AdamD wrote: ↑
12 Sep 2019, 08:52
Nigel, you have a different practice to mine as I would feed steadily over a longer period of time rather than wait until October.
I am the same due to time constraints as much as anything, I tend to feed over a longer period from september, If I find anything IMO is overfed I move frames from one box to another and stop feeder.
I know about 5years ago I changed my views though on what over feeding actually is and I am not convinced you can neccesarily do it. I went to visit a new beekeeper, first summer and she had her bees on a brood and a half and I hefted the hive, I thought it was nailed to the stand , it was that heavy, It was rammed with stores. I found it extremely difficult to heft. she had fed and fed and fed. This was mid September. I told her to stop feeding and just leave them and see how they go. I thought she had sabataged herself and her bees and that they wouldnt get through winter. I think it was the 2013/2014 winter but not 100% sure in that. I have never had a brood and a half so heavy before then or since.
Anyhow come the Spring, she did a little complaining about the state of her bees to me , I asked how they had done, and she was complaining about how many bees there were and how the brood and a half was full of bees and she was worried about them swarming. This was early April. I was at the time a little frustrated about her comments because at the time I had had a quite poor winter with high losses and weak colonies coming out.It was a good lesson. she over wintered in a wooden national hive with a metal roof. since then I have always made sure my boxes go in to winter with plenty of stores and I believe this is one of the reasons why my overwintering successes has increased considerably from those good/bad/old days when I first started keeping bees.
So since then, overfeeding honey bees in september is something that never concerns me, if they have been fed and they come out of winter with syrup made honey, then this just goes in to nucs, or is stores seperately in case it is needed for a June gap or for the following winter. although if I have one colony light and another very heavy, I am still happy to move a frame or two over. simplz