Quantcast

Sorry If this Is an Old Question

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Silly Bee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
0
Location
Lichfield
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
3
But How much do I need to feed the bees to over winter?

My priority is to over winter the colonies, the honey harvest is of secondary interest.

I'd prefer to leave as much honey as they need, rather than give them sugar.
 

Firegazer 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
291
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
3
This may be one of the very oldest questions of all :)

It all depends, as they say.

Where are you? What is your micro-climate? What type of hive? How big is the colony going into Winter?

Sometimes cold temperatures mean they use less stores up (more dormant), but if the temperatures get too cold, they start using more rather than less as heat loss becomes the crucial factor.

Do you have a local beekeeper, using the same sort of hive as you? Their advice on stores usage may be the best, as it includes all these factors already. Different strains of bee may use different amounts though. Then there's the very variable weather . . .

Best approach is probably to leave them whatever the average is for your area, plus a big contingency amount (100%?), and even then check them every few weeks and add fondant if it seems the hive is getting too light. That's what I'll be doing.

HTH

FG
 

Monie 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
Location
US
Hive Type
langstroth
Sometimes it's hard to judge what a colony will do during the winter, especially if it's new. I do a "heft" test in late fall. I literally lift the hive with one hand, to judge the amount of honey. Most often, I can't lift the box, which is good. I know they have plenty of stores. I'll check them again when it really starts to get cold, about a month or so later. By then I can lift the hive a bit. If it feels really light, I'll add dry sugar; the Mountaincamp method. If you are unfamiliar with this, you simply place a shim on top of the hive, place a sheet of newspaper on top of the bars, add dry sugar. This method of feeding works really well and has several advantages. 1. dry sugar won't freeze like syrup. 2. You can add enough to keep the hive alive through winter. 3. The sugar absorbs the moisture in the hive, resulting in less or no chilled brood.
 

Peter Cox 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
87
Reaction score
0
Location
NE Massachusetts
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
12
Here in the NE US where we expect to have snow on the ground from December to March and possibly more with low temps down to as much as 20 below F we expect to go into winter with about 100lbs of honey in the hive - typically the contents of a deep langstroth box - the reason that most people with run 2 deep setups.
I guess Lichfield won't get the cold but my memory of UK winters is of a longer period of damp chilly weather so I would believe that your winter store requirements are less than ours but maybe by not too much.
 

Onge 

Field Bee
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
839
Reaction score
0
Location
Cambridge
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
9 Medium Poly, mostly foundation-less. Some run as Warre TBH
Most people I know say about 40lbs. If you go with the "if the box is really heavy" you will be fine.

I have also used the dry sugar method of feeding last year and it worked very well.

I'll probably leave honey for them this year.
 

MuswellMetro 

Queen Bee
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
6,522
Reaction score
24
Location
London N10
Hive Type
14x12
Most people I know say about 40lbs. If you go with the "if the box is really heavy" you will be fine.

I have also used the dry sugar method of feeding last year and it worked very well.

I'll probably leave honey for them this year.

100lb totla weight of 14x12 hive so 60lb-50lbs of stores in london mirco climate, plus fondant in jan-march
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top