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Fall/winter feeding

1661 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Phil in KY
I enjoyed the "hive top feeder" comments, and I have the poly top feeders from Dadant (same as Betterbee's). My question is related to using these for late fall/winter feeding. After checking my 2 hives last week I discovered that I don't have enough capped honey in the brrod boxes, or on the med. supers to get the colonies through the winter. I plan to feed heavy sugar syrup starting soon. The bees are still bringing in nectar. (goldenrod, from the smell of it)
I like the idea of taking my empty drawn combs in the brood nest and med. super, and filling them with the heavy syrup, placing them right next to, and above, the cluster. But, is using the hive top feeder just as effective in the fall/winter?
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If I can get the bees to take it quickly enough, I prefer to give them the syrup and let them store it. They will invert some of it with enzymes and it will be better feed and it will not crystalize as quickly. But any syrup or sugar is better feed than nothing.

Of course, it will go in more quickly if you put it in the drawn comb.

Also, sometimes it gets too cold for the bees to take the syrup. If you have cold nights sometimes the syrup is too cold for them even though the air has warmed up, because the syrup takes a lot longer to warm up. Sometimes I warm the syrup back up in order to get them to take it. Syrup shouldn't be too hot for you to put your finger in and leave it in or it will burn the bees trying to drink it.

Also, keep in mind, they may not build comb when the weather is colder, so they need drawn comb to store the syrup in. the hive top feeder just as good as putting the syrup in drawn comb?
> the hive top feeder just as good as putting the syrup in drawn comb?

When it's 50 degrees F, yes. When it's 10 degrees F, no. They will use the drawn comb just like any other stores.
So, how long should you be able to use the Ziplock bag feeder?

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