syrup/humidity/just a question or two

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by arkiebee, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Hey guys - Here in northern Arkansas we have been having a winter - now you guys in the Northeast have WINTERS - but to us we are use to a warm streak once in a while. We have had NO warm streak since the first of December. I put syrup on my bees (top feeders/2:1) early in November - in case they needed it or not. We have had a day or two that I can peek under the hood and see if it is gone - if so I replinish it, etc.

    Yesterday was the first time I got to check in about 3 weeks and all still have syrup, but I noticed that my innercovers looks like they are damp/ sweating? Can this be a bad thing for the bees? Because they may have a decent day where they can fly out, clean house, etc., and they have syrup to eat, but it hasn't been more than a two days at a time this winter. We have had bitter cold, and I put loose & dry hay underneath my hive stands (I have screened bottom boards) to help keep the wind from blowing up their little hinnes, but air can still circulate. We had some left over bubble insulation and I have tied it around the bodies. We have just had nothing but damp, snowy, rainy, and cloudy weather for the past few months. The mud on our farm is the worst I have seen it since we have lived here - so really everything is damp.

    My other question is - "when" we get a good warm streak, should I pour that syrup off and put fresh on? Does syrup ferment/ruin after it has been on a while?


    All of my hives are still kicking - so I count myself lucky...so far
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Get the syrup off and use dry feed until the temp rises. The moisture will kill them.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a couple of arkie snips:
    Yesterday was the first time I got to check in about 3 weeks and all still have syrup, but I noticed that my innercovers looks like they are damp/ sweating? Can this be a bad thing for the bees?

    My other question is - "when" we get a good warm streak, should I pour that syrup off and put fresh on? Does syrup ferment/ruin after it has been on a while?

    tecumseh:
    if you are feeding one to one then you should expect a certain small level of dampness.... which is typically centered up just over the brood nest. so a small level of dampness means they are utilizing the feed source. you may notice the same effect later in the spring when the first wet nectar starts coming in. however, excessive wetness throughout the broodnest would be something you would want to correct pretty quickly... this may have more to do with ventilation than the bees themselves.

    I suspect if you have days that get up to 50 or so and you leave the syrup there for another week when you return you will likely find the feeders empty.

    at this time of year it takes quite a while for syrup to spoil. some folks add a bit of lecithin to the syrup to give it a bit more shelf life.
     
  4. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    I am feeding 2:1 still. We usually have a 50 degree day in there once in a while, but we haven't had a 50 degree day in a LONG time. I bet I have a ventilation problem. One beekeeper told me to prop a small rock under the outer cover if I can and to get the feeders off for now. My problem is that we haven't had any weather above 45 in order to take the feeders off. Our only hope "here" in Arkansas is maybe Wednesday. I know I can't take them off now because it is 20s and the north wind is howling on this Sunday afternoon.

    I guess the first chance I get I will take them off. I just worry about them for now.