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  Sunday, 24 April 2016
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I use a hive top feeder from BeeMax. I cannot put a super on top of that feeder (but I suppose I could put one UNDER it - is that a good idea? empty super below the feeder?). My line of thinking is that if I am feeding bees now, they are going to backfill the brood nest and I am setting up a swarming situation. (This is my first time feeding in spring.) If my notes "super by May 1st and reverse on dandelion" hold, then what should I do about where they are going to put the syrup now? They do appear to have some honey left here and there, but they are above it. (the stronger hive). The weaker hive is not taking the syrup at all, that I can see.
Thoughts?
BTW, in Fletcher, not a dandelion in sight. I looked :)
6 years ago
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#2002
Hi Peter...thank you for your response. Yes, that's the feeder, and yes, bees would not be able to access any super placed above it. It didn't seem correct to put a super on for them to travel past the super, up to the feeder, and then come back down to store that nectar in the super. But this is the part where I think I have been making my mistakes.....this time of year, with feeding and reversing, etc. No drilled holes in any of my supers. I think I will try the super between the upper box and the feeder, until I see some dandelions.

I will not give any more syrup to the colony that isn't consuming it. I was not sure that it would, but had put some on to observe since they were not touching the fondant. They may very well have honey that I cannot see. The stronger hive will get more syrup because (and this should have been part of my question) I am not sure there is enough of a consistent nectar source at this point for them to get through to dandelion, and they are out of honey. I did see fresh nectar last time I was able to look at a couple of frames. It did occur to me that I might not have to feed at all but I was not sure.

Reversing is on the horizon. I've got 2 deeps and a super as the brood chamber, although I think the very top super now also has some brood in it. Those will be reversed to the bottom when the time comes, and I'll leave the fresh super where it is.

I'll check out Beeworks. :)
6 years ago
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#2001
Hi Pam, if I am understanding you correctly you have a Bee Max top feeder, with the plastic L in the front to allow the bees access to the syrup but not to the amosphere. If so, putting a super on top of the feeder would not allow any bees from below to access, unless there was a drilled hole in the side of the super. If that is the case then you want to put the super below the feeder.
Not knowing exactly your situation, I would suggest that perhaps you need not feed syrup at all, especially if the hives have honey and are bringing in pollen and hopefully nectar. If the bees are not takng the syrup then why feed? The bees generally know what they want. I would perhaps reverse in a few days, if it warms up, and then add a super as needed.

I personally use three hive bodies, leaving the top box on top and reversing the bottom and middle box when things warm up and get busy. This allows more room in the "brood" area and relieves crowding, and perhaps retards swarming. . Good luck, Peter

As a footnote, the web site Beeworks.com has some interesting ideas about swarming. Check it out.
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