And I really dont like the idea of them eating honey, it probably means the next harvest will be sugarey...? rather than honeyey...?
I took most of their honey mid February, I figured they had plenty of summer / warm weather left to stock of before winter turns up. I figured wrong, between mid-Feb and mid-May (3 warm-ish months when they should have been flying), their stocks were actually more depleted. Not just that, but the population had dwindled massively. Bugger. Anyway, there is no way I want my bees to starve, this happened to us once already, and it was very ugly and sad. Embarrassing. Opening up after winter, their bodies were all dried up, heads stuck in the cells , they died of starvation, while licking the last drop out of the cells. Check out the previous page:
So anyway, there are lots of ways to do this, involving making sugar syrup and putting it in a special feeder, making patties of candy, etc. The simplest I've heard of , is what I did:
- Open up (quickly - cold-ish day, just barely 18 and windy..)
- pour 2 1kg bags of white sugar (not brown) over the hive mat
- Close up
- Hope that there's enough there to get them through.
Whole thing took about 1 minute per box.
While I was there I could have almost taken it down to a single box, but the little honey there happened to be spread around, and it would have meant pulling apart the whole shebang.
While I was there, I put a little roof on, just to help keep it dry. Very damp spot.