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Author Topic: Cold Sugar Syrup Feeding  (Read 485 times)
Bush_84
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« on: February 16, 2014, 10:26:43 PM »

So I have read quite a bit about winter/spring feeding.  Right now I am using 10 bags of dry sugar with success, but my thoughts are thinking to the future.  All of my hives will need sugar syrup feeding as soon as possible.  I know that bees won't take syrup when it's cold.  Then when the temps fluctuate you get syrup leaking from jars.  I know that this time of year frame feeders can be unreliable.  Baggie feeders are just kind of a pain.  So I am thinking about how to make inverted jars work.  So here is what I was thinking about.  Let me know what you think.

Inverted jar over the inner cover surrounded by 5 watt Christmas lights.  I have small strings of Christmas lights that hold 5 watt bulbs.  If I wrap the jar with a string of lights won't it keep the jar warm and the temp constant?  I figure that this would allow the bees to take it down consistently.  I know that I need to wait until bees get consistent flying weather, but it's something that can be tried when the temps still get low at night.  Or is this all just making mountains out of mole hills and should I just put in a frame feeder?
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Variable
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 04:29:30 AM »

I have been thinking about a top feeder like what Don the Fat Bee Man is showing on his site now...  but with a heating pad under the milk jug.... A small one for an aquarium or reptile tank. Some of the ones at PetCo have a thermostat and built in shutoff if low water (feed) is detected. I read somewhere that if the nights are below 60 they will not pull the feed down... maybe set the thermostat on the heater at 75 or something. Still does not help them dump the moisture out of the sugar water to help keep it from fermenting... Will they even be able to evaporate off the excess water at low temps?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 10:23:39 AM »

What is your purpose in feeding them?  Syrup in cold weather is always a bad idea unless they are going to starve anyway, even if you can get it warm enough for them to take it.  Moisture is the problem as Variable pointed out.
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Michael Bush
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capt44
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 10:36:44 AM »

I am in Central Arkansas.
Every year around the middle of February I put 1-1 sugar syrup with pro health in my hives.
This time of year I use the baggie system.
I also put a Protein Patty in every hive.
I do this to stimulate the queen into laying for around the 2nd week in March I do splits and start grafting larva.
The temperatures are in the mid 50's to the upper 60's right now.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
Bush_84
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 05:23:56 PM »

My purpose is I have a few light hives that may be subsiding on dry sugar alone.  I don't have any frames full of honey to give them.  So I'm trying to figure out ways of getting feed into them once it warms up.  I may be making mountains out of mole hills however.  The more I think about it the more I think that if I am waiting until we get flying weather most days then my frame feeders would work just fine. 
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chux
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 06:29:03 PM »

What is the difference between he dry sugar you are using, and sugar water? Water. More of it. In my newbee brain, I would just put the sugar in and spray it a bit to give them water to help proces it. Or maybe a candyboard? If it is too cold to feed syrup without it freezing, i wouldnt want to put it out, even if you can heat it. You dont need ice in the comb or hive top. Just my humble thoughts.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 07:15:00 PM »

Everybody seems to be overlooking the fact that I am talking about when it warms up a little.
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GSF
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 08:46:21 PM »

 Hey Bush84..,

If I were you I'd wait until it warmed up a little.


 lau

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capt44
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 09:12:34 PM »

Ok you say when it warms up.
That is why I went to sugar syrup a couple of days ago, it is in the 60's and today hit 78 degrees F.
I add a protein patty also, I'm trying to stimulate the queen into a laying mode.
When it turns cold I put fondant candy boards on the hives.
I am now changing to 1-1 sugar syrup.
I will not start my splits and grafting until sometime in the first couple of weeks in March here.
Ya'lls cold way up yonder so I'd hold off with liquid feed for now.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
jayj200
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 10:51:02 AM »

insulate and ventilate talk to a heating guy just to get ideas

leaving water vapor inside the hive is not a good idea, and can devastate a colony slowly!

what hapens when your feet sweat in winter? ya get cold!

jay
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