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I just started two hives with Italian packages last week. I'm starting with new supers and frames, should I be feeding my bees? If so is sugar syrup the right food?

Spring has finally come around, trees are flowering, grass is growing and the sun is usually shining.

How do I know that the bees will have enough food? And is supplementing their diet with sugar water going to help them work and build out the comb in these new frames. I'm just about to read Michael Bush's Natural beekeeping book.
I'm aware that the ph of sugar syrup is more acidic and sugar syrup is more alkaline.

thanks!

-John
 

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Offer your new package bees 1:1 sugar syrup to start off. If they quit taking it, then quit offering it. Ordinary white granulated sugar is the right sugar to choose, and is a better choice than any brown sugar (and a better choice than any 'organic' sugar that is not bright white).

If your bees are still taking syrup after they have multiple bars of comb with brood, that is the point to question if you should quit offering syrup.


Since you already have Michael Bush's book, this is the page that addresses your immediate question: :)
http://www.bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm
 

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with a package and undrawn foundation you should offer 1:1 syrup from a feeder inside the hive for 4 to 6 weeks depending on you location and honey flow. use some kind of top feeder, do not use an entrance type feeder. in good locations and later in your local season a couple of weeks will work fine. the bees may or may not take the feed. monitor for the syrup going bad, a little fermented or moldy does not seem to bother the bees too much. if there is little pollen available, a pollen substitute patty would be helpful especially early in the local season. keep your entrance small until the bee population starts to really expand. if it starts to get hot out figure out some sort of reduced entrance size with ventilation until the bee population starts to get larger.
 
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