Monday, August 25, 2008

Response to Starving Bees from Steve Parise

Sorry I haven't got back to you all sooner; I have been on annual leave.

I am assuming that the colonies are normal otherwise, that is they have queens, a good population and are not under heavy disease or mite stress. It is certainly possible for bees to have eaten up much of their stores with the prolonged spell of wet weather. This is especially true of Italian colonies. If they are indeed pulling out worker brood (drone brood starts to get pulled around this time of year anyway), then immediate feeding is necessary.

Go with a 2:1 sugar to water, top feed (avoid entrance feeders as this will promote robbing), with the feeder well protected from the weather and other bees. Make sure all extra supers are off the hives. This may have to go on for quite awhile, as they will need 50-60 pounds ideally, to make it through the winter. Let me know if you have other questions.


Stephen G. Parise
Agriculture Resource Management Specialist/apiculturist
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
116 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2901

Phone: 802.828.2431

1 comment:

denny said...

Coyotewoman,...thanks for posting that. Nice to know that the State Bee Inspector took the time to respond to you. Good advice about taking off any extra supers. It's good to condense them down now to only the space they'll need for wintering.

Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08

Visiting Plum Blossoms 5/08
Photo: Coyotewoman, Newfane Hill, VT