Temps are dropping. Should I change the diet for my bees?

A:

Congratulations on getting your first bees. It is the adventure of a lifetime. 

Once daytime temperatures drop below 57 degrees stop feeding liquid syrup and switch to a solid sugar board. Ann Harmon has written numerous articles for Bee Culture. The first one “Sugar for Bees” contains a solid sugar recipe at the end of the article. The other article that I’m linking, “Autumn Hive Tasks”, points out the rationale behind stopping liquids when the temperature drops. It puts too much moisture in the colony and they are unable to evaporate the excess moisture in ensure long-term storage of the syrup. Now a final publication is from Honey Bee Health Coalition, “Best Management Practices for Hive Health: A guide for beekeepers”. The final chapter is on honey bee nutrition. They suggest stopping liquid feed when it reaches 50 degrees during the day.

Yes, the bees may be flying, but you should stop the liquid syrup. I think even their new location will be too cool for liquid. The solid sugar “cube” or “board” is super easy to make.

Enjoy this new hobby.

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