LESSON 96: Feed Your Bees in Late Winter (www.honeybeesonline.com) 217-427-2678

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Hello! We are David and Sheri Burns, beekeeper extraordinaires. Thinking about getting started in beekeeping, search no further. Wanting to become a better beekeeper and have less hives die each year, you’ve stopped at the right website! And thank you for visiting us today.
Before we get into today’s lesson, feel free to visit our main website at: www.honeybeesonline.com or give us a call at 217-427-2678. Also, before today’s lesson let me fill you in on some important information.
Lesson89aSheri and I are looking forward to our March 19th Basic Beekeeping Class! This is going to be great. Due to the size, we’ve moved the class location to the Farm Bureau building in Danville, Illinois which his only about 5 miles from our Apiary. We still have plenty of spots open due to the larger size facility that they are providing for us. CHECK OUT MORE INFO ON OUR MARCH 19th CLASS BY CLICKING HERE   Join us as we’d love to meet you!
NEW WEBSITE!  Sheri and I have secured the services of a noted and highly recommended web design service out of California to tackle revamping our website. We’ve seen preliminary shots of pages and wow are we excited. This will also improve our store and bring greater accuracy to our products, shipping and more! We are still months away, but stay tuned.
Install2THE BIG QUESTION??? ARE WE STILL SELLING PACKAGES OF BEES (as of Feb 10th, 2011). YES, but let me define the answer. We are still selling 3 lb. packages for PICK UP and packages to be shipped to customers who purchase our Gold, Silver or Bronze kits. Or if you just buy a hive, we can also sell you a package of bees and ship them to you. What WE CANNOT DO is ship you a package of bees if you are not buying a hive. We have to reserve a certain number of shipped bees for those who call in and want to buy an entire kit. So if you want JUST a package of bees, we have those available for pick up only. If you want a package shipped to you, you’ll have to either buy a hive or a kit. This is our way of accommodating first time beekeepers who enter into beekeeping late in the year.
THE SECOND BIGGEST QUESTION: When Will You Start Selling Queens.  We’ve pulled out all stops and should be able to sell twice as many queens this year as we did last year. While we do not take orders for queens in advance, please call us after April 20th to see how early we can get you a queen. We really think our queens are unique and prolific, so consider requeening your old hive with one of our Pioneer Queens! Winter hearty, gentle, good honey producers, and from hives that are untreated.
Finally, if you’re looking to get started with one hive or two, check our our Valentine Specials good through Feb. 15th.
Please check out our current Valentine Specials on hive equipment and bees. Click on the image for more info.
GOLD11Silver11
Bronze11
LESSON 96: FEED YOUR BEES IN LATE WINTER
It’s important for beekeepers to be well prepared to properly manage hives that have survived the winter. In our last installment we looked at how to inspect the productivity of the queen. Today we are looking at how to feed our bees in late winter just before spring. Use this acronym to help you remember how to prepare:
Stimulate For Rapid Foraging Force
Prevent Swarms
Rotate Hive Bodies
Inspect The Productivity Of The Queen
New Queen
Give 1:1 Sugar, Sugar Water &  Pollen Patties

Beekeepers celebrate when they see that their hive survived the winter. However, to make this overwintered colony as productive and healthy as possible, providing proper nutrition is essential.
candyboardsThis is the time of the year when bees start running out of stored honey if they haven’t already. To help them not die from starvation, it’s important to feed bees. When bees die with their heads stuck in cells, they starved. If they haven’t died yet, there are many ways to feed your bees during late winter and early spring. All feeding methods have some pros and cons so these are my experiences and opinions.
Lesson71aFor those of us in the mid to northern part of the US we need to check our bees to be sure they still have stored honey. Here in Illinois, we have a long way to go, probably 6 more weeks of possible cold. Pollen patties are a good source of protein for the bees. These can be purchased or can be made from a dry powder mix.
Candyboard1If the bees are short on honey an easy solution is to feed solid sugar. I do this by placing a candy board with a pollen patty embedded in the candy. I never want to give the bees liquid sugar in late winter because the bees have less opportunities to defecate outside the hive and liquid sugar will require more visits outside the hive.
sandwhichOnce the bees are able to fly more, a sandwich bag of sugar water on the top frames just above the cluster works well. I poke a few holes on the top side of the bag and the bees figure  out how to draw out the sugar water. I use the double zip bags. Another method is to use a jar placed on top of the inner cover just above the cluster over the oval shaped hole. Then place an empty deep hive body to surround the jar and then place the top cover on this deep hive body. Place a heavy rock or block on top to hold everything tight. Remember, it is best not to feed liquid sugar until the bees can fly to defecate.
Fondant is a good winter and early spring feeding method. Here is a recipe a fellow beekeeper gave me: 5 cups of water, 15 pounds of sugar, 3 cups of Karo light corn syrup. Bring water to a boil and put in sugar. When all the sugar is dissolved add corn syrup and bring
temp up to a soft boil or 252 degrees (F). Then pour into aluminum pie pans. When set, put fondant on a sheet of wax paper above bees. Cut slits in wax paper so bees can get at the feed. This is a fondant type feed, and not the recipe for candy boards. Some top feeders may work well as the temperature continues to warm up. But feed your bees! Your bees have survived the worst winter conditions. Do not let them die now that winter is almost over. Candy boards are an excellent choice for late winter. They can be tricky to make. To purchase candy boards from us go to:
www.honeybeesonline.com/candyboard.html

Candy boards can make the difference in late winter.

…in our next article Dead Bees In The Snow
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Here’s Our Contact Information
Phone: 217-427-2678
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Email: david@honeybeesonline.com
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DavidSheriNew1Mailing Address: Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
14556 N. 1020 E. Rd
Fairmount, IL 61841

See you next time!
David & Sheri Burns

Long Lane Honey Bee Farms










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