that sells package bees - some 300km away from me - they usually all just sell bees on frames.
When I've bought it, I was surprised that they were in cardboard boxes with some net covering openings on the opposite sides. AND the biggest surprise - "The queen is in there". I have expected to find her in a tiny cage with few worker bees - just like I've seen all over the internet. Well... I could not really choose - the only guy I've found that even sells package bees.
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, it has been three weeks now that I have started beekeeping. So far, it was very nice for me. One TBH has 13 drawn combs (not fully) and the other one has 9. After about a week since I have settled the new hive I have stopped feeding them the syrup since I have heard on this forum and on the other forum from Serbia, that one should stop feeding bees sugar water when they start bringing in the pollen. So, when I saw that they are bringing in the pollen I have stopped feeding them.
BUT, yesterday I have met one other beekeeper saying that I should continue feeding them until they are stronger. By feeding them syrup, he said, I will encourage the Queen to lay more eggs, and my colony will grow. Is it true? Should I continue feeding them?
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By continuing to feed them syrup you could just as easily end up with the bees filling all the available comb with syrup so the queen has no where to lay. If they have as many drawn combs as you say I would leave them to fend for themselves for a while. You can always top up 2:1 at the end of the season if you're desperate to feed. Give them a chance to have honey stores rather than sugar stores while there is still a nectar flow on.
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not that desperate to feed them. I'm just worried if I am not doing enough for them.
In Serbia sunflowers have bloomed last week, so there should be a lot of nectar for them, I guess. Also it is a wheat harvest, and locals say that some kind of wild flower blooms on those fields just after the harvest that bees like.
Hope it will suffice.
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MikeRobinson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Upper Northwest Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is ... you have done plenty enough. You see that they have stored-away some of your sugar water. So, from now on, let them find their own food and start making honey.

There is such a thing as much-too-much sugar water, since this is not their natural food nor is it something that they would ever encounter in the wild. In fact, I don't feed sugar-water to my hives at all. A small amount of dry sugar (ground to a fine powder in a blender) is the only leg-up that I have ever used, spread along the bottom of the hive before I dump the bees inside. In the first few days, they have to find their own food and to build their own house. And, that's precisely what they do.
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