We added dry sugar to all four of our hives eight days ago, following what some call the Mountain Camp Method of feeding. I took a quick peek under the hood of two of the hives today to see how well they’re taking to the sugar and this is what I saw:



The Mountain Camp Method seems to work.

Next time around I won’t bother misting the newspaper or the sugar. There appears to be enough moisture already in the hive to soften up the newspaper and harden the sugar. I would add a sprinkle of dry pollen supplement, too, but probably not until later in the winter when the extra pollen helps get the queen laying for the spring build up. The bees in the next photo appear to have dug right up through the centre of the sugar:

Here’s a wider shot:

And a closer shot:

Hopefully that’ll keep them happy at least until February when I give them some pollen supplement.

P.S.: The video is short and the photos aren’t sharp because, even though it was a mild day at 7°C (45°F), I didn’t want to open the hives for long. I was in and out in less than a minute for both hives.

P.S. (Feb. 16/12): Check out Dry Sugar Check up and Pollen Patties to see how the hives were doing 46 days after being given the dry sugar.

9 Responses to “Dry Sugar Feeding Update”

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  1. Emily Heath says:

    They look like a lovely strong colony. Nice to see them doing so well.

    • Phillip says:

      I’m amazed that the bees manage to survive through our winter at all. The seasons in Newfoundland are usually delayed by about two or three months. Our winter weather (heavy snow fall) is just beginning to pick up. The snow doesn’t usually clear away until sometime in April or even May.

  2. Jeff says:

    Funny, winter is just really starting for us and I waiting for spring already.

  3. Greg says:

    I look forward to more video or photos in Feb to see how much sugar the bees have eaten. That sure is a healthy cluster of Italian Bees. My clusters are much smaller with our Carniolans.

  4. Jane says:

    I like the idea of the dried sugar. Just to get it right!! I place moist newspaper on top of the frames and then the sugar directly on top. I have not openend my hives yet as we are still at -22 When you put the sugar in, were your bees clustered on top or still deep in the frames?

    Thank you Jane

    • Phillip says:

      Some of our bees were clustering over the top bars, but most of them were still on the actual frames in the top box when we added the sugar. After eating some of the sugar for a about week, the bees in most of the hives appear to have gone back down to the bottom box. I’m not sure why.

      If I add dry sugar to the hives again, I won’t bother moistening the newspaper. Normal condensation in the hive seems to soften it up.

  5. Larry S says:

    I have a hive in Pahrump NV that I put a sheet of news paper on the top bars and then poured dry sugas on it.
    A week later when I was back out to Pahrump, the bees had chued the middle of the paper out and the sugar had all fallen through to the ground (I have screened bottom boards)I guess they didn’t like the current news:( and there was’nt enough moisture to harden the sugas.
    Humidity here is very low.

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