Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is the first colony that I have ever wintered this far along. We are getting some nice warm days...low 40's and cold nights still...15ish and I am wondering if feeding is a good idea now? Should I wait until closer to spring? My hive is only a single deep, and they didn't have it totally full of winter stores before they quit flying for the winter. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
At this point with those temps you can't feed liquid syrup. You could put on so dry sugar or a sugar brick if they need the food. Try the search at the top for sugar brick (block, cake, etc) and you should come up with instructions to make them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
Are your hives light?
Unless you have reason to believe that they don't have enough food for spring build up, feeding sugar is an unnecessary expense, and not nearly as good nutrition as stored honey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
This hive is light and I am worried about them. This weather may last about a week or so and then the high temps will be low 30's for most of Feb. If I put an empty hive body on can I just pour some loose sugar on the top cover near the center hole? I like the bag idea but by the time I have it ready the weather will have changed...I am looking for something to do today while they are flying some and moving about. I am thinking loose sugar now and as soon as the bag is ready put that on. Any problems with that that any of you can see?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
I wouldn't put sugar on the inner cover, it needs to be in contact with the bees as much as possible, just dumping sugar on top of the inner cover makes is harder for the bees to crawl up there to get it when the temps are real cold. A strong colony may be ok with that, but a weak one won't. I put mine on top of the frames themselves in the form of sugar cakes, and then put a feed rim on top followed by the inner and outer covers, followed by 4" of rigid foam to conserve heat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
Having lived not far away from you and being familiar with Spokane winters, I'd also not count on the bees taking sugar on top of the inner cover.

Just put an empty super on, lay down some paper on the frame top bars, and pour sugar on the paper.

The bees will find the paper no barrier to access, and sugar the has the added benefit of absorbing moisture and prevent condensation.

(This is called the "mountain camp method")
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
As insurance feed, you could do something easy and place what I fondly call a "SugarBag" over the inner cover, enclosing it with an empty hive body.


After two years of trying out the sugar-in-the-bag, over the inner cover, as an "insurance" feed source I wouldn't recommend it. Baker's Fondant is much more attractive to the bees...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I agree with the sugar brick suggestion (sugar/apple cider vinegar) It took no time to make or to harden and my bees are all over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the input.... at that time I did nothing except hope I had fed enough in the fall. I was worried more about chilling them than starving them. The first day the day time temps got near 50 I put out my boardman feeder with 2/1. Buttercups are blooming and I am seeing pollen come in now. Hopefully, as they say... Third time is the charm.
Now that I am this far along with a hive more questions are coming up. When do I open the entrance up? When do I flip the inner cover? How soon can I put on another box with foundation?
Any advice from cold climate beekeepers?
Thanks Again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
When the entrance is noticeably crowded I would open it up more.

In general, I always have my inner covers notch down... Year round.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top