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Bee very active after adding sugar water in feed trough


I got my first nuc last week. Today, after 6 days I decided to check on their feed trough of sugar water and it was completely dry. Everything seemed to be OK in the hive although I did not pull any frames. I added a gallon of sugar water being careful to not disturb the hive. Nothing seemed out of place. An hour later I looked out and there more more bees outside the hive than I have seen since we got the bees. Are they just happy or upset?

Here is short 20 second video for you to see and give me your opinion:

Your thoughts?


all good, part of it could be time of day. Second pollen run for the day :slight_smile:


Thanks Marty! It was different and it worried a some.


Is it still happening? Could be robbing. If you spilt any sugar water on the ground or down the side of the hive other bees will get a whif and charge in for a free feed. This can get rather out of control at times and you might have to take action immediately (like closing the entrance right down or spraying mist (water) over the hive to make them think it is raining).


Sting, it not still happening. I was very careful pouring. I will monitor closely. Thanks


For future reference it is best to not feed during the day. Wait till bees have stopped flying or you may well get robbing. No spillage required.


This confuses me a bit, are you saying don’t fill the feeder during the day or are you saying remove any food i.e. sugar syrup during the day.


I mean that if you are filling a feeder, especially if it’s the first time you put it on, you should do so when the bees have stopped flying. The waggle dance is not accurate if the food source is in the hive or above the crown board ( exception is a frame of stores) . The bees get excited and could go out robbing other colonies or indeed getting robbed themselves. If you’re putting on a feeder by all means put it on during the day but leave it empty till the evening. This is not so important if there is a flow, plenty of nectar around and the bees are busy on flowers but at times of dearth it’s important


Thanks Dee! I am a little confused about when to stop feeding. Here in the Houston area, I understand that we are at the last of the honey flow time period during June. I just got my nuc last week. There are 4 frames that I got with the nuc that are doing very well. I don’t see any movement to the other frames yet. Maybe when I inspect the hive this weekend, I will see some progress in that direction. It is my understanding that I should wait to put the super on when the brood box is 80% full. However, I am not sure how long I should keep feeding. Are there indicators of when they are able to go forage on their own? I suspect there are some advantages for foraging vs getting fed sugar water and vice-versa. Very excited about this!


It’s difficult in your first year. I suggest you get out and about and see what’s in bloom within a mile or two of home. Bees bringing in nectar hang abdomen down in the air and pollen, you can see on their legs. They fly out with no dilly dallying on the landing board and you see a steady stream of bees leaving.
There is a danger in feeding a nuc that they become honey bound and even a small colony will swarm. Bees are opportunist storers. They will draw comb then fill it with sugar syrup leaving the queen no place to lay.
One of the things you need to check at inspections is whether the bees have enough stores (nectar or syrup…pollen is not crucial) till you next look in even if weather keeps them in.
In an eight frame Lang I reckon about one side of a frame should do it. So count up what you have across all the frames. I run some of my colonies with no foundation but I think for a beginner foundation has advantages in handling. If your bees have nearly drawn a frame on one side, simply turn it round, they will draw it quicker than if you left it facing away