Feeding Bees

Feeding bees is the way of supplementing a hive at several peak times in the year to enhance its viability. After removing the honey crop, it is very important that the bees have enough food to take them through the winter into spring, or else they will starve, which is one of the largest failures of a wintered hive.

Below are important facts about feeding bees.

For winter feeding, 1-2 sugar syrup should be fed early on for the bees to transform and seal off their hives in preparation for the winter. Note that bees require warmth to work.

For the fall feeding, bees should be fed a lot of sugar syrup within a short period of time to avoid the risk of stimulating a new brood, which is very possible if they are supplied with a small amount of syrup. Sugar is better than honey for bee feed. It is because there are few solids in sugars thus bees have few wastes to vent during cleaning flights. It is also possible to feed honey drippings but note that you should never use heated honey in any form.

Another safe option is to put the sugar syrup in a container with a top cover close to the hole on the inner cover. Your bees can access the syrup through the hole. Bees can use large amounts of syrup so check the level of the syrup regularly. At times when your hive begins to create honey, it is also possible to keep a few honeys for feeding during the winter and spring.

Note that in spring feeding, don’t overfeed the bees because then the queen may have nowhere to lie, which may lead to early swarming.