Author Topic: Solstice  (Read 8249 times)

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Offline iddee

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Solstice
« on: December 21, 2013, 09:55:19 am »
The days getting longer is one sign the bees see and heed. They will think spring and brood rearing. Here is a bit I posted on my local club board, but thought some here may benefit from it, too. I am in NC, so adjust to your climate.

""Now is the time to think spring. Walk up to the back of your hive. Take hold of the handle on both sides. Lift. If it is very heavy, all is well. If it is light, think FEED.
Do this once per week. In Feb. or Mar., you will notice it becoming lighter. This is when they can starve. They are feeding 20,000 new babies and the cupboard can become bare quickly.

If you start lifting now, once weekly, by then you will know what it should feel like, and which hives need feed.

CAUTION: Once you start feeding for spring, they will ramp up brooding. They can run out of food and starve the whole hive within 2 to 4 days. NEVER let the feeder get empty once spring feeding has began.""
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 11:10:26 am »
That's some great advice.  Today is the shortest day of the year.  They only get longer now until June.  Around here it hasn't really started getting cold yet.  That's usually after January 1st.  But hive monitoring only takes a few minutes (if you only have a few hives), and the time spent is a good investment.
Greg Whitehead
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Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 12:51:16 pm »
I like this information Iddee. Now, when you say 'feed' you mean sugar syrup right?

If I have to feed, would winter patties still ramp up brooding? Or... is that a pollen thing?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 01:16:36 pm »
Jaybird, feeding for winter storage is different than feeding for spring. Putting feed in the hive for winter is used for survival. Feeding for spring is liquid feed brought into the hive by the bees. It makes them think the flow is on and they ramp up brood rearing to catch the flow.

Solid feed inside the hive will not cause brood rearing. Liquid feed from outside the hive will.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 03:54:18 pm »
K, so, we are then tricking the bees in to early brooding?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 04:11:35 pm »
Yes, if you start feeding outside before mother nature does.
Once mother nature starts, she doesn't stop, neither can you, once you start.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 06:34:05 pm »
What is the purpose of tricking the bees to brood early?

Is it to make more bees sooner so that the beekeeper can acquire more hives?
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Offline G3farms

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 06:47:00 pm »
Yes, especially if you are wanting to do splits or are using them for pollination. Most farmers that rent hives for pollination want so many frames of bees since they are paying per hive. A frame box with two frames of bees would not cut it.
Bees are bees and do as they please!

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Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 07:00:30 pm »
K. so, I like to reiterate to sink it in to my head.

Feed bees early so they make more bees sooner, so beekeepers can gain more hives for a bigger bee yard and/or to rent out hives for farmers. Got it!

However, I have one hive, two deeps tall. I'm going to split it this spring and start another hive. I doubt I'll want to split again to make three hives (I think, at this point in time). Or if I have to split agian or they swarm, I will donate them to another beek.

So! I'm not seeing why I need to feed sugar syrup early. I don't want to feed syrup at all. I just want a couple of happy hives that I can trade with if one of them needs help.  Right?

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Offline iddee

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 07:51:26 pm »
Your bees will begin to brood up at about 15 Feb.. If they have plenty to feed the young until nature begins supplying, don't feed. 95% of bees that starve to death do so between 15 Feb. and the first blooms. If they need it to feed the new 20,000 mouths, give it to them.

On the other hand, if they brood naturally, you should be able to split 20 to 25 thousand bees and have two hives build up enough to live through the winter.

If you keep sugar water and pollen sub going to them from Feb.1 through the day they quit using it, you can split 40,000 bees into two hives that will give a honey harvest the same year.

50 different beekeeping methods are all correct, for 50 different goals.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 09:45:29 pm »
Ya know... I'm your toughest newbee on feeding sugar syrup. Have to think about it.

Scratching head... visions of honey plums dancing in my head. I may have to feed until I can get a store of honey frames in the freezer.   

