Well, it’s like this Finski. I live in a continental climate which means we can get some wild temperature swings in November and even December. It’s a battle between the cold arctic air pushing down from Canada and the warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. When the gulf wins, the bees wake up rather you want them too or not! When they’re awake they fly and consume energy, lots of energy (honey/sugar).
If we have an extended warm spell, all that flying can take a toll on the food they’re suppose to have to get through winter. So I have a few options, I could break the boxes back open and add the feeders again but in November and December it’s going to be too cold at night for the syrup to be usable, so the feeders really can’t solve this problem. Then if you don’t get the feeders off before an arctic blast comes, you have a real mess.
Another option is throwing some honey balls on top of the bees. That does work well, even when there isn’t a festival to celebrate. X:X The honey balls don’t draw the robbers like syrup will. However it still requires you to open the hives and I seem to recall somebody in Finland saying that wasn’t a good idea in winter. :brian:
So finally there is open feeding. When the bees are flying in Nov or December at least a little open feed allows them to top off the stores so they’ll be re-filled before the cold sets in for good. Fast and easy with minimum intrusion to the bees. :)