Still Feeding?

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honey 

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Hi everyone - another newbee question from me!

Are you still feeding your bees? When do you stop?

I was told to keep feeding til they stop taking it, but they are showing no signs of doing this! They are slowing up, but still getting through half a kilo of sugar made in to syrup each week in a rapid feeder. (Before this they were getting through the same amount in 3-4 days)

Although we're getting very cold & frosty nights atm here in Kent, the days are very bright & sunny & the bees are pretty active still. Not sure what to do!
 

rae 

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Half a kilo isn't a lot. We use contact feeders, and hungry bees will nail 5 kilos (5 litres) in 24 hours.

You're getting very close to the point where I wouldn't use syrup. We have -2 ~ -3 at night, and although the days are sunny (and the hives are in the sun), there is not a lot of activity now. Last week they were going mad for the ivy, this week it seems to be over. If they can't evaporate the syrup, it will give them the runs as it will go "off".

Have you hefted recently? If the hives are heavy, I'd stop with syrup. If the hives aren't heavy, I'd go for fondant, though it may be a bit warmer in Kent and you may have another week for syrup.
 

oliver90owner 

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Size of colony, weight of stores, frames drawn filled with stores (pollen and honey) and brood?

All will make a difference, as well as time and origin of the colony, the strain (of the queen ) and available forage in your area, as well as possible supercedure which may have taken place later in the season.

1/2kg of sugar could just about be a 'maintenance' supply for your bees, who knows without any more details.

When the bees no longer take the syrup, if the hive is already full, will be the time to remove it. They will then have a brood box (presumably?) full of stores for the colder winter months and with which to start spring brooding. Beware of starvation while spring brooding as an accelerated use of stores will obviously occur at that time.

Regards, RAB
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Honey.... really need more information. If you have been feeding blindly, then they may well be full to bursting.
 

Heather 

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And that syrup needs to be reduced by bees to be capped as store- too late now and the bees will get exhausted. Allow them to sort what they have- no more feeding...

If hive light in a few weeks- open quickly -slap fondant onto brood frames -shut quickly- go away.

See- ask 3 bee-keepers get 4 answers! :banghead:
 

Stiffy 

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Will be heftting mine at weekend and if light putting a slab of fondant on. Will check again around Christmas and if needed add some more fondant. Really depends on may factors as previously said.
Cheers
S

PS when they can get out still lots of pollen (ivey I guess) going into most hives.
 

Black Comb 

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Well from what it says in the books it's early to start thinking about fondant.

Mind you the books say they won't need feeding in July but they did.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Well from what it says in the books it's early to start thinking about fondant.

It's never to early,or to late to feed fondant....you can feed fondant and fondant only if you wish, at any time of year.
 

Hombre 

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Colonies in Poly Langstroth boxes taking Ambrosia syrup this afternoon. Slowly and with weir covers removed and grass in reservoir. Strong colonies still seem eager enough, but it's slow going.

Ambrosia is inverted sugar and can be taken at lower temperatures than standard sucrose syrup.

A super's gap between stores and bees is very discouraging to the bees at the moment, only the strong will persist until that space is removed.
 

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