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New to Beekeeping and Warre Hive

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New Bee

Joined: 31 May 2019
Posts: 2
Location: MA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:34 pm    Post subject: New to Beekeeping and Warre Hive Reply with quote


I made the step, build myself a warre hive (I believe this fits best to what I want to do with bees).
Bees are in the house for 8 days now, they have been feeding on syrup, the queen is out of her cage, combs have been build on 3/4 bars they start to be visible from the window.
I see a lot of pollen coming in, the bees seem to do heir job so far!

A few questions still remain unanswered...
1- They have had 1 gallon of syrup so far, shall I keep feeding them Or shall I rely on them finding enough nectar at this time of he year (New England)

2- Shall I treat varroa or not? I do not plan on being invasive, i might even just harvest honey when I have 3 full boxes. Does it change anything on varroa getting more or less important for that colony? If I should treat, HOW in order to not contaminate the honey?

That’s it for a first post...
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Site Admin

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

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome

The way I look at feeding is that the difference between a package of bees and a natural swarm is that the bees in a swarm packed a picnic in preparation to leaving the hive to set up a new home.... ie they filled their honey stomachs to give them something to live off whilst they look for and start work on a new home. Package bees leave on an empty stomach with no picnic, so feeding them syrup is helpful. However the honey that a swarm leaves with amounts to probably no more than a pound in weight and after that they forage on whatever is available in order to build their nest and natural forage is preferable to sugar syrup in my opinion, so if it was me, I would not feed a package more than a few pints of syrup, rather than gallons. The exception would be if a package was installed outside of the natural swarming season when there was not enough nectar available, or during an particularly bad drought.
If they have 3/4 box of comb after 8 days I would say that they no longer need syrup and it is healthier for them to go out and collect nectar and base their rate of growth on what they can forage, otherwise you encourage them to grow and raise brood at an unsustainable rate and that may impact their survival when you do eventually stop feeding them. Bees should learn to be harmony with their local conditions and forage and unnecessary feeding will damage that balance.

As regards treating for varroa, it is difficult for me to advise. I personally no longer have problems with varroa in my colonies but part of that is because I allow them to swarm at will. In my opinion, treatment should only be done when there is a bad infestation rather than routinely, so I would research your options for treatment so that you have an idea of what you would do if they need treating, but not worry about it too much at this early stage. Know what to look out for which will indicate that they are having problems with varroa, particularly if you are going to be low intervention.... for instance keep an eye out for bees with Deformed Wing Virus being ejected from the hive and crawling around or dead on the ground under the hive..... Having a board on the ground will help you to spot this more easily. DWV is often vectored by varroa mites, so it can be an indication that you have a varroa problem.

Good luck with your new girls. I hope you enjoy them and in time, a little of their produce
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New Bee

Joined: 31 May 2019
Posts: 2
Location: MA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply.
I did not refill the empty feeder and removed it.
Let them do with ressources they find in the area.

For Varroa, I have a small platform under the hive, I might enlarge it for better observation. And hopefully they grow as a strong healthy colony without extra treatment!
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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

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