No announcement yet.

How, when and why to supplement

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How, when and why to supplement

    All beekeeping may be local, and my own biozone is the Pacific Northwest, specifically the Vancouver, BC, Canada area coast. We have cool summers, mild and rainy Canadian standards.

    We had a long, tough drought and hot spring/summer/fall in 2016, culminating in a long summer dearth that continued into fall and winter. And a dearth of not just floral nectars, but pollen. Fall 2016 was the first autumn where I found my colonies pretty much devoid of pollen. Usually in two 10-frame deeps by then, with the entire lower deep plugged with pollen (which is gone by early spring...fed to brood??), in September 2016 the colony was up in the second deep and the lower was completely empty.

    This brought many, many local colonies into a late, cold and wet spring small and struggling. In my yard, which I had planned to expand this year, I will be building up colonies, preparing for the full launch of a Queen Improvement Project involving local club (Mt. Baker/Point Roberts/Tsawwassen...comprised of both USA and Canadian members, we live along the border) now delayed till 2018. We'll do some queen breeding this year, but not as much as we'd planned thanks to weak colonies post winter. I will be acquiring nucs, and also queens from promising sources.

    So I am looking for advice on what to feed, how to feed, when to feed as I build these colonies up over the course of the season. Stronger ones will be split, so split feeding practice discussion is welcome too. And finally, how to feed for overwintering.

  • #2
    Here are my recommendations - I'm in Central Illinois and in 2016, we had a very wet spring, then about July 1, the Good Lord turned off the water spout and by late August-early September, there was not much nectar and pollen available. My hive frames were similar to what you have described, so I started feeding 2:1 sugar/water syrup until mid-September (about the time of first frost), then changed to feeding semi-dry sugar-pollen sub (70% sugar, 30% pollen sub, and just enough water to make it sticky), I feed this in a 1 gal Ziploc baggie with a rectangular slice cut in the bottom of the baggie (put the slice side on the frames so the bees can get to it without significantly breaking cluster. By early November when the queen stops laying eggs, I change this blend to 90$ sugar-10% pollen sub. Depending on what pollen sub is used, this will provide about 15-16% protein with the 30% protein sub mix and about 4-5% protein with the 10% pollen sub blend.


    • #3
      Some of my previous post was lost. Some beekeepers feed only sugar during he winter months when bees cannot make cleansing flights, which is OK provided that there is adequate pollen stores available when the queen starts laying again in mid-late February. Once the queen starts laying again, change back to the 70-30 blend for more protein content. Feed this until there is adequate pollen available and is being brought in by the bees as spring arrives.

      There are several pollen subs available and I would suggest testing each in your apiary and determine which works best for your local situation.


      • #4
        Proteins are the building squares required to repair and develop muscle tissue while taking an interest in a movement that separates muscle tissue including, especially for our situation, dynamic protection preparing.


        • #5
          Wow, a post from 2017?

          I found this helpful: Visit [url][/url] and scroll down to "Reading the combs"


          • #6
            This site was set up in 2017 when we thought it would take 90 days to produce the acoustic app. It's also intended to be a spin-off of our classes. Now that the app is being distributed and used, we have opened [url][/url] for general use, but have yet to advertise it
            The information provided by the Bee Health Guru is not intended to provide solutions to problems. It is given as a suggestion only. A multiplicity of factors could be impacting the health of your bees. We are not responsible for any health issues of your bees, including death, swarming, colony collapse, or issues arising from treatments as a result of any suggestions provided by the Bee Health Guru smartphone app, the Bee Health Guru team, or any answers posted in the accompanying BeeHealth.Guru online forum.