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alleyyooper

The great debate.

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alleyyooper

You feed syrup at a 1:1 ratio in the spring to keep them alive and to stimulate the queen into laying more.

You feed syrup in the fall at a 2:1 ratio to hold the bees thru a time when every thing has been frozen and also for them to store as a source of winter food.

The debate now is we are in August there is not anything that holds any nectar for the girls in bloom due to the drought. Do we feed to keep them alive and get the queen to laying brood and have the hives full of this 1:1 ratio when and if the golden rod and asters are fully in bloom and we get some rain.

OR

Do we feed the 2:1 ratio to keep them alive have some to store that won't take as much effort to reduce down and allow the queens to simply lay at a pace the colony deems they need to keep thing intact?

What ya think?

We are feeding 1:1 right now to keep tham alive. We are being care fully not to feed so much they fill both double deeps with the thin mix. Come about labor day we are planing on changeing the ratio to a fall mix.

:D Al

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Wow!  This is an oldie that I must have missed Al!  Sorry about that!  :confused2:

On 8/5/2012 at 8:27 AM, alleyyooper said:

The debate now is we are in August there is not anything that holds any nectar for the girls in bloom due to the drought. Do we feed to keep them alive and get the queen to laying brood and have the hives full of this 1:1 ratio when and if the golden rod and asters are fully in bloom and we get some rain.

OR

Do we feed the 2:1 ratio to keep them alive have some to store that won't take as much effort to reduce down and allow the queens to simply lay at a pace the colony deems they need to keep thing intact?

What ya think?

I can tell you that during this time of year, we mix our sugar syrup with as much sugar as the water can hold soluble.  That would be at least 2:1 and probably more like 3:1 since we heat the water to a rolling boil and then dump in the sugar leaving the heat on full blast until all of the sugar is stirred into solution.  My theory is that the bees are going to treat the sugar syrup like nectar and store/process like honey and cure it for storage for use later.  This keeps the queen laying provided you make a good source of a high protein pollen substitute dry feed available.  

Late summer blooms of goldenrod, asters, and other flowers will be foraged by the bees for nectar but in my experience, there plants don't make large volumes of nectar.  At least not enough to make large stores of honey although they do make very good honey, just not large volumes of it.  

The August time frame is the MOST CRITICAL time of year for honey bee colonies as this is the time they begin making their Winter bees which are physiologically different from Summer season worker bees in a number of ways but primarily in 2 distinctive and important ways.  Winter bees have a much large "fat body organ" and Winter bees live for 6 months vs. the 6 weeks for Summer worker bees.  Brood nutrition during this period of time is critical to produce healthy Winter bees.  That and properly treating them for varroa mites.

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