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Wintering Bees

Post by Maximus » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:00 am

Currently I am fall sugar juicing the bees right now to give them as much as possible before winter lockdown. Unfortunately I am not convinced they have enough honey to get through the winter. Especially my one hive that is down to one layer.

Is there a good quality feed I can give them? Where would I get?
How do I feed them when they are wrapped up?

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Wintering Bees

Post by Brian » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:04 pm

Sorry for the late reply. It is kind of late but maybe the next person reading this can benefit.

The best alternative feed for honey bees other than natural nectar from flowers is Refined Sugar mixed with water. Sucrose is the perfect suplimental feed for a honey bee. In the Spring you feed and 1:1 sugar syrup and in the fall it is best to feed a 2:1 sugar syrup. Honey Bees will only take liquid syrup when it is above about 6 degrees Celsius. It is best to make sure that they take in enough syrup before it gets to cold.

After they are wrapped and tucked in for winter you do not want to open the hive to feed. If you have a really light hive you can feed solid sugar, either in a sugar cake, as a fondant. There are lots of videos on YouTube on feeding sugar cakes.

In the Spring you can also supplement with Pollen Patties or Pollen Substitute to supply protein for the bees to start raising young.

I hope that helps someone.

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