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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At what point do you change from 1:1 to 2:1 to prepare the bees for winter.
I know some feed 3:5. What are the benefits?

Just trying to get them through until spring.

KW
 

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If you are feeding for nutrition then there is no reason use thin syrup. Heavy syrup is less work for both you and the bees, and is not as prone to spoiling. That's my opinion anyway.

Anyway the few hives that I'm currently feeding are getting heavy - 2 to 1 - syrup.
 

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There are 3 main reasons to feed. One is to keep your bees alive. One is to draw comb. One is to increase their stores for winter. At this time of the year, if their brood chamber comb in all drawn, then unless they have no stores at all; I would not feed.

If you need to draw comb now, then feed 1:1 and there is a reason for feeding thinner syrup to draw comb and that is they have to build more comb to store the wet syrup. Feed heavy and keep it going so they are forced to draw comb to put the wet syrup up.

If their comb IN THE BROOD CHAMBER is all drawn then feed 2:1 in the fall after your final flow. In your area it would probably be in October. The reason you feed thicker syrup in the fall is that it takes the bees less time to dry it down and cure it for winter. You don't want to over winter on wet syrup, it needs to be cured some what so it doesn't ferment. Also when I feed in the fall I feed them everything they will take for 2 weeks and then pull the feeders. In the fall hives can take from 15 to 60 pounds of sugar. When they are full they will stop taking. Heavy feeding in the fall like this will also tend to plug the brood chamber and stop the queen from laying in many cases.
 

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If their comb IN THE BROOD CHAMBER is all drawn then feed 2:1 in the fall after your final flow. When they are full they will stop taking. Heavy feeding in the fall like this will also tend to plug the brood chamber and stop the queen from laying in many cases.
+1 :thumbsup:

Again wait till your fall flow if you have one is OVER before you start feeding your heavy syrup if needed. Feeding prematurely will only cause you problems at this point. Let your bees do what they are good at and check your hive after they get done. If you need to feed them then, do so. Feeding them right now to bulk up for winter is going to drive them down into the lower chamber, and cause them to become honey bound, possibly make them swarm, and cause the hive not to have enough winter bees to go through winter with.
 

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I am now feeding 1:1 for some of my hives to get them to draw comb so they will have a place to store for winter (we are in a nectar dearth here around Baltimore). When they have drawn comb I will switch to 2:1 for their winter stores. It also looks like I might have to supplement some of the hives that have insufficient stores in the frames with dry sugar (mountain camp method). I will assess the hives in November to determine which will need dry sugar.

Phil
 

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I think you should feed if you have a good reason. Last time I had a good reason was six years ago...

When I feed syrup it's always 5:3 (sugar:water). I can't get 2:1 to dissolve very well. 1:1 doesn't keep well and is more work to haul around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all,
The hive I'm feeding was started on May 9th with 3 frames brood and a couple hundred bees and a new queen. Since that time they have drawn out 2 medium boxes minus two frames. I added a third super of foundationless frames last week so do want them to draw out the remaining box as much as possible before winter sets in.

For me it seems like a never ending process to figure out what t o do next. This is my first year, and despite having a couple of setbacks (both hives queenless at different times, losing a hive to SHB, and one long lang extremely "warm" hive (don't want to say HOT) I'm still having a great time figuring this all out. Thanks for your experienced feedback.
 
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