Why the different syrup ratios?

I have never really seen this clearly explained anywhere, simply that in spring you use 1:1, and in winter you use 2:1 or more dense. Why? Why not just always use winter or spring ratios? Logically I guess that it has something to do with putting less water/humidity in the hive in the winter, and more water for cooling in the spring. But even then it seems like you could settle on a good all around ratio that works in all seasons.

Can someone explain the logic or the science behind this?

It is the usual beekeeper thing… 10 opinions from 2 people.

Fun little article here, but basically you have it right. Bees don’t want to evaporate in fall/autumn, so we try to help them a bit. In dry climates or seasons, more dilute solutions may help them gather extra water, which they need for life and cooling.

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Lots of people don’t bother …same ratio (strong syrup) for everything.
I sometimes dilute it for a swarm if the weather comes in after hiving…as @jape

feeding different ratios of sugar/water make a big difference, depending on what you want to achieve, 1/1 bees really wont store this, they will put it in their frames but it will be used to feed brood, stimulate the queen into laying and drawing comb ect, this ratio is ideal when there is an abundance of pollen coming in but little honey as it will give the hive a large brood nest, if you were to feed a heavier ratio 2/1 then the bees will store this and even cap it which will result in a reduced brood nest, so in general, if you are wanting to increase your hive population feed 1/1 if you are wanting to increase the stores in your hive feed 2/1.


I agree with the 2/1 but the only thing that will increase your hive population is protein…and that means pollen.
Bees will use any strength sugar and do with it what they need to do. They will decrease the water content to store it as honey (remember, nectar is very dilute) or they will dilute it with water to eat it. Simple.
If you are worried about bees storing your feed during a time when they should be producing brood then stop feeding. If you feed and feed they will store it.
Same with pollen. If it’s there they will collect it. I’ve seen queen-less colonies stuff a whole brood box with pollen.

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you have missed the point, the question asked was does feeding different ratios make a difference, and it does, as i said in my comment, when there is an abundance of pollen coming in 1/1 will increase the brood nest and hive population, if you are wanting stores in the hive you are making hard work for your bees if feeding 1/1, and if you are wanting the brood nest to increase you are crowding the queen for room when feeding 2/1 as the bees will store it, we have run a commercial queen breeding / honey production business for 20 years and it is vital to work with your bees rather than against them which is why i disagree with your comment bees will do with it(sugar) what they need to. im not worried about our bees storing sugar when we need an increase in hive population because this is when we change the ratio to 1/1 as long as there is good supplies of pollen coming in. simple. as to your queenless hive storing huge amounts of pollen, this is because being queenless(no brood) there is a higher rate of foragers to collect pollen and no brood to feed it to.