Beekeepers should learn the circumstances when a beekeeper would feed their hive so that they can anticipate when to complete this important chore.
People often imagine beekeepers as the people who stare at hives. The public sees them as spacesuit farmers, coating bees with a little bit of smoke every now and again. But there are many more tasks involved in beekeeping.
Though beekeepers usually prefer to let their bees feed themselves, sometimes they need to step in and offer their pets sugar water. Read on to learn about why a beekeeper would feed their hive.
In a perfect world, your honey bees have enough honey to eat all winter. However, certain weather conditions make this impossible. If, for instance, you experienced a cold, wet summer, the honey bees probably had fewer opportunities to forage. The flowers may have also had a poor season.
Weather can severely impact outdoor flower crops. Honey bees may not collect enough nectar if they have only had a few sunny weeks. If you have a harsh winter followed by a mediocre summer, your bees may need some extra help. This is the kind of situation where a beekeeper may decide to feed their hives.
The Beekeeper Took Some Honey
Beekeepers often remove a portion of a hive’s honey for their own consumption. This is a major reason why a beekeeper would feed their hive. If the beekeeper took so much honey that they know the bees will not survive the winter, it is only fair that they would provide sugar water or another substitute in return.
Get Things Going
Early in the year, a beekeeper may feed their hive so they can “get the honey bees going.” When the spring flowers are not as abundant as ideal, honey bees could use a little extra push to give them the energy they need to survive.
Beekeepers can decide whether to use an open or closed feeding method. The food will encourage the queen to lay eggs, which means more workers and more nectar for the hive. Beekeepers can think of this method as a “jump-start” for the new year.