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Feeding advice in NSW


#1

Hi all,

I’ve read most of the posts on feeding and still have a couple of questions I hope someone could answer for me! This is my first winter with bees so still very much a newb!

I’m in Dubbo, central NSW. I have 2 hives - 1 strong flow hive and a swarm I caught on christmas day in a brood box only. the swarm never got big enough to warrant adding on a super.

It has been (and continues to be) really hot, and really really dry here and I think the bees are feeling the consequences of that. I checked both hives on tuesday and whilst the flow has plenty of honey for the winter (although they’ve already eaten through a lot of their pollen stores) but the bees in the other hive had already eaten through all their pollen and the vast majority of their honey stores. On Wednesday I fed them syrup (2kg sugar in 1L water) and they demolished it in 24h.

I’m just not sure where to go from here - I’ve got some wattle that is about to bloom so they should be able to at least get pollen shortly but in the meanwhile, should I keep feeding till I see a reasonable amount of syrup stored in the frames? (The queen in still laying, although she has slowed down). Or should I feed all winter long now?

Unfortunately I don’t know any local beeks to get advice from (that’s changing though - I convinced my neighbour to the the flow 2 so at least we can stumble along together!). I know there is a few beeks in Mudgee who might be able to give me some local advice but although it’s only 2 hours away, the climate is quite different. We don’t get as cold and we don’t get as much rain as them.

Sorry if this is a bit long, but any advice would be very very much appreciated!

from steph


#2

Put a tray, maybe the overflow tray from a pot plant, fill it with water with lots of floating sticks for the bees to land on in the shade if possible.
Feeding you bees will do no harm with winter coming, the wattle will help then also with pollen. I make up a mix of 50/50 by volume of white sugar and water and they will benefit from it. What they don’t need straight away they will store it.
Whether you need to feed thru till spring will have to be decided on what you see with your hives and what is flowering in your area.Beeks in Mudgee will be able to tell you about what is going on in Mudgee but as you say, and I totally agree, Dubbo has a very different climate. Your best indicator of your hives needs is another bee keeper in Dubbo and from inspecting the stores in your hives.
Hope that helps you Steph
Regards


#3

Keep feeding them and ensure they have a supply of water. Monitor the storage area they need some room for the queen to lay but not much this time of year. Its a balancing act to get it right.

Cheers
Rob.


#4

thanks for the advice guys

I ended up giving them a second 2L which took much longer to finish, and on checking the hive today, they have some stores and now some pollen too

first early winter crisis averted!