Bees are tough to raise

babsbag

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We have a ton of manzanita here too; I watch for those flowers knowing that it only gets better from there. I here that Alder trees are actually the first source of pollen in the spring but I don't think we have any around here.

Dadant has a winter patty, a pollen patty, and a brood builder patty, I never know which one to feed. I have winter ones in my freezer so I will go with those but not really sure that they are the best choice.
 

Happy Chooks

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I have been using the winter patty until January, then switch to the brood builder patty. Not sure how much it matters though.
 

babsbag

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I just want to give them the best of the best for the winter. I will be thrilled to have a hive overwinter. They will eat better than my goats this winter. ;)
 

Latestarter

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I may be wrong, but believe the adult bee's primary food is the honey. The pollen is made into bee's bread to feed the larva. That's why it's (pollen) so important when trying to boost brood in spring. I've seen comb with dead bees, heads buried in the cells, trying to get the last drops during late winter/early spring... they starved to death. :(
 

babsbag

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My first hive starved to death....I felt horrible. They have 7 full frames of honey that I just put in there plus whatever they had stored below and I will check more when I do the next mite treatment. They are still bringing in pollen from my garden and some late wildflowers but not sure how much nectar is out there right now. I have patties marketed as "winter patties" and I am guessing that they have that name for a reason. I fed sugar syrup a while back and all it did was invite robbing, and it was an internal feeder too. I have some old cut comb honey in my freezer that never sold so maybe I will give them that too, not sure how I would feed it...
 

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If you just lay the comb honey out in the open, any/all bees who smell it and find it will take it back to their respective hives. You can cut a section of caps to allow the scent out.
 

sadieml

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Over the winter I intend to give serious thought to starting bees next year. @Latestarter , I hope I can count on you for bee-keeping advice. My elder DS told me recently that due to the over-reaction of DHEC last year with regard to killing insects in SC, more thank 50% of SC's bee population was lost. I was horrified! I think that may be why more people in SC seem to be interested in raising bees. My DH is not sure I should try it since over the last 5 years or so I have become allergic to wasps. I think I should be alright since, even if I am stung, bee stings are quite different from wasps. What do you think?
 

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Hey there Sadie! Good to see you back here :hugs Hope all is well with you and the family & animals. I've been out of bees now for a couple of years and am not sure I'll get back into them as we have AHB's here (Africanized Honey Bees) and I've yet to determine a suitable place to put the hives that would not be a negative situation for me, my animals, or my neighbors.

If you really intend to get into bees next year, you really need to start planning now. If you plan to install packaged bees, you'll need to order your packages by the end of the year to ensure you have them reserved. You should check with the/a local bee club or someone who keeps bees locally. If you can get locally sourced bees, you'll stand a much better chance of success than with a package that comes from GA or elsewhere. If you find a local beekeeper, offer to help in exchange for mentoring! Virtually every beekeep I've ever met will gladly accept that offer! Most WANT to teach others and help them and most also need the help themselves.

With regular European bees, they are pretty gentle and though you WILL get stung at some point, they are generally not mean like AHBs. I often worked my hives in a long sleeve shirt and bee hat with bare hands. As for the allergic reaction, I can't say. I've heard that stings are cumulative and have heard of beekeepers being found dead out by their hives from being stung one time too many and having anaphylactic shock set in before they could get to help (Not the norm).
 

CLSranch

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I'm jumping in a little late, but to those who are thinking about getting bee's and actually read all of this. 1 everything I read or people I talked to on beesource said read read read find a local mentor read and read some more for a year or 2 before getting your first hive. Me saying Rewarding actually easy???? and not a lot of full time work, yet very complex time specific and exact. Like farming ( big farmers will hate this) you have to plant after getting soil right yada yada yada which is work work work sit for months and harvest work work work. I know there is work in between and there is more than just throw some fertilizer on and grow anything. Just like bee's.

babs so sorry for your loss. 2 Do you have a local who can watch and listen to? A local bee club? Tried beesource as someone earlier suggested? I'd hate to see you have more trouble after all you have already went through.
3 Bright side (if this is a bright side) ALL bee keepers lose hives.
 
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