Ok…I’m not suggesting that everyone, or even anyone, do things the way I do but as I read thread after thread about late season feeding, dry sugar feeding, candy board recipes and such it causes me to pause.
I, just a few minutes ago, made my last prewinter feeding round. Here’s my numbers. It has been estimated that in my area a colony of bees needs 35 – 50lbs of honey to overwinter. Being the cautious sort that I am….50 is an absolute minimum and most are 75+. On my final season inspections I estimate the honey stored. I estimate a fully capped medium frame at 3lbs and a fully capped deep at 5. I look at the size of the colony. Boomers need a bit more. Dinks get dumped. Feeding 2:1 syrup, I figure 1 gallon will be stored at about 7lbs. So…a hive that has an average sized colony with 10 medium frames of honey (30lbs) need to be fed 3 gallons of syrup (21lbs)…minimum.
So you’re going ho-hum. But…consider it this way. Assume that your hive needs 20 extra lbs of honey and you want to dry feed. If your honey is 80% sugars….you’ll need 16lbs of sugar…minimum. If your hive is totally empty of stores and you live somewhere that you need 50lbs of honey…..40lbs of sugar. A five or ten pound bag of sugar ain’t gonna cut it.
All I’m suggesting is that you give it careful thought….feed as you see fit but remember….there’s little sadder than opening a springtime deadout only to discover that your bees starved.