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Dear Beekeepers,
We started our hive with a nuc in March. They are in two medium boxes, the top one not quite filled out yet. Considering the approaching autumn and winter, should we start feeding them sugar water at this time? Does the use of baggie feeders encourage robbing?
Thank you!
 

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I would like to know that as well.

I started a new hive in March too and they have filled two brood boxes. The upper has four frames full of honey and a good brood pattern throughout both boxes BUT they have not touch the honey super at all. It has been on four at least 5 weeks and they haven't drawn any comb out at all. I am thinking about pulling it and putting the hive top feeder back on.
 

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That is how it is with our hive!
A couple of weeks ago we began feeding them sugar water with a little "honey b healthy" essential oils in it which they have been taking very well so your thought about putting the feeder on is probably a good one. The sugar water has been a big help to our bees!
 

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Did you remove the super or just add the feeder on top? I think having the feeder with the super would at least get more bees into the super. Right now it is like they don't even like being in there. The brood boxes are full of bees but I only see a few in the super. I was wondering if the excluder is too small but i did an inspection yesterday and I saw one crawling through so I guess that isn't the issue.
 

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Our bees are in two medium supers. We put an empty super on top of them and are using two quart sized canning jars with perforated (in a straight line) lids placed on top of the frames of the top super. A lot of bees are in the top empty super and their population is growing but they don't need a super with frames just yet because they still have work to do down below.

I am not an experienced beekeeper but hope what we are doing sounds good!
 

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I am about 80 miles north of the Gulf. I run a 2 box brood nest, with 1 Deep and 1 Medium. Some colonies have a 3 box brood nest with all three boxes being mediums.
For me, feeding in the Fall is always on an "as needed" basis, but more often than not, some colonies need some help before winter.

As a general rule, I want the top medium box in either of these configurations full of honey/syrup going into "winter." That is usually more than adequate, though you will need to check in the spring and make sure they do not eat through it all before the nectar flow starts. If I don't have a medium box full of honey, I will feed them in the Fall until they pack it out. I don't know what your flow looks like over there, but I am guessing the main nectar flow has been done for some time. You may or may not have a goldenrod flow coming in the Fall, but I have learned that I cannot depend on goldenrod. All of my yards seem to be doing fine so far with the exception of a new yard I started this spring. I put 2 gallons of sugar syrup on all of those hives this weekend. I will do another food store check in October and feed more if I need to.

While I believe you can certainly overfeed in the Spring and get some negative consequences, it is a lot more forgiving to overfeed in the Fall. So, if in doubt, feed your bees. They will not take it if they don't want it. Feed them carefully. Do not use front-entrance (Boardman) feeders and try not to spill sugar syrup all over the place. It is robbing season.
 

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We still have golden rod coming up which for myself is a rather large flow. A colony can easily draw and fill an entire deep of foundation. If your bees aren’t starving yet there’s still time for them to get the natural stuff.
 
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