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Thread: Overfeeding?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Overfeeding?

    I just pulled off my bucket feeders of sugar syrup since the temps. have been very cold lately. I installed a 4 inch tall wooden "spacer box" above my 2 deeps and poured in about 7 pounds of sugar on top of the frames/newspaper in each of my hives. I felt that 1 hive really needed a boost of stores at this time while to other hive probably had enough stored already. The bees in both hives started digging away at the sugar as soon as I poured it into the hive. So I assume they wanted it.

    Is it bad if I might be giving them more food than what they need? Would the bees spend too much time and energy working toward storing the sugar instead of beginning to build their winter cluster? Or do they know exactly what the colony needs to do in both storing and clustering and I should have faith in their intelligence that they will store the neccessary food and begin to cluster when they are ready? Thanks, juzzerbee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: Overfeeding?

    They will cluster when the temp drops to 45 degrees or so in the box.

    They will also carry out loose crystals of sugar as trash, make sure you spritz it with water to make it lumpy!

    When it's warm enough in the hive for them to move around, they will harvest syrup off the surface of the sugar.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Overfeeding?

    I failed to remember to spritz it with water while the cover was off. I remembered the minute after I closed them back up. I did spritz the newspaper that I placed onto the top of the frames. It was 42 the day I added the sugar, I left the hives closed and hoped that spritzing wasn't really necessary. Now I read I should have. Darn. How much should I spritz onto approximately 7 pounds of sugar? Is it okay just to spray the top of the sugar or should a spritzing be done throughout the entire amount of sugar and stirred into the granules? Thanks, juzzerbee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: Overfeeding?

    Don't think you have to worry about them being overfed the way you did it. But, one thing you may need to watch for is swarming next spring. If they have lots of let over capped honey in the spring they will build up fast. So stay on top of them once the weather breaks in the spring.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Overfeeding?

    Great. I hope and think all will go well. Thanks, juzzerbee

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Overfeeding?

    I dont put the sugar on ours until about Thanksgiving, but I am further south than Jusserbee. I also use wet sugar, 1 cup water to 10 cups of sugar, if the day is warm and the bees are active. If the bees are clustered and it is cold I just put paper and dry sugar. Using wet sugar keeps it in place if they chew through the paper quickly. The sugar will set up almost immediately. I have also put in a layer of wet sugar topped with dry sugar. This also sets up rapidly. We live in such a dry environment that the added water is not a problem.

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