Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default How to feed honey in the winter?

    Well, one of my hives is feeling a bit light and I was wondering what the best technique to feed them back some of their honey without a top feeder would be. Ideally, I would like to crystallize it to minimize moisture in the hive. I added three pounds of sugar to three pounds of honey and then wrapped it - then fed it like fondant (in the piece of parchment paper I wrapped it in partly opened). It seemed 'solid' enough when I made it but after throwing a piece of it in the hive it started to bleed honey. Oops!. The bees are on it and it appears that they like it but honey is oozing out of the bottom of the hive (oh man...). The other pouches I made at the same time also started to bleed honey as well even though they are stored inside...after about a week. Am I going at this all wrong? My thinking is that a crystallized honey product would be better to feed them then straight sugar. How do you accelerate crystallization? I thought dry sugar would do the trick....

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    try 3#'s sugar 2 1# honey, makes bluebees honeyballs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,436

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    Keep in mind that crystallized honey will still flow unlike a sugar cube. Also if it takes on moisture it will ferment.
    If the honey is not sealed in comb I would have to side with those that feed sugar in the winter months.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    Thanks all,
    Yeah, I am aware of the fermented honey/sugar combo....but wont dry sugar, if it takes on moisture, also ferment? It would seem that the honey with its antimicrobial properties would not create a great environment for 'rot'. Of course, this may be incorrect thinking and I am always open to new information/knowledge.

    Maryland - Are there any reported issues with bluebees honeyballs that you know about?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    i did dry sugar on top (Mountain camp method) last year and again this year. It worked great last winter. The only thing that happened was it turned hard. I mean like a rock. I know of people that have done this and then took it off early spring to make sugar syrup to feed them to give them that boost with out any problems. I don't think fermentation or going bad is an issue. I can't speak to honeyballs. I haven't done it or tried it, but I have had frames of honey out in the summer that were uncapped and it was quite a while before they "smelled bad" but the bees still took it. I'd have to say with the temps being colder I'd think (nothing to back this up other than my thoughts) that it wouldnt' ferment very fast.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    they disappear quick apparently, no issues that I know of, I think risk of fermenting is small if you believe they require assistance to first flow, I have considered a large ziplock w/ pinholes in line w/ frame gaps for a Warre I had, insulation and food in one, like nature intended
    Drew

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    We feed straight crystallized honey in winter by putting on paper plates. Dixie makes a good one with slightly deeper sides. Bottom of plate gets a few slashes with the hive tool before setting it on top of the bars.

    For hives with grain bag inner covers, gently press grain bag across surface of honey to keep bees from getting stuck. Put telescoping cover on gently as well so honey doesn't squish out. For other set ups cover surface of honey with wax paper before giving it to the bees. Use a shim to lift covers from the plates if you have top entrances or use wooden inner covers.

    The bees chew their way up through the plate from between the bars and don't have to leave the cluster the way they do with baggie feeding.

    I have had good luck getting honey to crystallized fairly quickly by stirring and pushing through a strainer introducing air bubbles. This was honey that had never been heated or filtered.

    Ramona
    Last edited by Ramona; 01-08-2013 at 05:57 AM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,436

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelbor View Post
    Yeah, I am aware of the fermented honey/sugar combo....but wont dry sugar,
    Not so much. Sugar is highly processed and doesn't contain any live yeast spores like honey does.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    If you put crystallized honey in a FedEx style cardbard envelope you can cut a couple of slits in it and put it next to the cluster.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    Ramona,
    interesting post, it furthers my idea for an edible roof perhaps whole hive

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,622

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    although crystalized honey won't flow as freely as liquid, the crystalization doesn't reduce the moisture content of the honey.

    deknow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    McDonough, NY United States
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: How to feed honey in the winter?

    Very good point Deknow. I'd never thought of that.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads