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Author Topic: When should I use a feeder?  (Read 1672 times)
Yarra_Valley
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« on: February 21, 2005, 08:18:11 AM »

Hi everyone

If I have a weak hive, should I feed sugar syrup at the begining of the season only  when there isn't a significant nectar flow, or should I feed it thoughout the season to supplement the nectar available and help the hive prosper?

Thanks guys Cheesy
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Rich V
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2005, 09:18:36 AM »

Feed the sugar syrup in spring and fall when there are no nectar flows. They will not take it when they have the real stuff. Thats when you can remove it.

Rich V
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Jay
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2005, 09:50:02 AM »

The two times of year typically for feeding are spring and fall. Feeding in spring helps stimulate wax production and can also be used as a time for medication against nosema, with Fumidil in the syrup. Feeding pollen in the spring helps promote brood production, since pollen is the primary food fed to larvae.

Here is a general rule of thumb for starting and stopping sugar syrup feedings taken directly from Howland Blackiston's book:

Continue feeding the bees sugar syrup in the spring until they stop taking the syrup--or until it is evident that the bees are bringing in nectar. The exception is for a newly established colony-- in which case you should continue feeding syrup until all of the frames of foundation are drawn into comb, or until the bees stop feeding on the syrup-- whichever comes first. In the autumn, continue feeding until they stop taking  the syrup, or the daytime temperature drops to less than 40 degrees F (4 deg C)-- whichever coems first.
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2005, 11:58:06 AM »

You can feed them as much as you want as long as they continue to take it.

If they are weak,  make sure they have syrup available, depending on the weather, there can be long periods of no nectar in the summer.

Use your own judgement, if you end up feeding them for a long time, don't plan on taking any honey from them.  It is not real, but sugar honey....
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