There are times where you need to put forth the attention on the feeding of your bees. Neglecting the needs of your bees during different times throughout the year will cause the bees to seek for other food sources for the sake of survival. And when this happens, you’re the one who will carry all the loss cause by the swarming of your starving bees.
When to feed
During the year there are two seasons where sufficient feeding should be assured. First is in the autumn after you have harvested honey crops from the hives. Make sure that you have enough honey left for storage of food through the winter. Additional feeding may be required during winter time.
The second is in early spring after the winter where the bees might be short of honey although you felt that you have left enough honey for the bees. Their honey storage is simply at a critical level. Additional feeding should be provided.
What to feed
Naturally, honey is the main food of bees. Always bear in mind that you should left a sufficient amount of honey every time you harvest the honey from the hives. On the other hand there are occasions where the bees need extra feeding, especially if you would like to stimulate a colony to produce more bees.
Syrup is the alternate food of choice in beekeeping. The syrup can be easily made in a large quantity from granulated sugar diluted in the same portion of water (1 : 1 ratio). Since syrup is tasteless and its presence is probably not detected by the bees, you can add a little honey to the syrup to attract the bees to take the syrup. If you want to use syrup to extra feed your bees to stimulate colony growth a portion of sugar and water with a ratio of 1 : 2 will be sufficient.
How to feed
You can feed your bees from outside the hive as well as from inside the hive. You can make use of a bee syrup feeder which can be placed on top of the hive, hence called a hive-top feeder. A hive top feeder is a specially designed hive box or an up side down pail with some holes. As a matter of fact you can choose from various types of feeders that are available in the market. To mention a view:
- The Boardman style entrance feeder
- One Gallon Pail Feeder Plus a Stainless Steel Screen Lid
- The 10-Frame Plastic Top Feeder
- The 8-Frame Wilde’s Wooden Top Feeder
- The Division Board Feeder
- Modified Entrance Feeder with an extended feeder into the entrance
Uno Birawan is a writer and wrote a lot about beekeeping. You can find a brief Beekeeping Book Review here or by visiting his site www.TheHoneyBeekeeper.com
Photo Credit: Earl53
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