Feeding the Bees


 Feeding Bees

Early spring is a great time to feed our bees. We had a warm day last Sunday and we took advantage of the weather to check our hive and make sure the bees made it through the winter. We were out and about that day boiling down our maple sap into syrup and saw one or two bees foraging around the yard. We knew if they were active enough to fly away from the hive that it would be safe to open the hive without lowering the temperature too much.  

Bees keep the hive a constant temperature throughout the winter by clustering around the queen and using combined body heat to keep things warm.  

Early spring is a good time to feed our bees because their honey stores are at an all time low. And while the bees are active, flowers are in short supply this time of year. Supplementing their food is a good way to ensure that they will make it until the first blooms appear.  

There are many ways to feed bees. When we first started our hive we fed the bees a simple syrup of sugar and water fed through an inverted mason jar feeder that attaches through the front of the hive opening. We did this through their first spring and well into summer until we noticed that the jar was no longer being drained. This meant that our new colony was making enough honey to support themselves without our help.  

This type of feeding is only useful if the temperatures are above freezing.  

3/25/2013 5:57:46 PM

Thanks Nebraska Dave! You're right! The bees are having a hard time. Zach does most of the beekeeping. I'm "the helper" for the most part. We hope to have a good honey crop this fall!!!

3/23/2013 2:08:06 PM

Jennifer, I'm glad your bees made it through the winter. I've heard that bees are in serious jeopardy on a world wide scale. Then there's the threat of the African killer bees marching northward. I really would like to have some bees near my big garden (Terra Nova Gardens) but I don't really want to take care of them. So far I haven't found any bee keepers that would be willing to take care of a hive on my property. Have a great bee keeper day.

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