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Avoid Top Feeders in the Summer?


#1

Am I sabotaging my bees’ effort to evaporate the honey by creating a humid environment with a top feeder during humid Summer days?

Thank you.


#2

I’ve been told not to use top feeders until prepping for winter.


#3

Why would you feed with supers on?


#4

Like she said, why would you feed sugar syrup with a honey super in place?


#5

I will be removing the feeders once I put the flow supers on.
Right now I’m concerned with sabotaging the hives building up their reserves.
Spending too much energy on evaporating?


#6

I would let them gather their own food in the summer. I gave mine a little syrup (a pint) because i just added a second box and they have alot of comb to make. Issue is if you don’t stop feeding 4 weeks before you put honey supers on you run the risk of them storing sugar syrup up there.


#7

Why does it need to be 4 weeks?


#8

Wow.
I would have thought it was like flipping a switch!
Take away the sugar water, put the Flow super on the next day.

From where do they get it?
Do they move it from the brood boxes to the honey super?

I just bought an eight frame nuc for my new second hive today.
Adding a second empty brood box tomorrow.
They’ll need to fill that box 80% before I add the Flow super right?

Should I continue to feed syrup at all? If so for about how long?
Until the second brood box is drawn out X%?

Thank you.


#9

That’s just what i’ve been told. I may be a bit off on the timeframe. Perhaps a more experienced keeper can answer? @Dawn_SD @Valli @Dee


#10

What is more important to the bees feeding them or you taking their honey. We are talking animals here and their welfare comes first - you need to do what is best for the bees - if they have stores around the brood as a min before you go putting supers on.

If the bees need to be fed, they need to be fed. Top feeders are more secure from robbing than external feeders. Top feeders should not be used in Winter due to condensation - then you would use a pollen pattie and fondant.

If the bees need feeding then the supers should be off. Otherwise the supers will be full of sugar syrup.

Frame feeders are not always good as the bees can drown if not correctly set up. Other top feeders are rapid feeders, and they usually go over the hole in the crown/cover board.

It is more difficult to see if a top feeder needs filling but if you need to feed the bees you probably need to do and inspection to see what stores are like any way.

If you have not left enough honey for the bees or it has been a bad summer as we had last year, you need to feed before Winter ie Autumn and that can be syrup but I tend to use a thicker 2:1 or 3:2 syrup as there is less chance of condensation and it is taken up quicker and there is not too much water to evaporate.

In winter condensation encourages fungus and is not good for bee health. They can get chilled brood, chalk brood (fungus) which is every where but prefers a cooler hive than the normal 35°C (optimum temp for eggs and brood). Bees keep the hive humid but a damp hive will suffer from fungus.


#11

I’m avoiding putting any supers on now like the plague for now.

The key phrase is “if the Bee’s need feeding”.

It’s early summer here, but I need to add a second brood box to a now-full singleton.
Keep feeding to help them draw comb?
Keep feeding with top feeder?
Use entrance feeder instead?
Don’t feed to prevent back filling if I interpret @Michael_Bush correctly?


#12

Now that I think about it, in my specific circumstances, I don’t think I’ll need to worry about a time delay after removing the syrup feeder. This may not apply to others, but my space is limited, so when the bees fill the top honey super, I’ll be pulling all of those frames to freeze them and replacing them w/ Flow frames. That will probably reduce/eliminate the likelihood that sugar-honey is moved into the honey super before harvest.