I am going to recieve my bees the first week of May, and I live in Ohio. Should I start filling the hivetop feeder when I put my bees in? We have some flowers blooming, but not everywhere yet. Does it matter?
I was taught to feed feed feed 1:1 sugar syrup the first year of the hive to stimulate brood rearing and comb production for a strong colony.
It's worked for me. I recommend a hive top feeder. It reduces the likelyhood of robbing.
If you check your hive on a weekly basis, put just enough syrup in the feeder so it will be mostly empty when you have to remove it. Otherwise, they are hard to manage when they are full.
>What do you mean "carmelized sugar hurts the bees"? I've always heated the water with the sugar and cooked (low heat) it until it was all clear (about 15 min.). Is that wrong?
I boil the water, add the sugar and bring it back up to heat until it gets clear. This usually happens before it boils again and it usually takes less than 15 minutes. In fact it usually takes less than 5.
"Carmalized" is when the sugar get's burned. This you want to avoid. If you're careful it won't get burned. If it does, it's not the best, but frankly I'd feed it anyway unless it's badly burned.
>I boil the water, add the sugar and bring it back up to heat until it gets clear. This usually happens before it boils again and it usually takes less than 15 minutes. In fact it usually takes less than 5.
Great I'll try boiling the water first. . . I always put in the sugar first, then the water. . .
So a new nuc or package, no matter what is going on outside in terms of nectar flow, you would just feed? And if you have honey, would you stick a few frames down with them or place one opened up above the inner cover? And is that in place of feeding?
DO NOT USE KARO SYRUP!!!!!! It will kill your bees, it happened to me last fall. Use the 1:1 sugar to water. Unless you can get pure corn syrup or cane syrup. BUT DO NOT USE KARO IT IS POISONUS TO BEES>
There can be only two reasons to boil sugar water for feed. The first is to sterilize it and perhaps retard degradation. How, since the bees are going to be walking and swimming in it?
The second is to increase the concentration or the speed with which sugar goes into solution; hot water will dissolve a bit more sugar and a bit faster.
My own practice is to add a half gallon of sugar to a half gallon of hot tap water, stirring until all is dissolved. I have often used cold water, but it slows things down a little.
The key to keeping the stuff fresh is to give them no more than they will take in about 4 or 5 days. Even if it begins to show mold they will take whatever is good. If mold or mildew gets a foothold I wash out the feeder and start over.
I have found that pouring the syrup from one gallon container into another mixes the sugar and water faster than stiring just do it over the sink incase you miss a little. Hot water out of the tap seems to be hot enough.it has been my experience that an overwintered colony will take about a gallon every two days.A 3# package will take it in about 4 days.
>In a pinch can you use clear(white) karo syrup to feed bees??
I have without any real problems except they don't take it very well and it's too expensive. Dark is bad for them all the way around.
>I am curious though when you feed bees a sugar syrup do they convert it to honey??
From a bees perspective, yes. They make enzymes to convert the sucrose into glucose and fructose, but from a marketing perspective it is NOT honey and it is considered dishonest to pass it off as honey.
>If so is this honey of any quality???
Water white and no flavor at all.
>Can you flavor the syrup and get flavored honey???
Yes, but it won't taste as good as honey and you may make the bees sick.
Some flavors are useful because the bees home in, not on the small of sugar (which really has no smell) but on the other smells. Nectar in flowers has other odors to it. The bees home in on that odor when finding the flowers etc. So putting smell in syrup (if it's things that are known to not be harmful) will encourage them to take the syrup. But it also seems to encourage robbing. So I don't add it to feed.
Some common things added to syrup: Wintergreen oil, pepermint oil, lemongrass oil, HBH (Honey Bee Healthy which is lemongrass and pepermint oil and lecithing and syrup). The oils don't mix well in syrup and will rise to the top and end up concentrated in leathal amounts to the bees. So you need to mix it with lecithin or honey first. Then with the syrup.
The results from this are NOT considered honey (from a commercial point of view) and should not be sold as honey and it would be fraud to purport it to be honey to the consumer.
When I mix sugar I use an old blender, put it on high speed for about 2min, it is cloudy but clears, also it gives you a chance to blend in anything else you wish HBH, or one of the essenual oils. Sorry Mike, somewhere I did read that KARO syrup is bad for bees and will kill them. I think it was in the archives some where, I maybe mistaken have been before and will undoubtably be again:lol:
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