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  • Still Feeding?

  • Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
Beginners forum, ask beekeeping related questions and get help from other experienced beekeepers. Please use the Search Feature please to avoid duplicated threads
 #5111  by Alfred
 30 Oct 2019, 20:37
Got an unpleasant start to the morning today- no activity at any of the hive entrances at 8 am which is unusual as there was no frost.
Im having another spot of bother with some neighbours again,so giving all the hives a tap with my knuckle and not hearing anything I expected the worst. :cry:
I opened the maisemore polynuc and the feeder was still 3/4 full from last week and no bees at the window.
Who has multiple autumn losses?
I started to open the top for a postmortem and was so relieved to hear them hissing.
A few then came up to the window and drank some condensation.
I scooped out the old syrup and replaced it with some warm that I'd just cooked.
They took to it straight away.

Happily all the colonies were out doing that swirly orientation thing by early afternoon and there was still some ivy getting a seeing -to,so panic over.

My query is have they technically stopped feeding and therefore I shouldn't be force feeding like that?

The other end of the spectrum is a cedar based colony with a green maisemore jumbo feeder which are still taking a litre a week despite having only 7 seams of stock.

All the boxes in the apiary are hefting like theyr'e glued down.

Im following the "feed as long as they take it" camp,but is there a more definate cut off point?
They only get warm syrup on the one day they are fed so if theyr'e not taking it cold then is this the stopping point?
Its my first winter and having inherited that spring loss earlier this year I'm a bit of a worrier just now.... :?
 #5112  by Patrick
 30 Oct 2019, 22:22
Difficult to be definitive Alfred, but for me “Heavy enough to feel like they are glued down” equals probably has enough to get through winter ok. Which is the principal point of winter stores supplementing. As Chris has pointed out previously, overfeeding is a relative concept but some colonies will continue to take feed until they are chocker which is maybe over precautionary.

There is a hypothetical risk of late collected syrup being uncapped and too high moisture or attracting it through being hydroscopic so fermenting in the comb or making the bees sick but tbh it’s not something I have actually ever encountered in practice. By start of November I would be thinking of fondant or similar rather than syrup if a need to feed was still evident. Your previous loss was apparently not the result of insufficient feed, it was the result of insufficient usable storage space.
 #5113  by Alfred
 31 Oct 2019, 07:55
Thanks Patrick
I'll double check what they're up to next week and probably take the feeders off
This would be an opportunity to get that space shuttle duvet fitted.
 #5114  by AdamD
 31 Oct 2019, 13:05
You threw away the old feed - and they started to take the new. Had it started to ferment perhaps?
 #5116  by Patrick
 31 Oct 2019, 13:14
Sounds great Alfred. After fitting it I challenge you not to quietly “moon walk” away from it muttering “a small step for beekeeper etc” ! 😁

Sadly I can still never fit a replacement fluorescent tube without making a few light sabre whoosh whoosh noises.. tragic. 🙄
 #5124  by Alfred
 01 Nov 2019, 13:21
Adam,no it was only week old.I put it in the wasp bottles as they're still nibbling the polynucs
I just wanted to see if they would start feeding again if the syrup was warm and they did
I think I'll stop anyway -nature doesn't use gas hobs to warm things up after all.
Patrick I bet you don't use a cordless drill as an imaginary side arm peow peeow
 #5128  by Alfred
 01 Nov 2019, 19:00
I'm currently drafting a letter to Stoneleigh HQ reassuring them that the future of beekeeping is safe in our hands :lol: