They're not preferring it - they are working it (as others have said) simply because it's there ...I checked all of my hives yesterday and all the honey is still capped and the bees are eating the sugar bricks. Why are they preferring the sugar over the honey?
Do you feed any syrup in the spring?IMO, the bees work the sugar because it is there. The bees won’t allow spilled syrup or honey to sit around the house. If the bees had enough feed in the combs, why would you add sugar bricks. Do say something other than just in case.
Too many "new" beekeepers lose colonies due to late winter/early spring starvation. Sure, it could be prevented with proper feeding at the right time and is completely avoidable. But something as simple and inexpensive as supplemental sugar, I think it is good insurance to bridge the learning curve gap for beekeepers just starting out.I'm a new beek so I'm learning as much as I can from you guys.
..... I also thought it would be an insurance policy in case they don't have enough food. At this point everything I do is a learning experience.
Yes, some colonies need a bit of syrup in the spring. Depends on the Autumn and the winter and the spring. My target weight is a guideline for me. Many colonies are 20-30 pounds over weight in the autumn, and never require any feeding. Some are 30-50 pounds under weight and do need Autumn feed and some will need spring feed. Yes, I give them a gallon can of feed. We have a late spring here. Last spring the first pollen came on April 20. Long time from the end of Autumn feeding 'till spring pollen. Even longer until any maple or dandelion nectar is available.Do you feed any syrup in the spring?
Some Commercial Beekeepers here feed up to weight in the fall and leave a frame feeder in place. In early spring when the ambient temp is on the cool side, they open the side of the inner cover and fill the frame feeder.
I know you don't use frame feeders, so would you have need/use the paint cans in the spring to feed.
I didn't find the original, but I did find the 'Revisited' thread which I found interesting.About the Mountain Camp method. Back in 2007? he and I had a good discussion about his sugar feeding. I would like to bring that discussion back. I've tried to find it but can't. Are these old posts still available?