I want to share with you this easy method for feeding honey bees in an emergency that I came up with the other day. The weather was warm on March 9 and seemed to be trending that way as it did last year. The winter storess seemed light with respect to the number of bees that were being formed and working in and out of the hive. Thus I started to provided small pollen patties, grease patties and fondant from February 24. On March 10 I checkerboarded the hive and added a the top hive feeder with a sugar water and essential oil mix. I did check after March 9 and saw a few bees at a time having a feed.
Then the weather got cold with no let up in sight. After a week of having the feeder on top I checked to see if it was being drained and it wasn’t. So I removed it on the 17th and worried about he status of the food stores for a day. Monday the 18th was a rainy cold day whcih made medread the thought of losing another hive and I churned in my head what to do. Suddenly a light bulb went off and I decided that I after I pedaled home in the rain I could feed the bees in an ingenous way. At least it was to me.
The bees are clustered between the lower and middle medium supers and I knew if I was going to feed them I had to get something as close to them as possible. So I pulled a fondant patty out of the freezer and thawed it in the microwave for a few seconds. Then I dribbled some Honey B Healthy on top and worked it in with a fork. I flattend the fondant and headed out in the rain with my veil, gloves, small crowbar and hive tool.
Once I was at the hive all it took was a little effort to stick the crowbar under the bottom box and pry it up. The bees were in no hurry to rush out after me and kindly let me slide the fondant patty inside. It was as simple as that. Close to the cluster. Full of good stuff to help keep pests at bay and something to help keep their bellies full. The bottom only needs to be pried open just an inch or two for just a few seconds. There you have it…Quick and Easy Winter Feed for bees.