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How much syrup is too much?

1460 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Sr. Tanya
I started with two nucs that now have two hive boxes and two supers on them. Also a swarm that I just added a second hive box. There doesn't seem to be very much nectar now, so I'm feeding them sugar water. (1:1)

They are guzzling down a quart a day. When is it too much? I don't want lots of stored sugar water but they are still building up and I want to have enough for the larvae.

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I am no bee expert by any means. Been beekeeping now in my 3rd year. I am in the same situation you are now. I have 4 young hives that are still feeding on syrup. They are all going like gangbusters, but my feelings on young bees like this, give them help before they "ask" for it.

I feed syrup at 5 pints of water to 10# sugar. I add 2 tablespoons of "Honey B Healthy" from Mann Lake. I also put in 2 TBLS of Morton
Kosher Salt. I figure all of God's creature need salt, so they get salt. They must love it, keeps me busy sometimes making new batches of it. People ask me if they are Jewish bees, I don't know, but I love them endlessly.

Made a long story of this, but if I were you, as long as the bees eat like that, feed them. All beekeepers usually have theories, and stuff they do. I found out a long time ago, most will give you a different view. I have a brother that's been in the bee business over 60 years, I don't think he has ever fed any bees. So, I do what I think is right, sometimes learn the hard way, but do what is right.

Best of everything to you,
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I didn't used to feed them much before this year. And I've never seen them take so much.

If it's OK to give them that much, I'll invest in more sugar.

Did you take the supers off? Are they brood supers or honey supers?
> When is it too much?

If you have two deeps on each hive that are a combination of brood, pollen and syrup/honey, that would be considered plenty by most beekeepers. The supers that you have on top are likely a mixture of nectar/syrup and not really appropriate for extracting as 'honey' for humans.

If you are still feeding syrup, I suggest stop the syrup, and consider redistributing some of the 'syrup' frames from the bigger hives to the nuc. Keep an eye out for robbing attempts.
Ditto what Graham said.
My first year I bought a nuc from a State inspector and was told to feed; at the June 10 club meeting was advised to feed (by the inspector); they swarmed June 18; called the inspector, who said I fed too much!!!!
There is plenty of time between now and fall, see what they can do on their own and feed 2:1 in late fall if necessary.
Supers still on. On two of them the 2nd hive box was put on recently and there's still a fair amount of space for her to lay. Thought they would put the extra nectar in the supers above. Of course I didn't give them my directions. :rolleyes:

We moved a new nuc to an 8-frame deep last week, and the state inspector checked it Thursday so we could move it to WV. He said it was fine, but we should feed it.

Moved it Friday, and gave it 1/2 gallon of 1:1, which was gone by this morning. We also started feeding the other two hives.

The main thing the bees are working, so far as we can tell, is crown vetch. This is not usually considered good forage. Feeding them has not made them give up crown vetch, but as I understand it, if they had plenty of natural nectar available they would be so eager for syrup.

This year whatever they store is for them. If they mix syrup and nectar, fine.
I realized I was giving the wrong impression- They started out as nuc's but are in full ten frame hives now. If that makes a difference for your replies.
They need to build up- Got the second nuc in middle June about 3 or 4 weeks later than they said it would arrive.

Mainly I just want to make sure they have enough stores for the larvae.

You've all given me food for thought- Thank you for that.

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