Follow That Container of Syrup!

I'm preparing to be out of town on business travel next week, and I wanted me make sure the two hives in my yard were stocked up on syrup before I left.

The blue/purple hive probably doesn't need any supplemental syrup, but they've been taking almost 2 quarts a day. I can't decide if I should stop giving it to them, or let them keep taking it. I've read it's almost impossible to feed too much at this time of year, and not to worry about making the queen "honey bound" since she is slowing down production anyways, the bees can back fill the brood nest with syrup. So I gave them 2 more quarts.

The white hive has had a hive top feeder on it for two weeks, and is having trouble finishing the 2 gallons I gave them to begin with. In their defense, they went queen-less and are now getting used to their new queen.

I noticed today when looking at the white hive's feeder, I could see dozens of bees packed into the center screened area trying to get to the syrup. I think they're going to be taking the sugar syrup in great volume now, so I topped them off. I wish I had taken a picture of them packed in there.

When I was done, I put the lid back on the syrup jug and walked back to the garage. I set my equipment down on the ground and began taking of my bee suit.

By the time I took off my suit, I noticed a few bees flying around me. Then a few more.

I got up and moved back a bit to survey the area to see what they had taken interest in.

The lid on the empty syrup jug was on tight, and the jug was not leaking. I suppose there might have been a few drops of syrup that splashed onto the outside of the top of the jug while I was pouring it.

They must have followed me from the hives right to the garage, since they showed up almost immediately!

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Holly says...
Date:   October 3, 2011, 10:46 pm

Is your syrup, sugar water?  What ratio?  In general, how many pounds of sugar do you think you feed each hive in a year?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   October 4, 2011, 8:38 am

Great question! My syrup is 1:1 (granulated sugar to water) in the spring, and 2:1 (granulated sugar to water) in the fall.


The two hives at my dad's house, which is in a more hard-woods setting than my two hives, took about 11 gallons of 1:1 each during the spring, and about 3.5 gallons each of 2:1 so far this fall. All in all, I think about 150 lbs of granulated sugar was mixed into syrup for those two hives.


I didn't keep as good of records for my own hives, but I remember giving less syrup to my hives. I think I've given about 5 gallons of 1:1 to each hive in the spring, and 3 gallons of 2:1 this fall to each. About 110 lbs of granulated sugar was mixed into syrup for my two hives.


Interestingly, we both gave syrup to our hives until they quit taking it in the spring time. I remember my two hives stopped taking syrup a sooner than the ones at my dad's house. I suppose it's because I live in town, and around more nectar sources and they didn't need as much syrup?


It seems like we gave them a lot of syrup this year, but now that they're established with drawn comb, I don't expect to feed them as much going forward.

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