By now you must of heard that you need to feed, feed, feed a million times and if not you need to feed, feed, feed; whether you are receiving a NUC or Package of bees it critical that you begin by feeding, feeding, feeding. There are two reason why one feeds, first in the spring to stimulate feeding and in the summer or fall when the hive is low on food.
Feeding is not simply mixing sugar and water together. Depending on the time of year the blend of sugar and water varies.
- In the Spring from March to May, a one to one mixture of sugar to water is used to stimulate the production of brood.
- In the Summer from June to August, a one to one mixture of sugar to water is used when there is a light or no nectar flow.
- In the Fall from Sept to Nov, a two to one ration of sugar to water is used in event that the hive is low on stores.
When making syrup, the ratio is measured in pounds. Remember never to cook the sugar water because it is easy to burn. Simply bring the water to a boil and let it sit. After the water starts cooling mix in the proper portion of sugar until it dissolves.
When we make syrup, we add Pro Health a feeding stimulant made with Spearmint, Lemongrass Oil and Thymol to entice the bees to drink it faster while aiding in their digestive health. This mixture helps prevent syrup fermentation and can be sprayed on undrawn frames to encourage the bees to quickly accept and draw out the frames. It can also be used to calm the bees instead of smoking. While this is not a miracle drug it has huge advantages when used regularly.
No matter whether you use syrup in the Spring, Summer or Fall remember to always clean your feeders after use to prevent the growth of bacteria. Or your bees could end up like this guy.