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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    40

    Default To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    We are having a full week of warm weather here in Indiana this week(high 50's). My bees are very active, and I have been feeding some of my weaker hives and NUCs. The hives are taking in quite a bit, about 1 1/2 pints of syrup/day from an outside feeder. Is it safe feeding them? Will this force the queen into laying again? My thinking was that if I feed now while its warm then they won't use their honey stores. Their activity looks like early April right now.

    Any thoughts?

    Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,197

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    If they need the feed, and they are actively flying, Id say go for it!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    A-Town in the house,,next time I am their, would be cool to check out your ladies. Do you need to feed them is the question. A caution would be that they try to store the feed, & then a cold stretch of weather comes in, & it drips back on them. Wet bees, dead bees..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    I would not like to go into winter with a bunch of uncured sugar syrup in my hives. I would worry about excessive moisture. Do you think that they will be able to get it cured and capped? Hives that are light will need some help, but dry sugar may be a better idea.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    Feed granulated sugar.... see if they will eat that.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lemont, Il U.S.A.
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    They won't have time to dry that syrup.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    Never thought about the the"dripping" problem. I will take yours and ralittle's advice, and go to dry sugar. I am doing candy boards at a later time anyway, so that should work.

    Thanks for your insight

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    Dry sugar IME is not that great all--they will only take it if really desperate, and if they are way light sugar syrup is the fastest route to get them ready--just make it as strong a concentration as you can 2 to one part water
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    At this point, I'd use a candy board rather than syrup, you don't want uncured syrup in the hive this late.

    If you are fairly certain they will need it, you can go ahead and put the candy board on now, it won't hurt anything if some syrup drips off the outside edges since the bees will simply eat it while it's warm. That way, you won't have to open the hive in January to see if they need it then, and if they don't use it, you can take it back off in the spring.

    Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mammoth Cave, KY
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    Any feeding now would be considered emergency feeding. September and early October is the best time to get stores ready for winter. How much stores do they have, they may not need your help.
    Poppy's Bees, Queens, and Honey
    Mammoth Cave, KY

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,197

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    doubt Rick is talking about feeding thin syrup.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    Ian,

    I was adding honey to my syrup mix. I will probably wean them off of this and start candy boards. I have a feeling I am over managing my hives. This is my second year, and I have probably gotten too attached to the little critters. It will be 52 degrees here for Thanksgiving, the warmest in over 30 years.

    Rick

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    A's,

    I fed them throughout Sep. and Oct. I am probably over managing.

    Rick

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,197

    Default Re: To Feed or not to Feed, That is the Question

    hi Rick, It is best to feed them earlier in fall, when the bees can process the syrup but if you feed them a bit of syrup right now its not going to hurt them. Especially if its 52 degrees.
    heft the back of the hive, if they feel heavy they will be fine without feed.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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