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When to feed bees?

Hello! I am a complete newbee and super keen to get started.
A friend has caught a swarm for me and popped it in a nuc box, which I have placed next to my Flowhive today. I plan to tranfer the frame into my hive tomorrow if possible.
My question is, how do I know if I need to feed my bees? I live on a bush block but am unsure if there is enough around for them to forage. Would it do them any harm to put some sugar syrup jars on the hive? If I put them on, when do I take them off?
Simple questions Im sure, but Im really really new to this.
Thanks for any advice.

Hopefully you’ll be giving them frames with foundation so they have a head start, but in either case I would probably feed until they have drawn out a few frames so the queen has somewhere to get laying faster and they can start to fend for themselves.

Definitely remove any feeders before adding a honey super and they may well ignore the syrup if there’s something else more interesting around, but it is good for rapid comb building.

Maybe transfer them later in the day to reduce the chance of them absconding.

Edit - you should probably let them settle into the box they’re in for a week or so before transferring them.


I agree with @Stevo and I would offer sugar syrup to help in wax production as well as for food. I hope you using frames with wax foundation fitted, and I would feed them till the frames have been built out or till the bees stop using it. The bees will forage for nectar and pollen and ignore the syrup with good foraging conditions. You should be getting some Cape Weed and Patterson’s Curse around Armidale soon and that will be a big boost to the hive.
Keep the hive as a brood box only until the hive is overflowing with bees before adding the super, adding the super too early is a common mistake and actually sets the hive backwards.