Messy Dry Sugar Feeding

I dumped 4 kgs (8.8 lbs) of dry sugar in one of my farm hives on the way to work today. I was in a hurry, which is not a good thing to be in while beekeeping. I should have cut the newspaper precisely before I arrived instead of roughly tearing a piece of it there on the spot and quickly placing it over the top bars. I should have put something in the middle of the paper, like the roll of duct tape I had on me, to make it easier to create a hole for the bees crawl through too.

I wouldn’t call this the greatest example of the dry sugar method of feeding (a.k.a. the Mountain Camp Method), but I’ve seen (and done) worse. It could have been windy and the newspaper could have blown away. It could have been warmer and the bees could have been flying in my face. The bees could have poured out over the sides of the hive and I would have had to scoop them up with my hands and flick them back in the hive — if they weren’t flying in my face. So maybe it wasn’t pretty, but I got ‘er done.

Other topics touched on in the video: hive wrap, insulation, problems with tape and hive wrap, the importance of paint and wax-coated components, the possibility of mice in the hive, top entrances shelters and bottom entrance shelters.

00:00 — Dead bees from cleansing flights.

00:40 — Top and bottom entrance shelters.

01:25 — Review of the feeding plan for today.

01:40 — Preparing the hive.

02:55 — Opening the hive.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this many bees clustering over the top bars at this time of year. (January 21st, 2022, the east cost of Newfoundland.)

04:05 — Moisture leaking into hive.

06:50 — Bees clustering high.

07:10 — Ventilation questions.

08:00 — Well-fed bees.

08:20 — Dead bees in snow.

I would normally be concerned about starvation after seeing all the bees spread out over the top bars, but that may be a result of warmth from the silver bubble hive wrap. It kind of makes me think the bees might be fine without the wrap until early spring when I want the brood nest to expand. I think I’d rather see them clustered now — and eating less honey — than spread out over all the frames in this way.

I could have dropped in some extra pollen for the bees too, but I forgot.

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