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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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why I have held off feeding

The colonies I have checked that were alive looked pretty good. A couple were low on food stores. I bolstered the light ones with frames of honey from a nearby dead out. This time of year feeding with syrup isn't recommended. Obviously, if a hive needs food and there is no other option then the syrup pail goes on. When a colony has very little food this time of year feed syrup.
The reason feeding now is not preferred, is the dicey weather that happens this time of year.
Feeding syrup kicks the hive into high gear. The syrup is a nectar flow and brood rearing will accelerate. If the weather turns cold like it is supposed to at the end of this coming week. The queen may lay a couple frames more of brood. With the cold weather, the cluster of bees may contract off some of the brood and the brood will get chilled and die. This can set back development of the colony for the spring build up.
With some luck there will be a good turn around on the weather front and the bees will be in good shape for May divides.