Since our summer weather has been rain, rain and more rain--and the hives have little to no honey stores, I started feeding them. I have seven hives and I have poured 15+ gal. of sugar water (10lb. sugar to 2 & 1/2 qt. water) into top hive feeders and they have eaten it in less than 10 days! Our weather has been hot (95*+ and very humid with little rain for a week). The bees are able to forge daily but they are taking the sugar water. Do I keep pouring the feed to them? How long should I continue?
Is there a source for sugar water already mixed up???? (I am buy sugar at Walmart 5lbs for 1.82)Thanks for the help Debbie
15+ gallons, sounds like a lot of sugarwater!
Sure there isn't a leak? http://www.beesource.com/ubb/wink.gif
15+ gals. divided by 7 hives! No leaks. Removed them all and checked before refilling...... Talked to another local beekeeper and he has the same thing, going on--he thinks they could be raising brood on it. I have only one hive that needs brood. Not sure if I should pull them off and wait!
Did I read somewhere (here?) that a 2:1 ratio simulates a nectar flow so they will build comb faster and lay brood? Can someone clarify this for me?
Denise, the 1 1 ratio is for stimulating brood rearing. I'm not giving 1 1 anymore this year.
I've switched to the 2 1 ratio now for my weaker/new colonies to add to their stores.
Think of it like this:
Honey is very thick and concentrated and is what the bees store for food.
Nectar is thin and watery and has to be eveaporated to make it thick and use it for food.
Thin syrup (1:1 or 1:2 sugar to water) stimulates brood rearing. It has to be processed more so isn't as effective at giving them stores. It also spoils easier so you have to make smaller batches and feed it more often and clean out feeders with vinegar or something to get out the mold.
Thick syrup (2:1 sugar to water) is closer to honey and requires less processing but since it's not as much like nectar its not as likely to stimulate them to raise brood.