Our weather right now has been on the cool side. Weather sometimes gets in a trend. The trend at the moment is on the cool side. I have looked at long term fall weather forecasts. The forecast is for cooler weather, with colder weather as we move into late October and November.
When it gets cool, the bees do not take syrup very well. If your hive needs more winter stores, feeding NOW is the best strategy.
For winter stores the top brood box needs 8 full frames of honey and one partially filled frame (located in the center of the top box). The brood box under the top box should have four frames of honey, two frames on either side of the box.
When we feed we need to feed fast and hard. Feeding needs to get done as fast as we can do it. The longer we feed the more mites can be produced. So it is in our best interest to get feeding done.
I call it feeding hard. Getting as much syrup as we can in the fastest time frame. Don't feed with one feeder pail, use three feeder pails. There is 40,000 bees in the hive and they can empty feeder pails in a couple days. A hive top feeder may be a better choice. A hive top feeder holds four gallons. The screened access the bees use to get the syrup, lets hundreds of bees feed at the same time. You don't need a hive top feeder for every hive. Feed one hive, then move it to another hive.
The syrup being fed is 2:1 sugar syrup, two parts sugar to one part water. The bees then have to dehumidify the syrup and turn it to honey. This takes time. When it is cold, sometimes it is hard for the bees to finish the syrup.
ProSweet in my opinion is the best feed. The bees don't have to convert it to honey. The bees put it in the comb and they are done with it. Nature's Nectar LLC offers the best deal on ProSweet.
|Fall feeding using three pails, resting directly on the frames. It is warm out and we do not have to put the pails on the inner cover.|
|You can see the three pails fit. The bees will empty the pails in about 3-4 days.|