Hi I’ve just installed my first flow hive with a nuc…its mid summer in Western Australia and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be much flowering. Should i feed my Bees??how often?? How much?? Is it possible to overfeed them? Thanks
If you are in town there may be enough to keep them going. If you are out of town it will depend on what is blooming.
Welcome to the forums
Thanks I’m pleased to be here. I’m out of town in a rural area…I’ve walked the property to check what’s in flower and can’t see much, or see much bee activity in what is in flower. There doesn’t seem to be much flowering on nearby places either. As its a new hive i wondered about feeding them for a while while they
Settle in…should i?? If so a syrup of 1.1 sugar/ water?? How much should i feed them?? And for how long??
The girls will travel around 3km radius looking for food.
Was there honey in the corners of the frames you installed from the nuc? Five frame nuc I presume.
If there was pollen and or honey on the brood frames they will not starve in the short term and you can check how much stores are left when you do an inspection at about 2 weeks.
Watch the hive and see if they are bringing anything back into the hive, obviously you wont see nectar but you will see pollen.
Personally, I’m not big on supplement feeding but I live where the girls have plenty of forage all year round.
Watch the girls and see which direction they head off to and return from back to the hive, if there is forage around they will make a beeline for it and you can go for a walk or drive and see where they are going.
There are a couple of forum members down your way. Maybe they will jump in and provide some local advice.
Bees really are very resourceful and I would ensure they have plenty of fresh water nearby so they can keep themselves and the hive cool.
If when you do your 2-week inspection and notice that the honey stores are becoming depleted in the brood frames, then I would consider supplement feeding, but not before there is a need.
If you have installed the flow frame super, take it off. If there is no flow and all the frames in the brood box are not full of brood or stores it only makes extra space the bees have to deal with.
The bees have been doing their thing for millions of years with very little intervention from people. The great thing is you live in one of the best States in Australia with minimal disease, which means you can get away with minimum intervention.
I would feed at the moment with a new nuc installation, 1:1. But it does depend on what stores you transferred in from the nuc, whether you are using foundationless frames (require more resources to draw out and whether you want to boost the population to take advantage of flows towards the end of summer.
Take note of the stores they have and check a week later. If the stores are going down and getting low then feed. Keep observing so you don’t give them enough to backfill the broodnest when they start packing away too much back off the food. Its a balance.
One tip, if you do feed syrup put in a bit of food colour so you can spot it in the comb.
Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of reading and advise, and welcome to the exciting world of bee keeping. It can be a bit confusing, you can ask a question of five bee keepers and get six different answers and they can all be right for their locations!!
I assume the nuc had some supplies in the frames so by doing an inspection ever week or two you should be able to estimate if they are foraging enough honey and pollen to build up a supply of stores and that is all you should expect of the colony.
If the stores is dwindling then a 50/50 mix of white sugar and water can be fed to them till there is a better natural supply of nectar. YES, you can over feed them too much. If you see bees flying off away from the hive then they have found a supply of pollen or nectar, watching the hive entrance will show you which it is. A ready supply of water is also essential as well as a shady location for the hive.
Thank you all so much. I REALLY appreciate ypur expertise and advice…
If you have kids my boys used to mix up different coloured syrup batches and watch it get moved around the hive. Even without kids the colour lets you see syrup from real honey.
This is such a great idea!
Hiya Buckster, welcome to the forum. The others have given you good advice so I’ll not repeat. Without knowing your experience my questions are, how are you feeding and is the super on the hive?
No super on the hive yet…just the brood box. I’m using a smallish jar of sugar syrup I’d mixed one:one …punched some small holes in the lid, smoothed off any jagged bits and upended it over the roof hole. They got thru it pretty quickly…after the advice i received here i stopped and today sat with them for quite a while and watched where they headed. Checked out some flowering shrubs in the directions they seemed to be going and actually found some bees happily zipping from flower to flower…so i think I’ll just keep an eye on the brood box and see how they’re going before i even think about feeding them again. I’m hoping I won’t have to…the ficifolias are all about to flower and I’ve got a fair few of them around me.
Hi. Watching with interest from Lower King, Albany. Popped my nuc in last week, so doing first check today. Following on from your question, when does the flow wind down on the south coast WA?
Hi welcome ! I’m so green about all of this I’m reading as much as i can, watching videos and asking questions of bee savvy folk as well…I can’t answer your question but will keep an eye on this in the hope soneone can…
Flows vary from season to season in every area so a date is not really viable. You pick up flows and derths during your regular checks and handle them from there. If you are feeding make sure you don’t have a honey super on or you will end up with sugar honey.
Welcome Justin, I am in Esperance but have lived in Albany and Denmark. In my experience there is something flowering all year round on the WA south coast but you just have to watch the blossom to tell when a big flow is on. The bees will also let you know by filling the frames! If they are still building up numbers they are unlikely to have spare honey till March.