What’s up in the hives this month?
The colony’s growth is diminishing in numbers and the honey flow is coming to an end. When bees stop producing honey, remove all honey supers (except one)! Remember to leave one full super of honey for the bees. This is what they will live on during the winter. No more chance of swarming and the honey dearth will appear. Weaker colonies may get robbed of their honey so entrance reducers should be placed on weak colonies or move weak colonies to another bee yard.
Feeding Bees and Sugar Syrup Recipes
Sugar syrup can be made in three different formulas, each has its own special purpose and is used at a specific time of the year which I’ll describe below. Warning you must become bakers at this point. Using cups won’t work so well. Think in pounds and ounces. We recommend using white granulated cane sugar if possible. Avoid brown sugar, beat sugar, powder sugar, or honey. Remember the beekeeper code; never feed the bees while honey supers are in place.
1:2 This formula is a very light syrup, it is made using one part of sugar to two parts of water. For example, 1 pound sugar to 2 pounds of water. It is used in late winter and early spring to stimulate the queen to lay eggs and helps the bees draw more comb.
1:1This formula is a medium weight syrup, it is made using one part of sugar to one part of water. For example, 1 pound of sugar to 1 pound of water. It is used as an artificial nectar to feed brood larvae in spring and summer or to get the bees to draw more comb.
2:1 This formula is a very heavy syrup, it is made using two parts of sugar to one part of water. For example, 2 pound of sugar to 1 pound of water. This is used in fall or early winter as a honey substitute to feed your bees. The bees should add weight and will use these stores throughout winter. Ideal weight for a typical winter bee hive is about 120-140 pounds.
Making the syrup: All three syrups are simple to make. Sometimes we call them simple syrups. Bring proper weight of water to a boil then reduce heat to low. Add proper weight of sugar and stir until dissolved. Never cook your sugar. In fact suggesting boiling is a bad idea. Just get all the sugar dissolved . Let cool and then feed. If you’re adding a feeding stimulant or essential oils add the proper amount as suggested on the bottle, mix well and watch your bees enjoy.
Feeding our bees: from this article (please note that not all our beekeepers believe in feeding sugar water)