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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Friday, August 14, 2015

Hive Light On Winter Stores?

Mass feeding in late summer is easy. Three one gallon feeder pails right on the frames.

Three one gallon feeder pails covered with a deep. In late summer the bees will empty the three pails in about five days.
This time of year a beekeeper needs to check the hive for winter stores. If the colony had swarmed earlier in the summer, the hive might have missed the nectar flow and need some feeding. Waiting to feed later in the fall does have some pitfalls. If it cools off, the bees won't take the feed very well. Feeding spurs brood production. Normally, it is best to get the brood production to stop by late October. By feeding late, there may be brood in a colony past Thanksgiving. Having brood in a colony late, increases food consumption and colonies can starve easier in late winter.
 Right now the top brood box on a hive should pretty much be full of honey. If your colony does not have a full box of honey, feeding should start now. Don't wait to feed. Remove your supers.
 The bees will take feed very well right now. I would move full frames of honey to the outside of the top box and empty frames to the center. The bees will fill up the center frames easier that way. Feed heavy syrup 2:1 sugar and water or feed ProSweet bee feed.
  On the other hand, if your hive swarmed and all of your brood area is full of honey. You may need to extract out a few of the frames in the bottom box so the queen has room to lay.