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Author Topic: Dry sugar poured in comb for winter?  (Read 2438 times)
Super Bee
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Posts: 1681

Location: North Carolina

« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2011, 08:50:39 AM »

All the bees sitting absolutely still and all facing upwards on the comb.

Yup, exactly what they do!

Ok, this is interesting.  I saw this behavior in August, in the middle of the dearth.  It was a small colony, maybe 3 or 4 frames.  They had just about run out of food.  It seems they had stopped trying to forage and were trying to conserve energy.  All lined up in rows with heads pointed skyward on the comb.  They were one or two bees deep, not a real cluster.  It was very distinctive behavior and I've only seen it that one time.

I'd love to hear a detailed description of anything you remember about how your bees acted.  From what you said, it sounds like they were low on food too.

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Galactic Bee
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Posts: 3198

Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.

« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2011, 12:24:02 PM »

 From what you said, it sounds like they were low on food too.

Maybe a bit low, but I think it was more of a winter conservation mode without cluster necessary.  The observation hive, with only 2 comb frames, was pretty much always a bit low.  Probably the same in the summer.

Super Bee
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Posts: 1647

Location: Southeast Tennessee

Gamecock fan in UT land.

« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2011, 07:21:00 PM »

VolunteerK9 your way south of me.  What in the world are you doing feeding dry sugar in mid Fedruary?  You should be okay to put syrup back on by then because they gearing up for spring buildup.  Give it a try you may be surprised how putting a gallon of sugar syrup on will work much better then the dry stuff.   

Too risky for me. The way the weather was fluctuating I didnt want to chance syrup being pushed out on top of the cluster.
T Beek
Super Bee
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Posts: 2775

Location: USA, N/W Wisconsin

« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2011, 06:49:45 AM »

Bees will take syrup when temps are still in the 30's.  We barely hit fifty yesterday.  When served inside bee heat will keep it warm and palatable for them.

Once it gets below freezing 'consistently' I'll then dump dry sugar on top of inner cover before closing up hives for winter.  

I only use dry sugar as a 'just in case' method.  Just in case they run out of stored honey and/or syrup before Spring comes on.


"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
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