|Wonalancet Mowed - A regular occurrence|
Check on your hives for honey stores in this warmer than normal weather. Now is when to feed. This article is specific to NOW in New Hampshire:
FALL ~ Sigh... It is September 19, 2017 and Wonalancet is mowed. A few pockets of goldenrod and aster in the woods here and there, but the flow is over. Seven months to go to the dandelion flow.
If it were cold the bees would be conservative in eating through what they have stored to this point, but those hurricanes in the Atlantic are bringing summer weather to New England. The girls are active and out scouting.
|Open feeding is dicey but sometimes necessary...|
take care with such a plan
|A rain gutter with capped ends makes|
a great water holder or feeder
|Don't forget the stones!|
Girls can drown...
Yes, I am open feeding in my Red Path apiary! I don't recommend this. With lots of hives it is less intrusive. I put out just enough for a day and fill it in the morning. Normally, you would open feed far from the apiary but I don't have that option. On my weak hive in Center Ossipee I am using a bucket feeder above the inner cover and I have a little chicken waterer for the other girls that I take in when I go home from work.
Full on pollen supplement feeding in the fall is not recommended as it can stimulate brood production at a time of year when the colony should be shrinking in numbers in order to maximize its limited resources over the long New England winter to come.
In freezing weather - once the quilt box is on - I have used a variety of sugar recipes in the tops of my hives over the years. One year it was Capital Area Beekeeper's Club fondant; other years it has been a top feeding wet sugar mix, see: Karen Thurlow of New Moon Apiary in Maine. She makes up a batch of sugar with enough water to make it crumbly and inserts in into her winter top super set up.
|8 cups sugar to 4 cups water 2:1|
1/8 cup of dry pollen supplement.
go light on the pollen. There are
supplements & substitutes. Original article has details.
Note: Except for Karen's loose sugar method, I am not a fan of what are called 'candy boards'. I have had them melt down and drown my bees or create moisture issues with my hives. This is not the usual experience. Most beekeepers love them.
For the complete article see "Why Beekeepers Feed Their Bees" and for a valuable resource of feeding recipes and strategies see this Maine State Beekeeper's Association page. I welcome any feedback, especially if you see any way this article can be improved.