I know many beekeepers who feed their bees sugar syrup in the fall and stop feeding after the first frost.
I don’t have hard and fast rules. However, it’s my hope — and that’s the perfect word for everything I do with my bees. I hope. All I do is hope. It’s my hope that I’ll be done feeding my bees this weekend.
I don’t stop feeding by the first frost, but I try to have all my feeding done by the first frost because the bees don’t take down much syrup once the temperatures shift into the frosty zone, and I don’t want to feed the bees so late in the year that they don’t have time to evaporate and cap the syrup before winter. I’ve left hives with open frames of syrup going into winter and the moisture and mould that results is not always good for the bees. So even though no feeding after first frost isn’t a rule for me, I’d rather be done messing with syrup by mid-October at the latest.
I might also try harvesting honey in the spring instead of the summer and fall. That way, if I feed the bees, I only have to feed them in the spring.
But the main reason I wrote this post was as an excuse to post the macro photos of frost on leaves of grass. (Click them to view them in greater detail.) It almost looks like granules of salt, not frost.