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anniiee

NZBF Dry raw sugar or sugar syrup

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Hi everyone,

 

I've seen posts stating people feed using dry raw sugar. I wondered when you would use dry compared to using syrup? I've been giving mine 2:1 syrup but they aren't taking it the same as they were a few weeks ago, so wondered whether I should change?

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theres a few threads on this.

theres pro's and cons to both. dry sugar is harder for the bees to work. they don't pack dry sugar away like they do with syrup.

usually find that once nectar starts coming in they ignore dry sugar.

 

i assume your still feeding because your building hives/nucs up. stick to syrup for that.

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theres a few threads on this.

theres pro's and cons to both. dry sugar is harder for the bees to work. they don't pack dry sugar away like they do with syrup.

usually find that once nectar starts coming in they ignore dry sugar.

 

i assume your still feeding because your building hives/nucs up. stick to syrup for that.

 

I'm not sure though that feeding syrup in mid June is a good idea? You run the risk of burning out the bees. I'd be feeding dry raw sugar instead. It is pollen the bees want at the moment so if the bees heading into your hives are not bringing in much pollen then pollen patties may be something to think about. Appreciate others do things differently this is just how I'd approach it.

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I'm not sure though that feeding syrup in mid June is a good idea?

agree. if its a hive feeding should have been done and dusted.

but there are those who feed up nucs over winter. how else do you increase a 100,000 hives.

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agree. if its a hive feeding should have been done and dusted.

but there are those who feed up nucs over winter. how else do you increase a 100,000 hives.

 

I've not fed nucs syrup in June / July before and I recall you've talked before about others doing it. But wouldn't it have the same result ie burn out the bees?

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I have used dry raw sugar many years ago when desperate but only in late spring. My only advice I can give you on feeding sugar is next year get it done before the end of April and then leave your hives alone. Unless they will starve before spring you're not doing them any favours

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I've not fed nucs syrup in June / July before and I recall you've talked before about others doing it. But wouldn't it have the same result ie burn out the bees?

its not going to kill them, but i think it will have effects and may cause more losses down the line.

but their mindset is just breed more.

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This is a hive that was robbed out, (they were weak to start with due to high wasp numbers) when checking in autumn all the honey stores that had been left were gone. This is why I thought I needed to feed them to ensure they make it through winter.

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I will bow to the experienced here, @john berry & @tristan. I would never take your knowledge and experience lightly. That said I fed nucleus hives through last winter and am doing the same again this season. I am pretty certain they won't survive otherwise. Early and mid Autumn was not kind to them. I would much rather not feed. A few that stopped taking syrup I won't feed but will be on to early spring. It was/is for increase in a small way.

Last seasons went on to be strong (productive) hives and hopefully make it through this winter, they were Autumn fed this time.

 

My nucs get a measured amount weekly (750 ml) and yes have had a mind to strengthen over the past month, could be bursting at the seams come early spring.

 

Feeding a little often may be better than losing the hive @anniiee?

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I'm feeding syrup now. But agree with the others though it's not a good idea. Special circumstances are I put oxalic / glycerine shop towels on 300 hives as an experiment, even though hives were going backwards i wanted to know about this method so took a chance and left on for 6 - 8 weeks to give it a fair shot, bad call, for most hives it was a failure. By the time I gave up and put in bayvarol a lot of hives in a pretty bad way, feeding syrup at that time would have done more harm than good. So have waited till the hives are healthy which is now, but short on food. They are small but can take syrup, and some will have to be fed or starve.

 

A good example of bad beekeeing :oops:, but at least I gave the oa / glycerine a pretty thorough chance to work.

 

Not worried about stimulating the hives, most of them are very weak. Some apiaries are worse than others so about 1/2 the apiaries I will not have to go to again before spring round, the other 1/2 I will have to go back 2 or 3 weeks after this feeding, that's because they are too weak to be fed much syrup at this time and will need another mid winter feed. Some of them may need a third visit. Luckily, in Auckland the winters can be fairly forgiving of this kind of poor beekeeping.

Edited by Guest

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That's making me feel good about my oa towels on their third cycle...

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I'm still not sure what to make of the feeding syrup in Winter discussion. Some v experienced bk's saying not to do it, however others who do it have only reported positive results.

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Only feed sugar if you need to- try not need to.

There's a huge difference between feeding sugar in Auckland and feeding sugar up in the mountains. I know someone who fed liquid sugar in mid-May and less than half was taken up despite the hives being in reasonable condition. I have seen hives fed in July to stimulate them early and it can work very well and it can also be a disaster. Feeding sugar ages bees more quickly than just leaving them alone. If they have plenty of pollen and it is not too cold then they may raise lots of brood which overcomes this problem but if it is too cold then you end up with your old bees dying before they can raise a new generation in spring and also a lot of hives with fermented sugar sitting in them which doesn't do them any good.

All my hives are left plenty in the autumn, despite this a few will starve over the winter because they have been robbed out or they just wouldn't stop breeding. They get a posthumous Darwin award and I get the winter off.

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For me in my area ideally the bees should be left alone over winter.

They should be packed down with enough stores to see them through to spring.

It gives the beekeeper a winter break and gives the bees a winter break because in our area it's the natural way.

In Auckland with some kind of flow most of the year it's probably not as much of an issue for the bees.

Ripening syrup is hard on bees, and in winter you don't have the same amount of bees coming on to replace the aging ones.

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I think in my own case it is a case of needs must currently. I have homes for the nucs as hives next season and need to increase to begin to approach economic (maybe!). The cost and risk of buying in nucs/hives is too prohibitive for me right now.

The argument for stronger, earlier (late summer) splits to be in better shape for winter is a real one which I will pursue with vigour in the season coming on and hopefully I can avoid the feeding through next winter.

A kinder season all round would be wonderful!

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