When to add solid sugar feed
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Silverdale, WA
    Posts
    23

    Default When to add solid sugar feed

    Located in the PNW

    When do you add your solid sugar cakes. Our temps are in the upper 30s to low 40's at night. Have heard that if you put them in too early they may remove the sugar as trash.

    Second question,

    I do have some solid sugar on hives now (weaker hives) they are taking the sugar. Are they storing it or consuming it? Don't want to crack the hive open this time of year to look.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,108

    Default Re: When to add solid sugar feed

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyviewbees View Post
    Located in the PNW

    When do you add your solid sugar cakes. Our temps are in the upper 30s to low 40's at night. Have heard that if you put them in too early they may remove the sugar as trash.

    Second question,

    I do have some solid sugar on hives now (weaker hives) they are taking the sugar. Are they storing it or consuming it? Don't want to crack the hive open this time of year to look.

    Thanks
    If there is enough honey for now - I would not even bother with solid sugar until early winter the earliest (you only pull the bees up too early - not necessarily good).
    OK - IF the hive is weak already, then they will stay high up anyway (trying to warm up).
    For the weak hives it maybe OK now.

    NO - they do not store solid sugar processed back into liquid (too much hard, expensive work).
    They consume it directly and/or throw it away.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: When to add solid sugar feed

    Near Spokane - I have mine in already. But I do it earlier than most, apparently. There were a couple of recent threads about this, search for "Mountain Camp."

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: When to add solid sugar feed

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyviewbees View Post
    Located in the PNW

    When do you add your solid sugar cakes.

    Thanks
    Iím in Sisters Oregon. Mine went in after liquid feed was taken off. Unnecessary because they were heavily fed and have a lot stored in the comb but reassuring to me. I use a vivaldi type board with a feeder shim within it covered by hardware cloth. The feeder shim allows me to take the cover off and watch them feed, put blocks and winter patties in and talk to them if Iím being honest about it. I only open it up on nice days during flying weather.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: When to add solid sugar feed

    I am located in Bellevue, just across the water from you. Lift up the back of the hive and see how heavy it is. If the hive has plenty of weight, check it again in December. If it is light, add it now and keep checking throughout the winter. I prefer my hives to get to April with a fairly light load of stores still in the hive. I do check them regularly to make sure there is enough honey or sugar blocks to keep them alive and brood up properly. I store extra frames of honey just to be sure. April and May is swarm season and coming into April with a hive still full of honey pretty much guarantees the hive will swarm. In April and May we have a 4-6 week major flow every spring (if the weather cooperates of course). Maples and plums come on in late March to early April followed continuously by peaches, cherries, pears, apples and every other flowering tree and bush in the area (and there are a lot of them). It is not uncommon for them to completely fill a deep box with nectar in a couple of weeks. Keeping sugar on the hive throughout winter and not allowing the bees to consume their stores leads to other problems so only use them if needed.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Silverdale, WA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: When to add solid sugar feed

    Makes sense. Thanks

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