I obtained my bees after most of the nectar flow so are needing all the help they can get in obtaining stores to get themselves through the winter. I have been feeding the 2:1 sugar syrup and they have made major gains in the stores they have but could use more. The bees are still flying on some days and are accessing the sugar syrup I offer them. Is there some time for certain that I should stop feeding them syrup? I'm about to relocate them from Joseph (Elevation 4500) to the Lower Imnaha River (Elevation 1400) where temperatures for the near future will allow them to continue to fly. I would like to continue to feed them but don't know if feeding would be detrimental.
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.