Last week I brought home our new and first bee family but we seem to not have any blossoms. I am worried the family might starve, how best should I go about feeding them?
get a feeder in door way or place a barrel feeded inside of an empty brood frame box on top of brod box. They will need all the help they can get.
Did you bring home a package of bees that have no honeycombs of their own or an established hive that came with their own resources?
They came with foundation. I am a newbie.
Ok thanks, do you suggest sugar water
yep all they can take for a time.1-1
Is there a recipe for sugar water?
Oops just worked out the 1:1 message thank you cheers
I feed new bees regardless of how they were acquired, eg. swarm, package, nuc. It’s critical for packages and gives swarms and nucs a solid start.
Most of the sugar is used up rapidly making new wax, which is what you want to increase laying space.
I’m opposite; I’ve never fed swarms or nucs and haven’t ever needed to buy packages. However, I’m in beekeeping heaven as far as nectar bearing plants from April through October where some are in beekeeping hell. It is very geographical and can change within 50 miles.
So they came with already drawn honeycombs? If so, have a look and check for open cells of honey. Many times that’s a good indication of incoming nectar. This frame is from April 2nd. In my area of the NE USA, Spring is just getting started and the trees still have no leaves but the frame tells me the bees have found something.
Thank you, it’s so dry here and the forest is not flowering. I’ll place the super on top with a feeding station inside but will check out the brood box first.
I haven’t pulled out the panels to inspect yet but will do today it’s been less than a week since I brought the family home. Cheers
Of course you’re opposite, it goes without saying.
Hiya duxmother, I’m surprised there is nothing in flower over there in a 2km radius of your hive. Watch your hive entrance see if they are bringing pollen in.
In my area over here in the hills in Wait Awhile the gums are just starting to flower. Down in the flat lands they’ve been flowering for a while although pollen and nectar has always been coming in, not sure from where from, but they still find it.
Feeding at this time of year would be unusual and probably not necessary.
What does your bee club say?
I’m not a member of a club but an elderly beekeeper today suggested I check out the hive in mid morning and observe if they are carrying pollen. He acknowledged that there is very little blossom around and I may need to feed them but observation is the key. I’m probably overreacting as I’m a first timer. Cheers
Jeff H Is also from the Sunshine coast. He regularly posts to this forum. He has an awesome knowledge about bees and I’m sure would know what sort of nectar is flowing in your region. Here’s a link to his YouTube channel.
I’m at Mullumbimby a few hours south of you, It’s been quite dry here but my bees are bringing in plenty of nectar and pollen. I do feed my bees if there doesn’t seem much nectar around but that isn’t often. I use the syrup ratio recommended by Michael Bush. He doesn’t like feeding syrup to his bees but does feed if his colonies are likely to run short. His ratio is 5 sugar to 3 water. If I’m making syrup, I boil 6 litres of water and add 10kg of cheap white sugar. I keep the pan on the heat and stir with a flat wooden stirrer until the solution goes clear and I can’t feel any gritty sugar on the bottom. Then the heat goes off and I let the syrup cool for a few hours. I use a plastic water container with a tap. The cooled syrup gets syphoned into the container and I keep it in a shed hear my apiary. The concentrated syrup lasts really well.
Thank you very much, everyone on the forum are so helpful. Cheers
Even though all say because I am in Hawaii and we do not have a winter ,as a new beekeeper I was also very concerned about what the bees might have during the winter months. I am so pleased with myself that we included coconut on our farm as they are usually blooming and the bees love, I even noticed them on our Guinea Grass tassels. Took a video as I had no idea they went to grass. Then I saw my loquat tree was blooming and they were all over it. My friend who keeps his bees on my farm rarely even checks his hive but did put a mixture, he uses honey and a powdered substance on top of his hive. He calls me neurotic because I look almost every day to see if they are going in and out. Look around and on the ground. They like a weed flower on the ground here.
I blocked the entrance and waited and watched, the plan was to sit and let the family get used to me. I managed to watch the bees arrive and see if they were carrying pollen. And I’m pleased to say yes they were, so I have managed to worry needlessly but still a good exercise in getting to know the family. Cheers
I would love to see some pictures of your environment, plants that grow around there, if you have time. S