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Whidbey Island Washington Beekeeping & Honeybees - Lavender Honey - Green Road Farm - Tim Walsh

Feeding

Honey Bee need to be fed. I did not know this when I started. The reason they collect nectar and turn it into honey is food for them selves. They of course store it in the honeycomb and open up what they need throughout the winter.

You feed them in the spring before things have bloomed and their honey and pollen supplies are low in the hive. You feed them in the fall to help build honey reserves that will hopefully last through the winter. And lastly, you feed them when there is a shortage of nectar due to weather or climate related issues.

You feed the by weight so a 1:1 ratio by weight is 1 pound sugar and 1 pound water. 2:1 is 2 pounds sugar and 1 pound water etc etc.

I use plain white table sugar and tap water.

1 gallon of water equals 8.33 lbs. Dissolve the sugar into warm water. I heat the water just enough to speed up the process but not very hot at all….160 degrees or so and stir it until it looks like the sugar is dissolving. It will become cloudy as it heats but clears as it cools. I then turn off the heat and let sit over night to cool.

Here are some common ratios for sugar syrup:

  • SPRING – 1:2 – is an egg laying stimulant for the queen in early spring
  • SPRING & DEARTHS = 1:1 – is an artificial nectar to get bees to build comb and feed brood larvae in spring and summer. It is also the ratio whe there is a dearth, or shortage of nectar.
  • WINTER – 2:1 – is a winter feed substituting for honey in the fall or early winter. 32 pounds of sugar mixed into 2 gallons of water makes 4 gallons of syrup. This is one of the reasons it seems to me it is cheaper to buy honey than to raise bees.

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Honey and Wax Feed

Honey and Wax Feed


During extraction you remove the cappings and place them aside to drain. I collected a fair amount of honey from this but what was left over I flattened out and fed to the bees in January as a mid winter feed.

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