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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    Been doing this in the winter. Seem like the bees are taken it. I only have two hives, so it is not a big deal to give the sugar every two weeks or so. I also mix it with Bee Pro from Manlake. I figure it can not hurt.

    Any thoughts on this. Am I doing something I should not do?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,583

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I have used fondant over inner covers for "insurance feeding". Here is a cheaper alternative: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...201#post876201
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    617

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    This only works in warmer climates. Bees stay in a tight cluster when hive temp is below 55F and the cluster only moves when hive temp is 40 to 45F.

    Had a hive dive last winter in February in cold weather. It was a late swarm capture and I knew it was light on stores. Had 20 lbs of sugar above an inner cover with an open 3 1/2 inch round hole in the center and the cluster got stranded in the frames.

    Far better to have emergency food on top of the frames.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I have put Dryvert on the inner cover of hives I have in Marin and in Lake County. Some have taken it voraciously, some don't seem to have touched it. I presume given our climate that the bees will move around enough to get to it. I do have a couple hives without inner covers and I just put the Dryvert on top of the frames with a sheet of newspaper.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,654

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I prefer it on newspaper as the cluster can eat through the paper wherever they may be and the bees eating the sugar don't have to leave the cluster so they can eat it no matter how cold it is.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I feed sugar like michael said, only i lay a newspaper on top of the frames spray a light coat of water on the paper, put a 1" layer of sugar on it, spray another light coat of water on the sugar, put another layer of sugar on, ect. until i have 8# to 10# of sugar on. I try to do this before the temp. goes below 60# when spraying water, the water makes the sugar cake up and hold together.I have brought several light hives through the winter this way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,273

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I agree with the last two posts. Get the feed right where the bees need it. Make sure to put sugar breaks as explained by brooksbeefarm. I see very little advantage of placing it on the inner cover.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    So in this method do you still use a inner cover? I would think that there not enough space between inner cover and the frames.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I don't use a innercover when feeding sugar, i make 3" or 4" shims to allow a space for the sugar.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,273

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I use an empty medium box with an inner cover on top.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    I gave them moist granulated sugar this winter, but I'm not sure if the bees taking it or throwing it away!!??

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,654

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    You need to wet it some with a spray bottle of water to make it clump or they will throw it away.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,043

    Default Re: Feed Sugar on the inner cover

    another approach is to mix the sugar up with just enough water to make a paste, (about one part water to nine parts sugar).

    you can form this paste into patties, and it can be utilized without the bees having bring water to it.

    i also follow mr. bush's suggestion to add some vitamin c (ascorbic acid), roughly 1000 mg per gallon, to lower the ph of the mixture.

    in late winter or early spring, if the bees will be brooding, i throw some pollen substitute in there too.
    this ends up 8 parts sugar, 1 part pollen sub, 1 part water, and some vitamin c.

    (i would only feed them this if they are out of stores, and to prevent starvation, put it on the top bars over the cluster)
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

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