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Author Topic: Sugar vs syrup  (Read 1250 times)
MeadFarm
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« on: December 10, 2010, 10:39:29 PM »

I've been reading books and posts about winter feeding. I have a couple of light hives and have been seeing some fighting in front of several of my hives - presumably robbers from hungry hives - no major frenzy but fighting none-the-less.
I have done some feeding of 2:1 syrup but I'm curious about feeding plain sugar.
Does climate play a role in what you feed? Things have been fairly temperate here in the SF bay area (50's) but we have also recently seen frost.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 12:14:30 AM »

  the thing to remember about granulated sugar is -they will eat it but --they wont store it in the comb-that means they wont build up on it-
 keep the entrances reduced to minimum to help with the robing-at your local you should have lots of pollen coming in-
and they should be rearing brood all year-they burn up the stores fast that way-RDY-B
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2010, 12:19:04 AM »

It is good starvation food if they are light and it's too cold or just too late to feed syrup.  Late feeding of syrup can raise humidity levels dangerously.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
MeadFarm
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 12:40:53 AM »

The entrances are reduced and the fighting is minimal but present. The hives are well ventilated, screened bottom boards, vented inner covers, and even empty top feeders that catch any condensation. I guess I'll stay the course with 2:1 and see if the unsavory activity subsides.
I am happy to see them out and about though - pretty nice for two weeks before Xmas!
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Hemlock
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2010, 07:41:20 AM »

I have seen where the bees will store the sugar in cells as long as it stays granular in form.  I don't know if they can still do this as the hive moisture melts the sugar into a single clump though. 



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MeadFarm
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 10:35:03 AM »

Wild!
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rdy-b
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 02:38:49 PM »

  yes wid indeed -that is not the norm -usaly if it is warm enough for them to break cluster -
they through it out the front door-how many frames where packed with sugar- cool-RDY-B
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Hemlock
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 05:10:19 PM »

I checked my notes from last February.  They filled the brood area of 1 frame, both sides, where they where clustering.

The colony was dying out from to small a population to produce enough heat.  So essentially they filled the whole area the cluster covered with sugar.  A few days, around that time, would have been warm enough for the bees to move around the hive but not fly. 
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rdy-b
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2010, 05:44:46 PM »

  so I wonder if it got consumed or did it get cleaned out from the cells -did the colony survive -
 even crystalized honey gets reconsituted by the bees-if it where only as simple as dumping in granulated sugar to increase reserves -we would have it made easy- cool RDY-B
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Hemlock
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2010, 06:46:29 PM »

Well...technically they survived.  But i cheated & brought them inside. (Story here)

I couldn't find any notes that said if i left the sugar comb in the hive.  I know i never put it BACK in the hive later in spring so I think i left it in.  Which is to say they did consume the sugar in the cells before brood-up began.

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rdy-b
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2010, 08:26:47 PM »

  read the story very nice  Smiley hard to say about that because they went back on sryup-did they ever learn to use the entrance- Smiley RDY-B
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Hemlock
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2010, 08:59:12 PM »

Good point.  Now that i think of it they had an open SBB.  As i recall there was a lot of debris on the floor to clean up.  The sugar could have gone there.  I didn't think to watch for it at the time. 

Yes they found the entrance but it took awhile.  They made it through the spring (with the help of 2 frames of brood from another colony) and were requeened.  Very strong now.  Not something i'll do again though.

When i first added the sugar i did it wrong and placed it on top of the inner cover instead of on newspaper directly above the frames.  They had a longer walk to get to it.  Hard to do when it's cold.  I know better now.
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