Once the temperature of the syrup drops below about 50 degrees F, the bees will have difficulty taking syrup. Cold syrup cools their bodies, and they start to lose muscle control at about 50 degrees F.
This study measures the temperature of the bee's bodies, rather than the air temperature, but does support the idea that if the bee's thorax temperature falls below 9-11 degrees C (about 50 degrees F), they lose muscle control, can no longer shiver to generate heat and will fall off the cluster.
Lots of good advice here, and as I type it's 37 deg outside.
Today I pulled frame syrup feeders, I've been feeding nucs for a couple of weeks now and they have increased about 20# each and I think thats about all the time I've got here in the north. Temps in the box are above the outside temps but as you feed the humidity levels also go up as they dehydrate the syrup, and that is also a concern,,,,I have made quilt boxes for the top of my hives that let out the humidity and still insulate,,,if you dont have something to ventilate the hive now and for latter in winter they are a good thing to consider,,,,lasst year my bees survived 43 below but died when it was 30 deg and I had condensation in the box in january,,,,Good luck, and welcome to BeeSource,,,
Saturday was sunny and warm in the 70's and I put out some jars of syrup in the backyard. The bees ignored it all day long. They would come out of their hives and fly right over it. A cold front came down Saturday night, it was in the low 40's Sunday morning, and the bees were all over the syrup jars. My theory is that the syrup retained some of the heat and was warmer Sunday morning that anything else around so that's what finally made it attractive to the bees.......but who knows?
The bees can take heavy syrup out of zip lock baggies on the top bars. If you put them on hot in the morning on that day reaching fifty, they will have most of it down before it cools down in the evening. We are unseasonably warm here. It was in the seventies most of the day and not dropping very fast yet. Thankfully I started feeding over a month ago and most of mine are ready. The usual few laggards probably should be shaken out the first cold day to preserve the syrup and honey but I am not that smart.
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