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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the sw corner of Colorado and it is still late winter here for the most part . The days will warm up to low 50's but it drops down into the teens every night still . I have put sugar blocks on the hives . I am wondering if , during the day when the bees are flying well , would it be a benefit to put out some liquid feed in an open feeder? I would bring it in every night . Not sure it would be any better or worse for the bees to use . I would continue to leave the sugar blocks on in any case. Any opinions?
 

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Same question I have. I have a line of black division board feeders against the south side foundation of my house. It gets quite warm there and the bees start working it at 40°. At 55 ° its awesome to watch. They can do in 25 lbs of sugar mixed 3 to 5 in an afternoon at 60° when they hardly touch the test feeders I put in the hives. I am sold. I figure they can bring it back to store in the cluster for cold nights.
 

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I have never been a fan of open feeding for fear of robbing. Would it be a problem to put the feed in the hive? If you do decide to open feed, I suggest that you keep the feed source some distance from the hives.
 

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Your situation and temperatures are what feeding syrup in gallon zip lock bags on the top bars was made for. The bag stays warm and can be sourced day and night in the hive and you are not feeding five miles of neighbors. Put three quarts or so in a gallon baggie, lay it down flat and fully supported by top bars. Poke two or three less than inch slits in the TOP ONLY of the bag. Do not do this if you cannot be sure the baggie is zipped or your hives are really unlevel. I use 3" feeder rims to provide the room for this and seal the divides between the boxes to keep out the wind. Duct tape works, but my feeder rims are added in the fall and are wrapped with the hive.

No bees drowned in this commercial or in baggie usage. The greatest benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Vance G , you don't find that the 3 inches of open space above the colony makes keeping the colony warm more difficult for the bees? If they are eating the sugar blocks well , should liquid feed even be a concern ? I have the tops of the hives filled with shavings right now so , while I could feed in the tops I would lose some insulation . I don't know if the feeding would outweigh the heat loss at this time or not , I know winter is not over here yet , its just napping right now !!!!
 

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I find that the three inch space is used as cluster space. I have a soundboard cover over the feeder rim and a 2" Styrofoam insulation above that and a wrap. I get ventilation and upper entrance from the hole bored thru the upper brood box right below the handhold indent. My goal is a warm bubble at the top where the feed is. My bees winter extremely well with this system. Your right about winter just napping. It was only 2 above earlier and that is way too cold for any liquid feed in a hive. I have no flying weather in the next ten day forecast. One day of so so cleansing weather in over a month here. Definitely not feeding liquid here.
 
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