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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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fall Feeding

Three feeder pails on a hive. The empty deep surrounding them protects the hive from robbers. The inner and Tele covers are placed on top of this box. Feeding like this is only done in late summer.

Three feeder pails on a hive

Hive Top Feeder, The bees come up from below through the center openings. They travel down to the syrup level and feed. They then transfer it to the hive.

The inner and Tele covers are placed on top of the feeder.
I have a colony that is noticeably light on food stores. I can not depend that a nectar flow will come along and save my bacon. Now is the time to feed a colony that is not up to winter weight and needs quite a bit of food to get there.
 My options are sugar water or ProSweet®. Both will work but my option with ProSweet® is that the bees don't have to convert it to honey. The bees put it in the cells and they are done. Sugar water on the other hand, the bees have to convert it to honey and dehumidify it. Taking time and energy.
ProSweet® doesn't ferment and sugar water may.
 Feeders are another factor. I want to get as much food in the colony as fast as I can. If it cools off the bees won't take the feed as well as if the temperatures are in the 80's.
Putting on multiple feeder pails works. This time of year the pails can be put directly on top of the frames. I can fit 3 feeder pails on top of the hive this way.
 The other feeder I use only in the fall is a hive top feeder. This feeder holds 4 gallons of feed. It is placed on top of the top brood box. The inner cover and Tele cover go on top of the feeder.
 Hives this time of year have large populations and can drain a feeder in three to four days. So as I feed,  checking the feeder every four days helps keep the feeder full. This type of feeding can really put the weight on the colony to help assure proper hive food stores heading into winter.