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How to help a new colony in mid July

 
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rendauphin
House Bee


Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Posts: 16
Location: United Kingdom, Dorset, Bridport

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:20 pm    Post subject: How to help a new colony in mid July Reply with quote

I have just started a new hTBH colony and wonder how best to support them from now to through the winter. I have given them some light syrup and would like to know how long I should keep giving this to them. Also should I be giving them some heavier sugar water later to help them through the winter. Also I am not sure when or why to give fondant as opposed to sugar water.
Thanks
Jim
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jim

Is this a swarm that you are starting with or a nucleus colony?
If it is a swarm and you didn't have any comb to give them a good start then feeding them light syrup 1:1 sugar to water will help them build comb, which is the first essential they need for their new home. Once they have comb, they will raise young....this is the second thing they need because the bees from the swarm are getting older and need new blood to replace them. Those new bees will then have the job of bringing in stores for winter and raising the baby bees that will overwinter in the hive.

Whilst I am not usually in favour of feeding swarms, a late July swarm will need some help and it may be better to give them some light syrup for a few weeks now to help them build comb and then switch to thick syrup 2:1 sugar to water in September for them to store for winter. Don't throw gallons at them, just a jam jar full every other day if you are able to visit them regularly...ie they are in your garden. You are aiming for them to build 5-8 combs. That will be enough to get them through winter. It is healthier for them to forage for nectar too which is why I suggest little and often, so that you are helping but not completely supporting them.

I hope that makes sense.
Good luck with them.

Regard

Barbara
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rendauphin
House Bee


Joined: 28 Sep 2011
Posts: 16
Location: United Kingdom, Dorset, Bridport

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara, thank you that is very helpful. They bees came as a package so no comb. When feeding the heavy syrup in September how long should this be given?
Thanks
Jim
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