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Thread: Feeding honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Pittsfield, Maine
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    14

    Default Feeding honey

    Whats the best method to fed with honey?
    Should I water it down some or keep it straight?

    Entrance feeder, hive top feeder?
    I only have about 3lbs left and I'm sure they could use it for the winter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default

    For my mind, the best way to feed honey is how I did it this morning:

    Put an empty super on a hive that needs some feeding, then open a hive with plenty to spare - move combs of honey to the hive in need, alternating with frames of empty comb, fill empty space in donating super with frames of empty comb.

    Another option is to simply swap frames between hives, empty for full, that's how I do it with nucs. To avoid possible complications I shake most of the bees off before completing the swap.

    ------------------
    If your honey is already separated from the comb, you could make it less viscous by warming it, then use it to fill empty comb.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default

    If you water it down it doesn't keep well. I would feed it straight.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4

    Default

    They'll surely take it straight. Remember that the smell of exposed honey will draw a crowd...of bees. If there are any other hives or feral colonies of bees nearby you may start a robbing frenzy. I would not use an entrance feeder. I'd use some type of hive top feeding. Reduce the entrance and make sure there are no other ways for bees to gain entry.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
    Posts
    369

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    Don't ever leave in a bucket or container they can get in to. Did that with comb and cappings and a mass of bees(1000's) allmost died, to much crawing over each other and the indivuals got all stuck up. Dumped every thing out on ground and they cleaned them selfs up. Good thing I checked it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Collin County, TX
    Posts
    134

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    I have fed back honey to my bees before using an old frying pan for a feeder. I put the skillet on top of the frames and laid three 2 lb bottles of honey with the lids off on their sides in the skillet. Set an extra super and lid over this and let the bees clean it up. I made sure the hive was tight and had reduced entrances to prevent robbing. I have some honey that is bitter from last year that I going feed the same way to a couple of weak colonies this fall. I wish I had another frying pan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default

    For more cheap cooking utensils try your local second-hand stores / thrift stores, that's where I find mine.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I assume this is your honey that you are feeding them.
    If it isn't, I wouldn't feed it to them - too many spores of bad things can survive for years in honey.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,121

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    The best way to feed honey is to leave it in the first place. Next best is to put full capped combs of honey in the hive.

    Frankly the pitfalls of feeding it back are great. It spoils easily. Sets off robbing more than syrup does. Costs more money than syrup. etc.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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