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2509 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mnist
Is it possible to overfeed bees? The beekeeper who's been helping me learn told me that my bees needed feeding if they were going to have enough for winter.

Good enough. I've been feeding since the middle of August with good results. Now almost the entire top hive body is filled with capped honey and a fair amount of eggs and brood. I'm happy with how healthy they seem.

I intended to keep feeding until cold weather hit but now that goldenrod and asters are in bloom I see my bees out working hard and they've slowed down on their feed. Still taking, but slowing down.

So here's my question: is it possible to overfeed bees? As far as I can see they'll store away everything they can get. I heard of hives becoming "honey bound." Should I worry about that?

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Honey bees will take what they want when they want. As you said, they are slowed down on the feed when the goldenrod started blooming. They had found another source of necter that they liked more.

You only want to feed during certain times of the year. mostly spring and fall. Unless you have a weak hive that needs feeding.

So for your first question no I don't think you can over feed as much as feed at the wrong time. You don't want your honey crop to be full of your sugar syrup.

You should have no problem with you hive becomming honey bound at this time of the year. Just make sure they have plenty of room to put the syrup and whatever goldenrod may be bringing in.

Honey bound hives are more common in the spring when the hive is building up fast, and the queen and the workers start "competing" for space. A hive that is honey bound, has used the brood chamber for the honey stores, due to the fact that the supers are full.

From what I can tell, I'd keep feeding. To make sure they have plenty of stores for winter.

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Hey that's a nice sight you have there. I'll be checking up on it alittle more.

Greetings . . .

Your website is GREAT

Dave W
Love your web site and have bookmarked it.
Keep up with the good work on it and have fun with your bees.

Clinton Bemrose
just South of Lansing Michigan
Some people believe in stealing all the honey and trying to feed enough to get through the winter. Their theory is that honey is worth more than sugar.

I feed weak hives that are starting out. If I have enough of it I feed honey, otherwise I feed 2:1 syrup. Sometimes, if I think they should be raising brood already in the spring, I may try to stimulate them with some 1:1 syrup. Other than that, I always try to LEAVE enough honey for winter. I find that feeding sets off all kinds of robbing and other problems that I would rather avoid if I don't have a good reason to be doing it.
Thanks, I'm glad you like my pages. I once spent a rainy day just following google links about bees. I really like the personal ones that people posted and thought maybe I could make one like it.

Keeping that blog taught me how *useful* it is to keep accurate records! I'm terrible about writing things down, but keeping up a web site helps me to remember little things like "when did they swarm?" or "How big was the hive back in May?"

First Year Beekeeping Journal:
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