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I took a peek in the hive today and see they are close to the top. I have an additional 10 frames that have comb stored in my freezer. Has anyone tried making a 2:1 sugar/water batch and then using a basting brush (like for a turkey) to apply this into the comb? I'm wondering if I did this, would the sugar water stay in each cell or dribble out/down and if I place it on top of my hive would the bees actually move up and use this?

Thanks for the feedback.

Chris
 

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I believe it is important that the sugar passes through the bee before it is placed in the comb. I would therefore suggest the "Mountaincamp" method.

Roland
 

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If you REALLY want to get sugar in there in a comb (rather than on newspaper on the top bars), I'd pour the sugar right onto the combs, dry. Then shake it until it all shakes into cells, brush off the extra, mist with water, and good to go. This works with pollen sub/supp too btw.
 

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This time of year where you are go candy board or granulated sugar right on top of the upper box with a rim board to provide space for the sugar underneath the cover. Don't add 2:1 as that will cause moisture issues.
 

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A quick way to fill combs is to fill a container with 1:1 and just dunk the comb in it a couple of times. This will fill up the combs. And no they don't have to take it first before it is in the comb. They will work it just fine. Let it stop dripping before placing in the hive though, you don't want it dripping on your bees in the cold.
 

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Sorry, gotta disagree w/ just about all who have posted so far.

Chris, if you brush sugar water onto the comb you will just have a look of syrup in the comb, but you won't have much. Just a film of surface tension. You have to get the syrup into the cells. To do that you will need to rain the syrup down onto the comb as it lays flat somewhere. You can do this w/ your watering can or take an empty coffee can and punch some holes in the bottom. A hive tool works okay.

There is nothing wrong w/ feeding dry sugar by placing it above your bees on newspaper. It will be where they can get to it. Make a rim about 1 1/2 inch tall and the same dimensions as a super. I don't like theideea of using a super, no matter how shallow, because it leaves too much space above the sugar. I feel that the sugar needs to be right below the cover. I'm sure that a super doesw the job. I just don't prefer it.

I've never done what Brewcat recommends and it sounds like he has, so if that sounds more like what you want to try, go for it.

Lots of things work, some better than others. Life is an adventure, experiment and come up w/ what you like and what works best for you.
 

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If you haven't done what I suggested how can you say it doesn't work. :rolleyes: We do it on a mass scale in the spring if short on honey frames for splits. I am trying to find the vid of this being done. I will post if I can find it.
 

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If you haven't done what I suggested how can you say it doesn't work. :rolleyes: We do it on a mass scale in the spring if short on honey frames for splits. I am trying to find the vid of this being done. I will post if I can find it.
I would expect that the syrup wouldn't get down into the cells. I have done it and found the comb to get wet, but not full. By sprinkling the syrup down onto the comb, like rain, it gets into the cells, not onto the surface.

I guess since you do it on a mass scale, I am wrong about what I found. And perhaps I wasn't doing it correctly. How many times do you have to dunk the frame into the syrup to get it full?
 

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Quickly place them, still closed, --on the top bars immediately over the cluster--. Use enough bags to allow all seams of bees to have contact with the underside of the bags. Cover them up and go away. They
@ this time of the year if you have to feed it is most important to feed over the cluster (in my part of the country=cold) we will loose a lot of hives arund here in March when the temp drops and I have lost NICE large clusters that starve on the opsite side of a frame of honey when its cold they just wont move sideways.
 

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In my inexperienced opinion the main problem with most of these suggestions is, RULE # 1, don't add moisture until warm weather!!:no:
 

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"In my inexperienced opinion the main problem with most of these suggestions is, RULE # 1, don't add moisture until warm weather!!"--valleyman.

"Feeding bees in cool weather is never a good plan, but sometimes it can't be helped. Select a feeder that can be filled without undue disruption to the colony or the beekeeper. Select a feeder that gets the feed as close to the bees as possible in a form that is as ready to use as possible. Feeding bees in hard winter is nearly impossible. If you must feed wintering bees, combs of capped honey can't be beat, but are not normally available. I'd go with the dry sugar on the inner cover, but your chances for getting a strong colony coming out of winter are not good. Do the best you can to feed them, but try not to get caught in this same situation next fall." --James Tew,..Bee Culture.

"Bees should be fed early enough in fall so that the sugar has time to cure--that is, the bees have time to reduce the water content near to that of honey [18 %]. If the syrup does not cure, it could ferment or freeze."

"Dysentery: Dysentery is not caused by a microorganism and is not a disease....primarily the result of poor food.
>Fermented stores; >Diluted syrup fed in the fall; >Dampness; Long periods of confinement; >Too much moisture in the hive." --"The Beekeepers Handbook". -Sammataro.
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZL...resnum=1&ved=0CAcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false
"Dysentery is most common in northern states in late winter,..High humidity in a hive also appear to encourage dysentery". --ABC-XYZ Bee Culture.

>>There are many other references to "feeding bees in winter". It seems to me, there are just too many variables and unkowns [sugar syrup converted in the honey stomach of bees by invertase?] that may be more detrimental to the bees by trying to feed liquid sugar syrup in the northern [winter] parts of the country. I would go with granulated sugar if you feel desperate that they may be starving.--OB.

As far as infusing comb with sugar syrup: "Since I live about six miles from the Alabama state line, there is a large area where this feature of colony preparations for Winter has some impact." --Walt Wright. http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/walt-wright/fall-feeding/
 

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If a complete novice with no bees yet can pose a question:

Can honey be left on the hive as a strategy to avoid feeding all together? If so, how much must be left?
 

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"Can honey be left on the hive as a strategy to avoid feeding all together? If so, how much must be left?"

Absolutely!! That is the ideal situation/strategy but some areas of the country don't have a substantial nectar flow in the fall and it may vary with the weather.
 

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I see. I was confused because of the number of references about feeding. I was under the impression that most beeks took all the honey, then fed sugar to maximize honey production, or something...
 

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My bees are out here in Azle Texas NW of Ft Worth. I've been feeding mega bee on a plate at a rate of 1/4 cup a day and open feeding 2-1 syrup at a rate of 2 qts a day. I also have several old combs laying out in the open where I use a enterance feeder and shake the 2-1 into the comb. Fills the comb great.
 

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I don't "bast" sugar syrup onto my combs, but I sometimes squirt multiple streams of sugar water from a plastic squeeze bottle with a head that produces a gentle shower-like pattern of syrup streams, I fill each side of an empty comb by tilting it back at a slight angle and running the shower of syrup back and forth across the top of the comb, as the top cells fill the overflow cascades down and fills the cells lower on the comb, then I turn the comb around and repeat the process on the opposite side. An empty medium comb can hold a little more than half a liter of liquid the way I fill them, but they aren't 100% full, more like 80% or so. Even these coldest days of Winter (December, January, and February) it usually only gets into the mid 40'sF at night and days are in the low 60'sF (sometimes into the 70'sF). It is cloudy right now and that is supposed to continue for most of the next week, with rain possible, but otherwise the humidity is usually a single digit or low teens and with modest ventilation hive moisture is not a problem. I mostly use this feeding technique for nucs and just the two outside frames - rarely any brood to be affected in those, the bees nearly always empty the syrup from these frames and either use it as food for themselves, to raise brood with, or they begin processing some of it into sugar-honey and storing it near the brood nest. Of course, since very little natural pollen is available, I feed pollen substitute concurrently with the sugar syrup, and heft those little nucs frequently to know when they need another fill-up, or not.
 
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