From my discussion w/Dee Lusby on the Organicbeekeepers group:
Re: [Organicbeekeepers] Re: ADVISED TO GIVE BEES SUGAR
NIce report Nathan,
What new beekeepers fail to see is that bees to go foundationless need
blooming plants all around for it takes food to make beeswax and in dearth years
and drought years you can shoot self if foot along with your bees by
constant crush and strain methods for getting honey and then letting them
own foundationless, for if in dearth this is extremely hard to do…..and
here drawn comb saved by cutting caps off and extracting means a lot for on
many average years to poor years even, getting enoungh honey/pollen in cells
of combs for bees to have enough to eat to survive and they cannot do that if
not enough to build wax…….and yet if working with drawnout combs and
langs this is often just breakeven thru the hard times with rich helping the
poor with a couple frames exchanged…………….but many cannot see the
light for doing this until thru the problem a few times watching close…….
For having bees is one thing and not so bad for hobby, but for making a
living you learn to watch very close and economize while helping your bees
In a message dated 02/09/2012 9:19:23 AM Mountain Standard Time,
> Avoiding spring hive starvation is my greatest challenge here in Western
> I started beekeeping (foundationless) 4 years ago, and found that my
> single biggest challenge was balancing getting “food in the barn”, with using
> resources (a nectar flow) to draw wax for a growing hive.
> The last two years have had zero nectar flow for the entire month of June.
> There are strong flows in May and July, but only pollen in June. This is
> tough when introducing a swarm that has to draw wax, brood up and put up
> When beginning, I did not realize how fast stores can disappear in late
> spring after an over-wintered small cluster or a young swarm has doubled or
> tripled in size.
> Introducing the bees into a hive with drawn comb gives a tremendous
> advantage because of the energy that the drawn wax represents. At least my
> mistakes left drawn wax behind.
> I had my first harvest ever last night when I had two medium frames left
> for myself after putting 2 in the freezer, and sharing 2 more with an over
> wintering hive that is low on stores (our winter has been warm, and my bees
> eat more when it’s warm enough to fly). This “harvest” was from a hive that
> died out and left food behind.
> I’ve learned that I MUST feed honey to swarms or packages until the
> blackberry flow begins (~July 4th). For a new beekeeper without a harvest,
> means purchasing honey, and admitting that “free” swarms are expensive to
> support. I do not feed sugar.
> I look forward to when I have capped honey to share between hives in my
> Nathan Rausch
> Renton, WA