3 responses

  1. Jeff
    September 4, 2010

    try to get some straw/dray grass to put in the corelle dish. This provides some substrate for the bees to get on. I was reading about it for people who use barrels for feeding large numbers of hives in the spring.

    something to consider to minimize bee drowning.

  2. Arnica
    September 5, 2010

    Just curious why you need a feeder at all?

    • Phillip
      September 7, 2010

      If the bees are to survive the winter (being stuck in a hive for about 6 months), they need to be full strength colonies with plenty of food to eat. Feeding them sugar syrup stimulates brood rearing, which increases the population of the colony, which in turn provides more worker bees to build comb (to expand the hive) and more foragers to bring in pollen and nectar for creating honey (honey is their energy food for the winter; pollen is their protein). So we feed them to make sure they’re ready for the winter. Bees are fed again in late winter or early spring because they’ve often consumed most of their winter food by then and would starve if they weren’t fed (spring flowers come late in Newfoundland). Early spring feeding also stimulates brood rearing to compensate for bees that die over the winter.

      We don’t feed the bees when we plan to harvest their honey.

      Our colonies were only started about 50 days ago from nuc boxes. That means each colony was about 13 times smaller than they would need to be to survive the winter. We didn’t have to feed them. They may have brought in enough pollen and nectar on their own. But it’s better not to chance it with young colonies.

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