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Do you continue to feed during the winter regardless, or should it be done on an as needed basis?

Using a frame feeder inside the hive, should I be using 2:1 rather than 1:1 during the colder months?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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The time to feed 2:1 has passed for your location. Brooding has already begun and the bees need lighter syrup to stimulate brood production. Plan on giving them some 1:1 for the next month and then switch over to 1:2 thin syrup around the end of the month. Do not forget to provide them with pollen patties too.
 

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The time to feed 2:1 has passed for your location. Brooding has already begun and the bees need lighter syrup to stimulate brood production. Plan on giving them some 1:1 for the next month and then switch over to 1:2 thin syrup around the end of the month. Do not forget to provide them with pollen patties too.
So bees know the difference between 2:1 and 1:1? 1:1 makes them produce more brood? Does granulated sugar make them produce even less brood?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Yes, the bees know the difference. The light syrup is treated like nectar and the heavier syrups are treated like honey. The bees will, according to Bob Binnie, draw comb faster and raise more brood on the light syrup. This was also confirmed to me by our State Apiarist who recommended the 1:2 ratio. Bob recommends 1:1.5. I would assume that granulated sugar does nothing to stimulate brood production as it does not make the bees think that the flow is starting. The need for early brood development is unique to those areas that have a short and early flow. Otherwise, just make sure the bees do not starve and let them brood up naturally.

PS I just met Bob today at the Hive Life conference here in Lebanon, TN. Really nice guy and he knows his bees.
 
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I feed continuously through the winter by pouring regular dry sugar through #8 hardware cloth and spritzing with water to create a slurry. That’s done once or twice a week. So far no losses since my first two (still pains me). I’m in 6a going into my 4th year. Caveat- I use a Vivaldi board setup so I’m only opening up the top of the stack. I’ll start open dry pollen feeding in February.
 

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47 degrees & sunny today; Bees are out with small baskets of pollen coming in. I'm continuing to feed as the girls are using resources. 1:1 syrup with a little lemon juice added whenever the jars are empty. I'm seeing some tree buds begin to swell so spring is getting closer. As soon as red maple shows color is my signal to stop feeding and do a hive dive to check resources. If there is nectar/syrup in the frames (double deeps) feeding is stopped; OAV several shots, and honey supers go on when red maple buds break. Some manipulations may be necessary during the hive dive depending on where the brood is located. If you stop feeding make sure there are resources available outside and the wx is going to be ok for foraging.
 

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So bees know the difference between 2:1 and 1:1? 1:1 makes them produce more brood?
Yes they know the difference. No it does not make them produce more brood than 2:1. I've done this experiement. So have others. Randy Oliver has done this experiment. It makes no difference. From the bees' point of view it's all nectar, just richer or weaker nectar.

Does granulated sugar make them produce even less brood?
Yes it does make them produce less brood. It is not viewed as a nectar flow.
 

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I was finally able to get into the hive this past week. I refilled the feeders and put a section of pollen patty in each. I'm glad to say they are doing well. Afterwards I did an OA vapor treatment. My fingers are crossed, and I probably shouldn't say anything yet, but I think I just might survive my first winter.
 

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You need to watch your feeding this time of the year or you could get nectar bound where the queen has no place to lay...and then they will swarm. I have 8 frame double deeps and checked the top deep in 1 hive today... all 8 frames were classic brood in the lower middle of the frames and capped sugar honey in the upper part. I stopped feeding Jan 15 and will be checking on warm days to see if they are using it and making empty cells for eggs. Maples will be blooming around February 15 if the weather stays decent. It's got to get warmer before I go down to the bottom deeps to determine necessary manipulations but my feeding is probably over for the year. Oh yes, I have one more shot of OAV (4 treatments 4 days apart) and that will be finished until the end of May (depends on the mites). Getting ready for the flow and swarm management makes for a busy time and needs planning. Good luck with your spring adventure.
 

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Well, Feb 15th is 2 months earlier than where I have my bees.

It's a brutal endurance test of sanity and physical wellbeing in the northeast.

The bees don't really seem to mind though.
 
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