This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


As we head into Sept, now is the time to make sure enough there is enough food in the hive. Right now the heaviest box of honey should be the top box. The top box should have at least 8 full frames of honey. The next box below this should have four full frames of honey. If the hive doesn't have this amount of honey feeding should be started immediately.
Waiting to feed can cause a couple problems:
  • As the weather starts to cool the bees become more reluctant to take feed. The risk of not having enough food in the hive becomes greater.
  • Whenever bees are fed, it is considered a nectar flow. A nectar flow encourages the queen to lay eggs and make more brood. Feeding late will keep brood in the hive for another month after the feeding stops. If a beekeeper feeds into mid October to early November, brood may be in the hive into December. The colony will have to eat more of their winter stores to feed the brood and keep it warm. This increased honey consumption can lead to colony starvation in late winter.
 The bees right now will take the honey down quickly because there are many more bees in the hive than when most of us were feeding in the spring. Feeder pails will be emptied in about 3 days because of the higher bee numbers.
 Fall feeding is heavy syrup or 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, or feed ProSweet syrup. Feeding heavy syrup the bees have to take it down and dehumidify to turn it into honey. The advantage of ProSweet is the bees don't have to turn it into honey, the bees take it down and store it in the frames and they are done.
  Adding ProHealth or some other equivalent to any syrup will also help keep down Nosema spores in the bees gut. Nosema is a stress disease that bees can get in late winter and can kill a colony. It is recommended that all colonies are fed two gallons of treated syrup in the fall.