During winter, honey bees will eat honey they stored earlier in the year. Typically, bees can make much more honey than they will need to eat during the winter. But, under certain circumstances, bees can run out of honey to eat during the winter. Most commonly, it is the beekeeper who over harvested the honey the bees made, either on purpose or by accident. Another possibility is the weather was so poor during the nectar flow, bees were unable to make extra honey.
Either way, it is sometimes necessary to feed your bees during the winter. The rest of the year while it's warm, you can feed bees sugar syrup, but during the cold winter, feeding sugar syrup isn't a good idea.
5 reasons why you don't want to feed bee syrup during the winter
The change in temperatures between night and day can cause syrup containers to drip cold syrup onto the bees.
Syrup has more water in it than honey and bees will burn excess energy trying to remove the additional water.
Sugar syrup will be very cold during the winter, and if the syrup is too cold, the bees will be unable to drink it.
Syrup can mold easily if the bees do not consume it quickly, rendering the syrup undrinkable for the bees.
Cold weather may keep the bees from getting to the syrup, leaving an open window for other insects to eat the syrup.
If it is necessary to feed your bees during the winter, a better alternative is to feed them some type of thick sugar. This can either be in the form of granulated sugar, poured over the top of the inner cover or frames using the "Mountain Camp" method. This is the method we use for our bees as it requires very little hands-on time to prepare.
Another method that requires more preparation and time, for not much benefit, is to feed the bees fondant. Fondant is a cooked sugar that becomes thick and solid when a mixture of sugar and water is cooked to 248°F.
A gift guide for beekeepers with great gifts under $25 that work for beginner beekeepers and veterans alike. You can’t go wrong with any of these gifts if you are looking for a great present for your beekeeper.
Winter feeding is sometimes necessary, but sometimes it can do more harm than good. If you want to feed your bees during winter, it’s best to do it the right way.
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Ever want to know what your bees are doing each month? Want to know what beekeepers are supposed to be doing each month to help their bees? Watch our monthly video or better yet, subscribe to our Bees & Beekeepers newsletter to get a more in depth glimpse into your bees each month.
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Pine is popular because it is inexpensive, grows quickly and is easy to cut. Cypress is popular as it grows slowly in wet areas, creating a denser wood with tight growth rings and increased durability. The tight rings and the naturally present preservative cypressene minimizes decay, allowing cypress bee hives to last longer than any beekeeper does. Even "new growth" cypress from todays trees carry the same natural preservatives as when cypress trees were first harvested.
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The average pollen grain is 25 microns wide, much smaller than the smallest filter a non-commercial beekeeper will have. Filters designed for straining honey for hobby beekeepers come in three sizes, 200 microns, 400 microns and 600 microns. These numbers represent the size of the tiny holes in each filter.
We don't think much about honeybees during the winter. Well they are alive and well, just in a sort of hibernation inside their hive. For the bees it is a race against time and cold weather if they are going to survive the winter.
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As of September 2015, honey cannot be certified organic by the USDA. Any certified honey sold in the United States is imported from other countries and certified organic by that country. A US beekeeper can have non-certified organic honey that is raised organically, but it is nearly impossible to actually produce. Read on to know why.
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Video Short: Installing bees into new hives on a beautiful Birmingham, Alabama day.
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Make sugar syrup for your bees using these easy recipes for 1 gallon or 5 gallons at a time. This guide is for making thin, 1:1 sugar syrup quickly and easily without a mess. Find out how much sugar to feed your bees to equal 1 frame of capped "honey".
When you have a 2 or more hives to feed, we find it easier to make about 5 gallons of syrup at a time, rather than 1 gallon at a time. To do this, we measured out the fill marks on the inside of 2 (5-gallon) buckets. Each bucket has a fill line for the water and a separate fill line for the sugar.
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Over 800 beekeepers came to the ACES meeting organized by Auburn University today. Talk of the day goes to Roy Smith from the Florida panhandle. He explained the honey he considered the "Cadillac of honey", among his 30+ other varietals.