January Hungry Bees

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sarawill
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 6:29 am
Location: Camrose

January Hungry Bees

Unread post by sarawill » January 22nd, 2017, 7:08 am

Hello
I haven't had this problem before but it seems this year with the wet fall and mean winter I have some colonies that are running out of stores. I have wet frames from fall and also honey. Is it too hard for the bees to take the raw honey in the cold and if it isn't how would you feed it? I am thinking of combing a few hives with only a few hives of bees left but I don't know if this is possible. If anyone has any other suggestions they would sure be welcome.
Thanks

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BadBeeKeeper
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Location: Penobsot County, Maine

Re: January Hungry Bees

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » January 22nd, 2017, 7:27 am

You should put your general location in so it shows up on your posts, some advice is going to be location-dependent, particularly as regards weather-related issues.

If your honey is extracted there is not really a good way to feed it when the weather is cold. If still in frames in boxes you can add a box to the hive.

Otherwise, you may be better off putting a sheet of newspaper over the top bars of the top box (cut smaller than the inner dimensions) and pour regular sugar on top of the paper- that often suffices for emergency feeding.

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Allen Dick
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Re: January Hungry Bees

Unread post by Allen Dick » January 22nd, 2017, 7:37 am

You can combine colonies during winter when the temperatures are mild and there is no wind. Do it mid-day so they have time to settle before the cold nights. No special measures are required and fighting is very unlikely. No need to look for queens.

Frames of honey can be placed nearer the cluster.

Sugar feeding as mentioned above can save colonies. Make a few small slits in the paper, though so the bees can get an easy start on the sugar. Natural moisture from the cluster will soften the sugar at the same rate the bees need it, assuming the top of the hive is reasonably well sealed and insulated.

Understand that any disturbance is harmful, but the harm of necessary manipulations is bound to be less than the harm from full or partial starvation.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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sarawill
Posts: 2
Joined: October 12th, 2015, 6:29 am
Location: Camrose

Re: January Hungry Bees

Unread post by sarawill » January 23rd, 2017, 8:48 am

Thanks so much Allen and Badbeekeeper for your timely help! I will be trying these in the next calm day, looks like coming up on the weekend.

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