When to Start Syrup Feed

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New Bee
Jun 21, 2009
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How early in the year can you start to feed syrup and what concentration of sugar?

Appreciate any advice.


P.S. I'm in London if it makes a difference.
you should not feed syrup this time of year, feed fondant, if you feed syrup they will store it and mix it with honey,plus its too cold to feed syrup.


Popped some fondant over the brood today.

Just wondered when I should consider start on the Syrup. Wanted to be ready :)

Much appreciated.
I think that 8LGM was thinking about spring stimulative feeding with a drop of 1:1 syrup. :)
Stimulative feeding has to be considered in the context of the forecasts and seasonal trends. As it is used to promote brooding, there is little point before brooding gets going again. You can finish up with a strong colony with no stores and have to feed heavily for weeks before the first good flow.

Another point is that if the space is not there or the hive is not insulated adequately (a la polyhive) there may not be enough space for brood, especially if they are taking fondant at the expense of making space by consuming honey from comb (and then feeding on syrup). I would be waiting and checking to see the state of the stores before feeding extra. Scoring the capped comb would be the first choice if laying space is an issue. They may also need protein for the larvae as well. It is difficult to slow them down once a lot of brood is present, or you may have a lot of dead brood and the problems with those in the hive.

With just one colony (and only into your first full season?) I would give it a miss until much closer to the flow or even wait until more experienced. Don't try to run before you can walk is my advice.

Regards, RAB
For a hungry colony I would personally prefer syrup rather than fondant wherever possible. They should take syrup okay from beginning of March, perhaps even earlier if warm enough. Thick syrup shouldn't have the same stimulative effect as thin syrup. Stimulating brood rearing is all very well if you are on the ball and don't let the extra mouths starve the whole colony, and you are prepared for earlier swarm control, i.e. even early April.

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