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"Here is what I recommend for CA beekeepers this month. The final decision on how you treat your bees remains yours, of course.
The recent rains of March, while very beneficial to the bees, will not make up for the record drought condition we are experiencing in CA.
Supplemental feeding will be especially important this year, as the lack of water will shorten our spring bloom.
You cannot feed too much sugar syrup. At this time of year thin sugar syrup at the ratio of two parts water one part white sugar.
Make sure not to use raw sugar or brown sugar or honey.
If you are starting a new beehive you should begin to monitor and test for mites during the first 30 days."

Hi, All! Here is a monthly bee newsletter that I subscribed to pertaining to Ca beekeeping. I don't know the arthur personally.
The writer said cannot feed too much syrup and cannot feed honey. What is the effect if I feed too much of these? If I don't feed then they will go hungry and possibly
die, right. What is the recommendation on a drought year then for beekeeping?
 

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I am a new beek and with only a year under my belt I can not speak from experience but do what I feel is right.
I have been wondering about the same thing; How does the drought will effect the colonies that just got the mated queen back last week after splits - except WHY FEED?????
Is this newsletter for commercial guys or for who?
I guess a lot of it depends on your location. Backyard beeks here in S.CA - Ojai do not need to feed.(this is my opinion). There is always something blooming and there is irrigation going on all the time.
I am trying to treat my bees the way that I am housing them but let them be bees as they would be in their natural habitat. Our main flow of citrus is almost over, avocado is still on for several more weeks I hope and where I am there are up to 7-9 bigger residences within 3 miles where they can forage.
I will not make more splits even though I have come across some really nice queens and would like to expand my apiary. I will leave that for next year. I let them build up and hope that they will make enough storage that will last throughout the fall.
I was told last year by a commercial guy that my bees will need to be fed. I did not feed and yes I lost some of them but not to starvation. The ones that made it through are stronger than last year.
I do not know why is such a push for feeding sugar to them. Do not we want to find a solution for CCD, mites etc? Once you start feeding them they might get lazy. What is the purpose of keeping bees if you are not trying to help to bring their genetics back to the point where they are able to fight off diseases? Unless we change the way we keep bees we will be still facing the same challenges!
 

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I would keep an eye on how much honey stores they have. Right now I couldn't feed my bees if I wanted to - they won't take it. They are getting all the real nectar they want. Every year in Ca is a drought by the time August and September roll around. Make sure they have access to water and feed if they need it mid to late summer.
 
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