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Honey Bee Candy: Winter Feeding

"Food Insurance" for your hive during the cold winter months
Saturday, January 14, 2012, 12:55 PM

Some CM.com members may have become interested in beekeeping as one possible means of increasing resilience in their lives. In this What Should I Do (WSID) article, Small-Scale Beekeeping, user apismellifera gives a great introduction to the topic (the pictures are of Langstroth equipment; you may want to remember this for later in this article). In this article, we'll be getting a lot more specific about a particular task unique to winter beekeeping.

Beekeepers would, ideally, like to be able to winter our bees without supplemental feeding. Bees, after all, have been getting through winter far longer than humans have been managing bees. Bees, planning ahead, store honey and pollen specifically for this purpose. These days, with winter losses frequently hitting 30-40% of colonies dying each year, many of us are turning to feeding as a way of increasing our chances of getting to spring with live bees. Where Old Man Winter can keep temperatures down in the 20s (F) or below for extended periods of time, it's nice to have a way to get supplemental feeding to your bees without dealing with liquid syrup feeders. Liquid feeders, especially in cold temperatures, can potentially do harm by chilling your bees, which is clearly not what you set out to do when you decided to feed them. » Read more