Thinking.... thinking... sure would be nice to have a jar of my own honey...   
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Offline iddee

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 10:06:24 pm »
 ;D ;D ;D


You are one of my favorite newbees. Just think of all the newbees your posts will help in the future. Keep the questions coming.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 11:10:10 pm »
Awe Shucks! You're making me blush!

No problem there, I'm a ticker tape of questions?
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 09:22:06 am »

   I have heard the generalization, that "spring" moves north about ten miles a day?  which would make us... a month or so behind you ??

   Cant get into the hives at the moment...   FRIGID out there, the wind is rolling the snow across the field, making it look like waves on the ocean.. from about NOW, to the end of February the weather wont change much...  If the prep I did wasnt enough I'm going to lose bees   :'(   -3 degrees.. wind gusting to 20 mph..
   The nights wont hit the 50's regularly until late April, though I have pulled people out of cars in MID April riding the snowmobile down the highway over 12 - 15 foot drifts..
   I have never attempted to feed before the night time temps hit the 50's.. SO...   I will have to assume, that even down there you have to feed.. Inside the hives? Feeder jars over the inner cover hole with a hive body around them?

   I have serious worries about a jar of liquid over top my bees.. the stupid temps here JUMP about so much...  I have seen my feed jars warm up and dump half a cup of syrup into the feeders..  on my open feeders... they just clean it up.. on boardmans they get soaked, and when I pull the feeder off I often find it packed solid with dead bees from the excess syrup..
   So I quit using them in situations like that, and OPEN feed like a madman when the temps come up...  However...  in hoping to do splits...   A LOT of splits...
    Is there a trick to keeping those feeders from dumping syrup as they warm up?   Or do I need to invest in the hive top feeders?
  Thanks!
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Offline iddee

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2013, 09:43:11 am »
I do not use in-hive feeders at that time of year. I put the syrup a good distance from the hives, so it won't induce robbing. I set the jar on two wood strips rather than a boardman if the bees are hitting it heavy. If they aren't crowding it, I may use boardmans. In hive feeders mean you have to open the hive. As stated above, I take the feed inside to keep it warm as the weather cools in the evening, putting it back out the next day when the temp is high enough. I would never open the hive that often. I can also top off the jars in the house when needed, without disturbing the bees.

PS. It was 75 F. here yesterday. Forecast is for 24 F. tomorrow night. Yes, we have the quick change weather system .
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 09:45:06 am by iddee »
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Slowmodem

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2013, 12:04:55 pm »
Consider putting a gallon ziplock bag full of syrup on a table or block or something.  Take a stick pin and poke some holes in the top.  Easy-peasy.



Of course,  this is for when the temperature allows.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 07:47:20 pm by Slowmodem »
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN
Beekeeping at 26.4 kbs

Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2013, 05:44:27 pm »
What is a boardman?
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Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2013, 05:51:45 pm »
Re: the last two posts lazy and Iddee ~ I won't be able to feed syrup until later in the year. We can get 2plus feet of snow in April. Wouldn't this constitute a candy board, or fondant, or just drivert sugar on parchment paper right right on the top bars?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2013, 05:59:02 pm »
Boardman feeder

http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=211

Feed for survival just like you are saying. When the weather breaks, feed for increase.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Jen

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Re: Solstice
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2013, 06:16:07 pm »
Oh yes... I have one of those that I used before I became rebelious about sugar syrup.

Lazy: "I have serious worries about a jar of liquid over top my bees.. the stupid temps here JUMP about so much...  I have seen my feed jars warm up and dump half a cup of syrup into the feeders..  on my open feeders... they just clean it up.. on boardmans they get soaked, and when I pull the feeder off I often find it packed solid with dead bees from the excess syrup..
   So I quit using them in situations like that, and OPEN feed like a madman when the temps come up...  However...  in hoping to do splits...   A LOT of splits...
    Is there a trick to keeping those feeders from dumping syrup as they warm up?   Or do I need to invest in the hive top feeders?
  Thanks!"

I already posted on this one, I post again here. Wouldn't this constitute a sugar board, fondant, or drivert sugar on parchment paper?
There Is Peace In The Queendom