Author Topic: Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring  (Read 220 times)

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Online Jen

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Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring
« on: March 19, 2017, 01:59:02 PM »
My bees have been out foraging heavily for the last couple weeks. They are now socked in with rain for about 10 days. I've been feeding sugar cakes up until now which is working fine. Have been reading about others now using syrup for spring feeding. Does it matter in early spring if it's sugar cakes/bricks or syrup? My main concern is that the bees plug up the frames with syrup and queen quickly runs out of room to lay and therefore, swarms ensue...
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 03:52:21 PM »
Syup will simulate a flow, and it may cause the queen to start laying, the sugar cake should not cause that.
   Depending on your temps, feeding syrup can be a pain in the spring, the syrup needs to stay above... ? 50 degrees? for the bees to take it. i am sure someone else will veryify or correct my temperature there.
  Once you start feeding syrup you have to keep feeding until the flow starts or they could starve quickly.. if you have a flow going already, then you would be fine to feed them syrup if they are only locked in by rain. Feed slow in spring, fast in fall.
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Online Jen

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Re: Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 01:22:48 AM »
Scott, the queens are already laying, and I can tell that new bees are orienting this weekend. I've fed sugar cakes all winter up until now. So the hives and nucs are ramped up using sugar cakes.

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Online riverbee

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Re: Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 01:51:37 AM »
"Does it matter in early spring if it's sugar cakes/bricks or syrup? My main concern is that the bees plug up the frames with syrup and queen quickly runs out of room to lay and therefore, swarms ensue... "

syrup jen, yah, your bees might plug up frames with it, but cakes and bricks will be hauled out the front door............crystal by crystal........ :D
just monitor the hives so they aren't plugging up frames, add more room, give them foundation to draw.

and what scott said about feeding, temps? about 50 degrees.......for me. when i know i am going to be at least 50 dF during the day i start giving them syrup if they need it. nite temps......mmm we can get frizzly, but the bees still take it as long as we are at or about 50 df during the day. i put an extra deep on and insulate the bucket. seems to work for me.

if you have sugar cakes/bricks on, just grab them out, make up some syrup with them and use your quart jars on the front or insulated in an extra deep on top.
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Online Jen

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Re: Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 02:26:31 AM »
Thanks Riverbee, I do have I think 5 boardman feeders. The bees are hauling in huge bundles of pollen and some nectar by now. Should I be worried about robbing this time of year? Like have the boardman attached and then one entrance reducer as well?
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 09:04:42 AM »
Robbing tends to be more of a fall or dearth problem.  Spring is about the only time one dares to put boardmans outside the hive.  I pulled my uneaten sugar brick pieces because the bees were starting to propolis them down.  A 1:1 sugar syrup stimulates eggs laying.  It resembles a nectar flow. Once you start feeding sugar syrup continue until a real nectar flow occurs.

Online riverbee

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Re: Feeding Sugar Cakes vs Syrup In Early Spring
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 04:58:31 PM »
jen, like baker's said, mostly dearth and fall, taking off honey for robbing BUT sometimes a 'crime' of opportunity, large hive robbing a small hive or a nuc out.

if you are concerned about it put the boardmans on top and cover with an extra deep.  (that's what i would do)
i don't care for boardmans used on the outside except for water, too many problems with robbing and attracting unwanted insects.
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