Generally speaking, bees shouldn’t need extra feeding by beekeepers as they naturally manage their own honey stock. However, harsh weather conditions (during daily-rain periods) or in a lacking environment (flowers without nectar), colonies may face periods of lack of food. In those cases, it is required by the beekeeper to feed them enough sugary feeding for them to survive. It can either be in a liquid or solid form. Indeed, in spring or at the beginning of autumn, you may need to enforce a stimulating feeding to encourage the queen’s egg-laying and the other bees’ dynamism.
The liquid feeding can either be bought in stores or be homemade by any beekeeper. The homemade version of liquid feeding is easy to make, and here is a recipe: gently warm 11lbs of sugar mixed with 1 gallon of water, then proceed to add cider vinegar (which help with bees’ digestion). If you are using nourishing to stimulate the queen’s egg-laying and the other bees’ dynamism, warm 9lbs of sugar in 1,5 gallon of water.
There are three types of feeders you can use for liquid feeding:
-The frame feeder: fill it with the bought or homemade syrup and place it inside your hive next to the cluster of bees. The only down side is that you must open your hive to do so, which can be an issue under bad weather conditions.
-The entrance feeder: it is usable under any weather conditions but enhance the risk of looting
-The top feeder: is very convenient for both bees and beekeepers, as it allow large quantity feeding without much effort.
The solid feeding option is mostly used to compensate the lack of colonies’ supplies. The best timeline would be to feed at the very beginning of spring, and not in autumn. Making solid feeding can often be a complex process, because you need to master high levels of cooking temperatures. For greater safety, please consider buying it rather than making it. Here is a recipe for solid feeding if you want to try to home make it:
1. Boil water and measure its temperature
2. Add sugar and mixed it with the water. Boil the mixture until the temperature reaches 60°F to 63°F above the previously recorded temperature.
3. Allow to cool down until 120°F
4. Mix it and proceed to fill 2 lbs plastic bags
Feeding your bees with solid feeding is fairly easy, slightly cut open the solid plastic bag and place it in the top feeder, face down.