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Thread: Winter feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Maryville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Winter feeding

    I have four hives that are fairly strong heading into the fall season. (I lost one in late summer.) We have had a pretty good fall blooming season here in East Tennessee, and I haven't checked the stores inside the hives yet. But I have begun feeding them, and they seem to be gulping down the sugarwater mix that I am giving them.

    I am curious about how any of you approach winter feeding.

    This is my second winter with the hives, so any tips would be appreciated.

    Jim Stovall
    JPROF
    The Writing Wright

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY, USA
    Posts
    504

    Default Winter feeding

    Hi Jim et al. This fall we have four hives that all have a different history. We have one Russian hybrid that has produced reasonably well and we don't feed it. We have on old Carniolan that has a new queen, they have syrup on top but will not touch it, why????
    We have two hives that come from late cout-outs and take the syrup eagerly.
    We use modified Arheit (that are the inner covers with the high sides with the 3/4" holes in the sides covered with #8 wire mesh) tops (sides are about five inches high) with 3/8" wood strips glued on either side of the standard center opening. On that we place quart jars with the lids having an array of 1/16" holes. (we tried half gallons but they are too hard to handle.) We are thinking of increasing to about four quart jars also on wooden strips to give more bees an access. On top of that we have an empty medium, an inner cover and then the telescoping cover. Right now we use 2:1 syrup and boil the water like Michael Bush describes in his write-up. Later on when they slow down taking syrup, we will place sugar directly on paper on the top frames and then cover with a medium, possibly with some insulation in it. (That step is still in the thinking stage) Take care and have fun

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lake Park, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Feeding some now

    Here I am feeding bees now. I feed them a strong thick corn syrup mixed with Mega-Bee. I don't know how to recommend you mix yours but I mix 40 lbs bags of Mega-Bee to 500 gallons of syrup (we have several hundred hives). Part I feed to my weaker hives with bottles and then I place plastic swimming pools in the beeyards to stimulate a nectar flow. We use pinestraw in the pools to avoid bee drownings. Now feeding pools you will have other insects ( bumble bees, wasp, others bees, ect.)come to eat too so be prepared for that. I don't mind if Gods creatures get a bite as long as mine eat the most of it. I also keep my bees a fair distance from other beekeepers so as not to feed everyones bees. They do fly a good distance for a source if nothing is close to them. The thick mix is for storage and the Mega-Bee stimulates the queen to lay & build up for the winter.

    Now there are as many methods to feed as there are stars in the sky. You will get other methods but that is how I am told to do it. My father is the ring leader here and has had bees for over 30 years and I follow his instructions. If he can raise a family by commercially beekeeping it maybe worth paying attention to. I hope this has been a help and between this and other post you'll come up with what works best for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    jgstovall writes:
    I am curious about how any of you approach winter feeding.

    tecumseh:
    there should be a good number of threads in regards to feeding.

    a lot will depend on 1) what do wish to accomplish from feeding (basically do you want weight or bees or both added to the hive) 2) geography (how you might wish to feed in say upper new york ain't the same as in central texas) 3) how frequently or how infrequently do you plan to feed (this should point you to the kind of feeder you might wish to employ).

    basically I divide feeders into 1) those incorporated into a hive, which may include boardman feeder (I use these a lot and have them incorporated into my top covers), frame feeders (I also use these) and hive top feeders (the bee keeper that buy syrup in bulk typically go for these) and 2) pot feeding which is basically putting the syrup in a large open container within a yard and putting floater on the top (packing peanuts works just fine) and letting the hives pick up the syrup.

    to these I guess I should add (it seems alex mention this) whole sugar placed in the hive. this is more an emergency ration approach to feeding but it has the added benefit of absorbing water from the hive's bioliogical activity (an especially important point if you are keeping bees in the northern states).

    there are + and - with any feeding method or feeder type.

    and good luck with the bees...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,787

    Default

    I use either top feeder jars or I use inner division board feeders, depending on how much how fast I want them to have the syrup. I use sugar and water syrup only, no fructose. I feed thru the fall, only if the hives seem to need it, and do not feed in winter at all. I try to get them all up to weight in the fall b4 winter so usually don't feed any later than thanksgiving day, if that late.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jgstovall View Post
    I am curious about how any of you approach winter feeding.
    Feed what they need now, so the syrup will be ripened and where they need it.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...609#post358609

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