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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Can you overfeed in winter?

    I have two hives. I fed them on a warm day last month (high 50s) using the mountain camp method, as I saw that one hive was very low on stores. I fed them both because I didn't want to put myself in the position of needing to open the other hive again in colder weather. Today was in the high 50s again and the bees were flying, so I pulled the top covers off and the bees hadn't used much of the sugar. They had used probably 3/4 cup per hive. Both hives looks good. My plan is to leave them alone for the rest of the winter, then remove the left over sugar. Does this sound right?

    Might as well ask a further question. As soon as the temps are consistently in the mid 40s to low 50s, I plan to feed aggressively using the FatBeeMan bucket method in an effort to build my hives up so I can split each once before the flow starts. How does that sound?

    Forgive my newbeeness, and thank you for any advice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,047

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    If you put dry sugar on top of your bees you should have been able to tell how much they had eaten because they woulkd have eaten the sugar above themselves leaving a dome of sugar. How much sugar did you put on them?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    If you put dry sugar on top of your bees you should have been able to tell how much they had eaten because they woulkd have eaten the sugar above themselves leaving a dome of sugar. How much sugar did you put on them?
    I put the sugar on the inner cover and they each ate approximately 3/4 of a cup, just eyeballing it. I put about 2 cups in each hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,570

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    >My plan is to leave them alone for the rest of the winter, then remove the left over sugar. Does this sound right?

    Yes, that sounds right.

    > I put about 2 cups in each hive.

    I'm not sure I see the point. If they are light and I'm using dry sugar, I usually put about 20 pounds on...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >My plan is to leave them alone for the rest of the winter, then remove the left over sugar. Does this sound right?

    Yes, that sounds right.

    > I put about 2 cups in each hive.

    I'm not sure I see the point. If they are light and I'm using dry sugar, I usually put about 20 pounds on...
    LOL maybe I under-did it, or maybe they weren't as light as I thought. I was just going by what I'd seen on Youtube as the mountain camp method.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,047

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddb123 View Post
    I put the sugar on the inner cover and they each ate approximately 3/4 of a cup, just eyeballing it. I put about 2 cups in each hive.
    That most definitely is not the Mountain Camp Method of feeding dry sugar. You need to lay a sheet of newspaper right ontop of the top bars and pour 5 lbs of sugar ontop of it.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    That most definitely is not the Mountain Camp Method of feeding dry sugar. You need to lay a sheet of newspaper right ontop of the top bars and pour 5 lbs of sugar ontop of it.
    I guess that requires putting a super on, too(?) Does that method have an advantage over just pouring sugar on the inner cover?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    Yes but if you do that you will need to stay diligent once warmer weather comes or they will build comb in there, don't ask me how I know. Yes with it on the top bars gives them better access while clustered.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,047

    Default Re: Can you overfeed in winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddb123 View Post
    I guess that requires putting a super on, too(?) Does that method have an advantage over just pouring sugar on the inner cover?
    Bees that can't get to sugar on the inner cover can get to sugar on top of newspaper. Consider what would happen were the cluster of bees over to one side of the hive, not right in the middle. The bees respiration will dampen the newspaper and the sugar and the bees can chew thru paper to get to the sugar.

    No, no super is required. You can fold thge newspaper up around the sugar and put the inner and telescoping covers on top held down by a rock or cinder block. I have used feeder rims, but they are not necassarily.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



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