Re: Planning for my first bee's come spring
FYI-I used rapid feeders this year with my new colonies and will be using them again next year. The other commenter is correct that if they take all the syrup you can get escapees. So the solution is to check the levels often enough to keep them filled. If they are escaping under the cup I pour some water in to keep bees out and open it up the top to let the escapees out. Itís the most humane solution in my mind.
There are other feeders that pile on the feed better- like the tank style or paint can, or ones that feed less like quart jar with a few holes if you are aiming to trickle feed. When you know your goal for feeding, you can then select the best size. Rapid feeders in my mind are great for middle of the road. My colonies built up really well with these. Iím going to experiment with baggies and paint cans for fall. Thats the pile on time. Feeding is an art. Also remember pollen. As essential as syrup. I use Ultrabee pollen patties. Feed feed feed first year colonies. Once they are established the following year they can tap their stores if necessary.
The biggest risk you run with overfeeding is backfilling the brood nest in spring. So I aimed for having fully drawn comb in their brood boxes as my marker. Once thats done the bees can usually take it from there. I fed some during the dearth then fed super heavy in fall.
I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.