Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: When to feed.  (Read 446 times)

Offline mvanek

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Gender: Female
When to feed.
« on: February 11, 2012, 04:31:00 PM »
This is only my second winter trying to overwinter bees and I want to make sure I get things right, especially with this strange warm weather we are having.  I was able to take a peek under the covers today, though I didn't open up completely so as not to disturb too much.  The bees looked healthy so far, though they were at the top of the hive (2 deeps).   :)  It looked like there was plenty of capped honey across the entire top box and the bees were moving freely.  I have one russian hive and one carniolan hive.  

I am taking a very "hands-off" approach with my bees as I just love having them in the yard and I know how much honeybees are struggling; honey for me is secondary.  With that said, I do want to make sure my bees don't starve.  How do I know if I *need* to feed to make sure they make it, when I don't want to feed unless I have to?  

Thank you,
Melissa

Offline FRAMEshift

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
Re: When to feed.
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 04:46:44 PM »
Sounds like you are doing everything right.  Check periodically to make sure they have not used up all their stores.  The rate of consumption will go up dramatically when they start to raise brood.  When it's this cold, all you can feed is dry sugar or fondant.  Sugar syrup introduces too much moisture into the hive and also stimulates the bees to produce brood prematurely.  So really, other than occasionally checking for stores and adding dry sugar when necessary, you don't need to do anything.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline mvanek

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Gender: Female
Re: When to feed.
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 06:16:53 PM »
Thank you.